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Reviews Written by
Daniel Jolley "darkgenius" (Shelby, North Carolina USA)

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Saints Row 2 - Standard Edition
Saints Row 2 - Standard Edition
Offered by Urban Inspirations
Price: CDN$ 38.70
13 used & new from CDN$ 8.99

4.0 out of 5 stars Extremely fun and addictive gameplay, Sept. 12 2013
Fun:5.0 out of 5 stars 
I enjoyed the heck out of Saints Row 2. What's not to like about putting a gang together to go out and basically take over an entire city, thumping rival gangs into the dust, creating mayhem everywhere, thumbing your nose at authority as you laugh your way to the bank, and blowing holes in anyone who tries to stop you? The activities outside the larger missions only add to the fun. Even though the much more theatrical Saints Row the Third takes the gaming experience to a whole new level, I actually enjoyed Saints Row 2 more than its immediate sequel - largely because the world is a bit more open-ended here.

Waking up from a coma, it's up to you to rebuild the Saints empire that once ruled the city of Stilwater. The old gang has fallen apart, new gangs have staked their claims on the city, and you only have one former lieutenant to work with. Fortunately, that one man is Johnny Gat - if, that is, you can break him out of jail before he's executed for his past crimes. You need money, weapons, and - most of all - respect if you're going to put together a new gang of lieutenants and mindless thugs more than happy to do your bidding. You're going to have to lower yourself to perform various illegal jobs for others, but it's only a matter of time before you'll be ready to harass and ultimately show the Ronin, Sons of Samedi, and Brotherhood that you - and the Saints - are back.

There will be blood and lots of it, and you're basically free to explore the open world of Stilwater and perform all kinds of crazy jobs for cash while you work your way through all of the missions. All of the activities and diversions are great fun. How can you not have a blast disposing of aggressive fans while guarding celebrities, driving hookers around town, fighting it out against multiple opponents in Stilwater's own Fight Club, roughing up petty criminals while playing the role of a cop for the reality show FUZZ, committing massive insurance fraud by hurling yourself repeatedly into oncoming traffic, destroying private property with abandon, etc. My personal favorite is Septic Avenger, which has you riding around town spraying raw sewage on people and property to lower property values. The actual missions are even more fun, with greet cut scenes and plenty of surprises designed to bring your enemies to their knees. Those new Stilwater gang leaders have no idea what's coming courtesy of you and the Saints.

Of course, everything you do is complemented by a great soundtrack of tunes from different styles and eras, and that classic Saints Row humor never misses a beat. Throw in diverse weapons and vehicles for the snatching, all kinds of explosions and mayhem, and the fun of killing anyone you want whenever you want to do it, and we're talking tons of fun. I don't really understand the complaints some people have with the PC port. Sure, I was never able to control my vehicles as perfectly as I would have liked, but it's certainly not difficult to get everywhere you need to go with just a keyboard and mouse. The only reason I'm giving the game four stars instead of five is because it did lock up on me a few times - but even then, I never lost anything I had already done.

Black Rat [Import]
Black Rat [Import]
Price: CDN$ 20.87
20 used & new from CDN$ 7.97

3.0 out of 5 stars You can dance if you wanna, you can leave your friends behind, Aug. 17 2013
This review is from: Black Rat [Import] (DVD)
I don't have a lot of experience criticizing Japanese horror movies, but Black Rat is one of the rare J-Horror films that just didn't deliver the goods. For one thing, it's surprisingly unoriginal - six classmates get invited to a location, only to find themselves fighting for their lives against a mysterious killer. The location is the school where their mutual friend Asuka jumped off the roof to her death seven weeks earlier, and the time is midnight - and they all actually show up. I don't know about you, but if I get a text message from a girl who killed herself seven weeks ago asking me to meet her at the school building at midnight, I wouldn't even consider going - not even if the dead girl was smoking hot. Curiosity can have the cat - but it ain't getting me.

