Muck, comes from a successful crowd-funding Kickstarter campaign resulting in over $200,000 donated dollars, to assisted director, Steven Wolsh with presenting the second film, of a three-part trilogy, and fret not, no one missed the first part (the prequel) not yet filmed. Steven throws the audience into the storyline, already is in progress, with nothing helping the audience identify the characters or plot, yet it all hearkens back to old school horror and a featuring Kane Hodder, the legendary horror actor. Many films, both horror and action, enjoy starting with action first to get the audience’s attention, no horror film has truly started with the sequence in progress, and sadly, that hurts the experience for both the actors and definitely the viewers. As one may state, prequels do exist, as an afterthought to cash in on the box office success, or even if planned, the current story placed before the viewers must contain references that everyone could understand and dedicate the time to enjoy.
The movie contains the proper artwork to attach the potential viewer’s attention, as does the production values, but then slides terribly to the negative, with the lack of story, and while that might change after the prequel airs, it cannot help the case for now. The facts presented before the audience is all that exists, and quickly one finds amongst the killing and bodies, the incredible sight of countless shots bare breasts in the movie. In fact, the breasts shots outnumber the body count, and while in horror movies, especially in the slasher genre the T&A a prerequisite the overwhelming amount takes away for the film. After an unknown event, what it is thoroughly unknown, the six friends on vacation in Cape Cod stalked by albino killers in the marshes where they are, and though not directly informed of this it is taken from the packaging and press release about the movie. As the injured group emerges from the marsh to nice house in the middle of nowhere, once inside to the cozy shelter and then forget about their friends, wounds, safety and dive into conversations about alcohol and sex acts. No clear reasoning present why the killers want them and why and sadly Kane Hodder in a brief scene and not to the full potential of this acting and screen presence. Fret not, skin flick fans, the bare breasts of the beautiful cast make many, many scenes in the movie, with mud and blood and without, the tends for a common theme along with inane actions of others. During the film, Mia (Lauren Francesca) struggles for safety and survival, while wearing very little, separate from the main group how and why left in doubt as her actions of panic and confusion, which goes deeper than just what is occurring on the screen. Meanwhile Noah (Bryce Draper) begins the desperate search for help leaving his girlfriend Kylie (Stephanie Danielson) to roam around inside the house, especially checking out the dark, scary basement while killers seek them for brutal dismemberment. However, not wanting to stay dirty Desiree (Laura Jacobs) seeks a shower during all the mayhem, with some of the worst suspense building demonstrated on the screen. The scene quickly foreshadows on the door and back to the Desiree, and repeat the sequence countless times, with no reasoning and a nauseating pacing, which provides a zero payoff to anyone. One can’t overlook the talents portraying a believable selfish individual, such as Troit (Lachlan Buchanan) and his love, Chandi (Puja Mohindra) willing to accept his flaws, and keep him for her own lusts, regardless the cruel treatment reverting back. Just when the film starts generating a moment of shock and awe, a brief more skin shown, and then completely misdirected killing from a widescreen perspective, where the audience sees the killer rather than ax to the stomach in suddenly gruesome display.
The formula for a standard slasher film, makes it often the hardest part to screw up, and yet the film does it successfully, with abrupt starts and finishes, that the audience not only scratches their heads, but wonders how to keep all the questions alive while waiting for part one, entitled: Muck: Feast of Saint Patrick. One understands quickly that it takes place on a Friday the 13th, obviously right before St. Patrick’s Day and the third film to conclude the day after the celebration. The comical aspect never develops fully and begins to insult the more well-adept horror fan; this movie finds itself catering to the attention of the teenage male audience. Through all of the ups and downs in the film a few references to rules in horror films, with characters noting “way too many of us left, textbook” to sheer violence of taking the killers, but a key moment exists in reference to Friday the 13th: Part VII, one must look for it. Although in the horror genre, where almost anything goes, even excessive nudity the reasoning for it must still present itself, as the case grandiose levels of nudity in Lifeforce (1985) with nude space vampires, the reasoning held a basis for it all. Nudity of nudity sake does not become a horror movie, it lessens it, reduces it from scary and bloody to mindless drivel.
Serving as writer, Wolsh, also hurts the movie, with two references, while on paper sound nice, lose meaning quickly on screen, the first a nearby town in film, called “Wes Craven” a once hot spot, this comes as across a shock, why not just use ‘craven’ the horror audience can pick up on many items. The reference back to Hodder’s character, as many critics have pointed the misuse of him in the film and then the character name Grawesome Crutal, hint rhymes with gruesome and the second part with brutal. The aimless characters and structure none resulting from the cast’s fault, just at the hands of the director, hard to describe a film when no one knows what is going on and why it is happening on the screen. Actress and Playboy star Jaclyn Swedberg gives her best, and still the slickness of the productions drowns in endless randomness, while Grant Alan Ouzts provides the ominous portion to try to film afloat with traditional horror themes.
Many horror films continue to excel at the 80s slasher genre standards and formulas such as Hatchet, See No Evil and even Seed, but this misses the mark, delivering a bare breasts for one demographic of the market. Often the greatest of the next generation filmmakers, seeing the variations on the previous templates and changing elements to create new paradigms and avenues to expound are wonderful in theory and moves the fascination forward to the horror fans. Nevertheless Muck, never excels past the pure frustrating and awful storytelling, wonders if one need s to stay around to watch part one or just wait till it is all over to recap on the entire production.