All Asuka wanted was for her friends to join her in performing some traditional dance of Seven Rats at the school's arts festival. Then, after they all initially agreed to do it, they refused to practice and pretty much just bailed on her, even after she had spent all this time constructing a really cool rat mask to wear. I'm not really sure why all of these people - who sort of represent the characters in the story of the Seven Rats - were actually friends, as all of them except Asuka and one of the other girls are pretty much jerks in their own special ways - and even the nice girl doesn't turn out to be the kind of person you really want for a best friend. The thing with Asuka, though, is that she is always smiling - even when her friends are totally dumping on her. From the audience's perspective, she's a very sympathetic character, which makes the fact of her suicide particularly tragic. She actually jumped off the roof of the school wearing the rat mask she had created. So that's the backstory, which is presented in a series of flashbacks as the movie progresses.

Back to the schoolroom that dark night, though, these other six kids who stupidly accepted the invitation to show up are greeted by a girl wearing Asuka's bloodstained rat's head, who uses flash cards to let the others know that she is going to kill all of them. Is it really Asuka's ghost underneath that creepy rat head? The film does a good job of really keeping the mystery of the killer's identity just that - a mystery, throwing several wicked curveballs at the audience as the movie progresses. There's not a great deal of blood and gore involved with the actual killings, but they are unique and some of them are creepy in their own special way, but it's really the question of the killer's identity that drives the story. Black Rat does deliver a deeper storyline that your traditional slasher, and the whole thing with the rat mask is pretty creepy, but it sort of feels like director Kenta Fukasaku was trying to invoke the atmosphere of an American slasher film, and I think that was a mistake.

The Wickeds [Import]
The Wickeds [Import]
DVD ~ Ron Jeremy
Offered by CAMusicFiendz
Price: CDN$ 36.33
6 used & new from CDN$ 19.94

1.0 out of 5 stars Just awful, Aug. 5 2013
This review is from: The Wickeds [Import] (DVD)
Just having to look at Ron Jeremy is bad enough on its own (although, thankfully, he stays fully clothed here), but even the prospect of seeing his character savagely killed does nothing to ease the pain of watching a movie this pathetic and abysmal. The Wickeds is a film that even the director couldn't possibly love. There's not even any female nudity to help get you through it - although, quite frankly, I wouldn't particularly like to see any of these actresses nude, anyway. The lack of nudity is confusing, though, because everything else about this film conveys the impression that it was written and filmed by a twelve-year-old boy. Sure, there's plenty of gore, but it's horribly fake and unconvincing. And the acting? Well, Ron Jeremy is by far the most talented actor involved in this project - need I say more?

There is barely even a story underlying all of this cinematic torture. Seven incredibly annoying, unattractive young people break into this old spooky house where a low-budget horror film is being shot. Unbeknownst to them, Gus (Ron Jeremy) and his gimboid sidekick are at the nearby cemetery digging up a corpse in order to steal an amulet from the body. Naturally, the theft of this horrible piece of cosmetic jewelry brings all of the dead bodies out of their graves, and their pursuit of human flesh eventually brings both groups together inside the house. Will any of the characters survive? Who smegging cares?

Despite the fact that these are clearly zombies doing everything that zombies do, the characters keep referring to them as vampires, which tells you something about the group intelligence on display here. That's just one of the many, many ways this film annoyed me. I watch a lot of bad movies - some of them are true gems worthy of cult status; most of them are just forgettable; but a few of them should be considered forms of torture. The Wickeds clearly falls into that final category.

Stormhouse [Import]
Stormhouse [Import]
Price: CDN$ 19.90
20 used & new from CDN$ 0.01

2.0 out of 5 stars Bland and boring, July 5 2013
This review is from: Stormhouse [Import] (DVD)
Who knew a film about a captured supernatural entity could be so mind-numbingly boring? Stormhouse begins dead on arrival and doesn't offer so much as a single post-mortem twitch the rest of the way. It's like the filmmakers came up with a way to can mediocrity in cinematic form. There's a little bit of gore, but don't expect any chills or thrills or anything resembling suspense.

So, yeah, some kind of British black operations unit has managed to capture a supernatural entity and apparently wants to turn it into some kind of weapon against terrorists or something. Okay. So far, though, the only thing they've been able to do is keep it contained in a cell using an electromagnetic fence. Enter American ghost whisperer Haley (Katie Flynn), who has been sent to the underground base by some Minister or other to try and communicate with the invisible and silent prisoner. She does seem to make some kind of connection with the thing, but the lieutenant in charge opts to take more extreme measures for getting answers. Naturally, the entity ends up escaping and all hell breaks loose down there.

One of the many frustrating things about this movie is the fact that the whole thing is basically shot in the dark, so be prepared to turn off all the lights or risk some serious eyestrain trying to follow what is happening onscreen. Some of the dialogue can be hard to make out, as well, which is particularly a problem if you're watching it on Amazon's "we don't need no stinkin' closed captioning" video service. Really, though, there's so little story here that it doesn't really matter how much you can actually see and hear.

Scream Queens Double Feature: Swimsuit Sensations & Knockout Workout
Scream Queens Double Feature: Swimsuit Sensations & Knockout Workout
DVD ~ Veronica Carothers
Price: CDN$ 4.95
5 used & new from CDN$ 4.95

2.0 out of 5 stars If you've ever wondered how scream queens keep in shape ..., June 17 2013
In case you've ever wondered, Scream Queens Double Feature: Swimsuit Sensations & Knockout Workout is the answer to the question "What do you get for the horror fan who has everything?" I can almost guarantee the horror fan in your life won't have this cheesy video in his/her collection. In fact, both of these titles were thought to be lost forever until recently, and this 2010 release is taken from VHS copies of the originals.

Maybe you're wondering how two scream queen features from 1992 could ever have been lost. Sure, low-budget horror films can be considered a niche market, but there are plenty of dedicated scream queen fans out there. Well, Swimsuit Sensations and Knockout Workout aren't actually horror movies (unlike Linnea Quigley's Horror Workout, which at least threw some zombie mayhem into the exercise mix). They're more like workout videos - but that's not quite right either because the girls never actually teach us anything about working out. We do get to watch them do a good bit of exercising, but there's no instruction or encouragement or anything like that. These videos basically seem to have been made for the sole purpose of filming attractive women in bathing suits and leotards stretching in all sorts of poses. Not that there's anything wrong with that - heavens, no.

Both videos feature the same three scream queens: Melissa Moore, Jasae, and Veronica Carothers - not exactly household names, even in the low-budget horror community. Moore's credits include Caged Fury, Sorority House Massacre II, Consenting Adults, and Scream Dream. Jasae appeared in Roadhouse, Bad Girls From Mars, numerous Playboy videos, and a long list of other films no one's ever heard of. Veronica Carothers is the most obscure of the three ladies, having appeared in only a dozen or so films such as Paid to Kill and Mankillers. For what it's worth, the three ladies do have different backgrounds, body types, and exercise routines. Moore grew up long and tall riding and showing horses, and she likes to do yoga and lift weights to stay in shape. Jasae has a wrestling and boxing background and uses aerobic exercises to keep her tight body, well, tight. Finally, Carothers is the skinny type (I think she could put an eye out with one of her shoulder blades) with a background in ballet and dance. After some serious head- and shoulder-rolling, though, she mainly just rolls around in the grass in a bikini. That's just as well, since the camera tends to roam up and down the girls' bodies when they're exercising, anyway. In other words, you're better off with Hanoi Jane or Richard Simmons if you're actually interested in working out.

I must point out that much of the 32-minute Knockout Workout consists of material included in the 52-minute Swimsuit Sensations. This includes much of the interviews interspersed between the voyeuristic camera shots of the girls working out. In these interview segments, you do get to learn more about these scream queens and how they got into the business, which I found rather interesting. This disc also includes trailers to eight different SRS Cinema films such as The Christmas Season Massacre and Inbred Redneck Vampire. Clearly, though, Scream Queens Double Feature: Swimsuit Sensations and Knockout Workout sells itself on pure campiness and nostalgia.

Ghost Attack on Sutton....
Ghost Attack on Sutton....
DVD ~ Documentary
Price: CDN$ 19.95
16 used & new from CDN$ 13.29

2.0 out of 5 stars A fake ghost hunt with real ghost hunters, June 17 2013
This review is from: Ghost Attack on Sutton.... (DVD)
The one thing I know about Ghost Attack on Sutton Street: Poltergeists and Paranormal Entities is that it isn’t very effective at doing – well, whatever it’s trying to do. Actually, I know two things – the title is too darn long. When you see a title that includes a long subtitle like this, the odds are pretty good that the film will leave you wanting in the end. The weird thing about this movie, though, is the fact that several of the crew members on this “ghost hunt,” including lead investigator Lee Roberts, are actually paranormal investigators associated with Haunted Events UK – yet this is clearly a film posing as a documentary and chock full of staged “scares” that are never, ever caught by the cameras. Why this man would be involved with a fake investigation is beyond me; he must believe that any publicity is good publicity. This is not the type of publicity that is going to lend any credence to the existence of ghosts, however. Actually, I would never have believed that Lee Roberts was an actual paranormal investigator if I had not read that fact while researching this film – if for no other reason than the fact that he never shuts up. He overexplains everything – the equipment used, what the thermal camera is and is not picking up, the purpose of a séance (during the séance, mind you). If I were a ghost, I would either hide from this annoying man or continually pelt him with objects in an attempt to make him leave the premises.

Equipped with only one EMF detector and one thermal imaging camera, this “experienced” ghost hunting crew takes us inside “the notoriously haunted Old Street Market of Sutton Town in historic old England” and proceeds to investigate the place without turning off any of the lights. Oh, these are some brave souls indeed. Alongside Lee Roberts is fellow investigator Pete Cox (who does lend some reality to the project because you would think that no director in his right mind would ever cast him with a speaking role in a film) and historian Michelle Gent –who shares the secret with Lee concerning the real purpose for this investigation. It all goes back to a legendary childhood boogeyman named Tap Tap, who may or may not have ever existed. Lee proudly announces that this is the first paranormal group to investigate this particular location – which is rather strange because he and Michelle go on to talk about the findings of numerous other investigations conducted there over the years. Well, after more than a half hour of interminably long and boring walkarounds, prep work, and endless droning on by Lee, the investigation begins.

The evidence our intrepid investigators find wouldn’t scare most small children, but they quickly start freaking out – which is not good, because Lee talks even more than usual when he’s nervous. A couple of pretty cool things happen eventually, but Lee’s propensity for hogging camera time means nothing is caught on video. What glimpses we do get of the activity are far from convincing and, in my opinion, were probably done by the investigators themselves. To make matters worse, the cinematography and music in this film are horrible – especially the campy music that is usually way too loud, routinely builds up to “something’s about to happen” crescendos in which nothing happens at all, and generally grates on the nerves. With no big ending to save the day, you’re left scratching your head wondering what purpose this underwhelming film was supposed to serve.

The Slaughterhouse Massacre [Import]
The Slaughterhouse Massacre [Import]
DVD ~ Stephani Wells
Price: CDN$ 19.77
20 used & new from CDN$ 13.22

1.0 out of 5 stars I would rather be a cow in a slaughterhouse than to have to watch this tripe again, June 5 2013
You would be hard pressed to find a horror film more ineptly made than this one. The Slaughterhouse Massacre is embarrassingly wretched from start to finish, spilling even more clichés than blood. The stupidity of the whole thing is actually a little hard to believe; you would think even the most amateurish of filmmakers would do one thing right, just by accident, but not these guys. If there's a human being walking around on this earth that could actually take any enjoyment from this movie, I sincerely hope I never meet him.

The movie starts out with a hot and bothered young blonde begging her boyfriend to take her to the slaughterhouse because nothing turns her on more than the blood and stench of poor slaughtered animals. You can guess what happens. Then, things get confusing because another murder is mentioned, one which led a group of guys to come and murder the suspect, Marty Sickle. The killer's body was never found, though, so the legend is that you can bring Sickle back to life if you go to the slaughterhouse and recite a silly little poem. Enter our main characters: Justin, the incredibly stupid football jock and Stacey, the reasonably hot chick that loves him (despite the fact he isn't exactly faithful to her), Justin's even dumber sidekick Bobby and his girlfriend Tina (who actually thinks going to the slaughterhouse and trying to raise a dead killer back to life sounds like fun). Potential viewers, prepare for your mind to be rotted by egregious overacting in a college classroom, the lamest college party in history, characters so one-dimensional and annoying you would actually consider killing them yourself, incredibly bad special effects, and a killer lacking any presence whatsoever.

All of the available evidence suggests that no thought whatsoever went into the making of this movie. Seriously, the sickle-wielding killer is named Marty Sickle, and there's a pothead character named Stoner. Then there's the fact that this slaughterhouse, which has been abandoned for ten long years, still has electricity. Oh, and did you know that animal blood doesn't dry up at all if you keep it in an open bucket for ten years? Or that you should make as much noise as possible when trying to hide from a deranged killer? Or that an unconscious person with a bum leg can still walk as long as someone holds on to her?

Believe me - I haven't even begun to plumb the inept stupidity of this movie. This cinematic atrocity currently sports a 13 percent approval rating on a certain tomato-related site, and I'm seriously considering opening an investigation into how the rating on there can be even that high. The Slaughterhouse Massacre is an utter travesty of a horror movie.

Star Trek V - The Final Frontier (Two-Disc Special Collector's Edition) (Bilingual) [Import]
Star Trek V - The Final Frontier (Two-Disc Special Collector's Edition) (Bilingual) [Import]
DVD ~ William Shatner
Offered by Vanderbilt CA
Price: CDN$ 36.97
18 used & new from CDN$ 17.21

3.0 out of 5 stars Riddled with problems but still worth watching, May 31 2013
So Spock has a half-brother who looks like a pointy-eared Saddam Hussein, who manages to attract and then hijack a sad excuse for the Enterprise, all in an attempt to penetrate the Great Barrier (which has apparently moved from the edge of the galaxy to the exact center) and find the universal God. That's pretty much the plot of this movie in a nutshell. While Star Trek V: The Final Frontier does have its good moments, particularly in terms of the interplay between Kirk, Spock, and Bones, most Trekkies and movie-goers in general agree that this is without a doubt the worst of the six films featuring the original crew. Even Gene Roddenberry was critical of various parts of this film.

You could hardly ask for a more disappointing opening for a Star Trek film, as we watch a mysterious rider come upon a desert hole farmer (yeah, I said hole farmer) and release the man's pain. That pointy-eared stranger is Sybok, the half-brother Spock has never bothered to mention. One can only imagine the shame Sarek would feel (if Vulcans didn't bury their emotions) over this son, a renegade whose rejection of logic and embrace of emotions led to his expulsion from Vulcan. If nothing else, we now know that Spock was by no means the black sheep of his family. Following a vision of Shakaree, the legendary Vulcan "heaven," Sybok puts together a small army on the Neutral Zone planet of Nimbus III and takes the tri-partite council of Klingon, Romulan, and Terran ambassadors hostage, all in an effort to bring a starship into orbit. That starship is, of course, the new Enterprise, which has been dispatched by Starfleet despite the fact it has less than a skeleton crew - and almost nothing on the ship is actually working (despite Scotty's best efforts).

Possible spoilers ahead as I talk about some of the problems with this movie. First and foremost, Sybok's group of ragamuffin settlers is able to take control of the Enterprise with ridiculous ease. Even some of Kirk's crew prove to be incredibly weak-willed in the face of Sybok's power. If some weirdo came along and somehow freed me from my deepest and most personal pain, I would say Thanks, Dude but I would not devote myself to following this guru's every command. I really expected more from the likes of Sulu and Uhura here (I can forgive Chekov, given his traumatizing experience at the hands of Khan). And the Klingon ambassador, the once-illustrious master strategist Korrd - sure he's a drunken outcast now, but there's no way a fierce Klingon warrior like Korrd should go all sappy in the face of Sybok's mental manipulations. Only Captain Kirk refuses any attempt by Sybok to brainwash him, delivering a classic "I need my pain" speech in the process. I know some people were moved by the scene in which McCoy's deepest pain is identified and released, but I found it uncomfortable to watch and could only wonder why Kirk stood there and let it happen in the first place. I also have to ask what the heck happened to that beautiful new Enterprise ship we saw at the end of Star Trek IV. For one thing, the bridge has been completely redesigned, and I refuse to believe that any self-respecting crew of Starfleet technicians would have ever let this ship out of the dock given its almost infinite number of problems. At the start of the film, the crew is on shore leave because they had to pull this dysfunctional ship back into dry dock for a vast retinue of repairs. It also bothered me when Spock said he had no emotions, as that isn't strictly true - Vulcans choose to bury their emotions, but those feelings are still there far below the surface.

Even though I pretty much worship the ground William Shatner walks on, you have to pin some of the blame for this film's problems on him, as he directed the film and co-wrote the story alongside David Loughery and Harve Bennett (who also appears in the film as the Starfleet Chief of Staff). On the other hand, Shatner wasn't really able to make the film he wanted to make - especially in terms of the ending, which is rather anticlimactic in its final form - because Paramount would not give him the money to make it all happen. The production wasn't well-served by the special effects team, either. With ILM wrapped up in other projects, the production team turned to another group that really wasn't up to this kind of major task. It wasn't just the lack of money that prevented Shatner from giving the film the big ending he wanted - the special effects that were actually done for that ending were too crappy to even use.

In retrospect, it seems that no one had full control over this movie. Even as the director and co-writer, Shatner wasn't even able to prevent Sybok being portrayed as Spock's half-brother. Still, despite all the negatives to this film, it's still well worth watching. I'll take a three-star Star Trek film over many a four-star film any day, and there are a few really good scenes and quotable moments, such as the camping trip scenes with Kirk, Spock, and Bones and Spock's "not in front of the Klingons" quip. Undeniably, though, this really is the one Star Trek film you can skip or choose not to revisit, as it disappointing in a number of ways and adds very little to the overall Star Trek story arc.

The Shortcut
The Shortcut
Price: CDN$ 16.98
2 used & new from CDN$ 11.99

4.0 out of 5 stars Surprisingly enjoyable light horror fare, May 25 2013
This review is from: The Shortcut (DVD)
Wait a minute. When did Adam Sandler start making horror films? Apparently, it was in 2009. The Shortcut was the first release from Scary Madison, part of the Happy Madison production company Sandler started. The word is that Adam Sandler and crew set out to do it right, with R-rated material, but some of the folks actually financing the film insisted that it be PG-13. They already had the teenaged eye candy sure to attract teen viewers, with the likes of Andrew Seeley and Katrina Bowden playing significant roles. And you know what? Things actually worked out pretty well. The Shortcut certainly doesn’t break any new ground in the horror genre, it doesn’t manage to generate any real scares, and you can spot the final twist from a mile away, but I still enjoyed watching it. The teen characters are actually likeable, there’s a decent amount of humor along the way, and the story doesn’t leave any holes in its wake. For a straight-to-DVD release, The Shortcut really isn’t a bad little movie at all – it’s just the kind that would be more at home on cable television than in theatres.

The story really begins in 1945, as that’s when the shortcut through the woods behind Hartley Elementary School began to earn its reputation as a spot to be avoided at all costs. The legend says that there’s a crazy old man out there who likes to scare and oftentimes kill anyone foolish enough to come that way. Derek (Andrew Seeley) and his younger brother Tobey (Nicholas Elia) just moved to town two months ago, so they haven’t heard any of the stories – not until Tobey is dared by some classmates to prove how tough he is by taking the shortcut home. That leads Derek and some of his friends to investigate the wooded area for themselves; Derek even manages to drag Christy (Katrina Bowden), the fantastically hot object of his affections, into the adventure. Needless to say, the whole thing is a really bad idea.

As events progress in the current day, we get a series of flashbacks to the 1940s and 1950s that help fill in the backstory of what is really going on out there in the woods. These scenes actually serve a purpose, as the whole truth can only be discovered by putting both of the storylines together in the end. I actually was surprised by one revelation, but the final twist, as I mentioned earlier, will be expected by a majority of viewers. That doesn’t make it bad – just really predictable. The script as a whole – which was co-written by Adam Sandler’s brother Scott – is actually remarkably tight for a film of this genre. You have to put two and two together at times, but everything comes full circle in the end. The Shortcut will appeal more to teenaged audiences than hardcore horror fans, but this horror veteran really enjoyed his trek down The Shortcut.

Lost Woods
Lost Woods
DVD ~ Joey Brown
Price: CDN$ 24.99
15 used & new from CDN$ 20.05

2.0 out of 5 stars Is it over yeti?, May 16 2013
This review is from: Lost Woods (DVD)
Where do I begin with this one? For one thing, you know the five campers in this movie aren't the sharpest knives in the drawer when they start target shooting with unopened beer bottles. Hello? You're supposed to drink the beer, and then shoot the bottles, guys. And what is the deal with the guy wearing the vintage 1980s mullet head wig? And then there's our Bigfoot. Apparently Bigfoot is able to make himself not stink when he wants to sneak up on someone, has glowing blue eyes that don't work worth squat, has hair strong enough to deflect rifle bullets, apparently spent some time at a WWE training camp, and really, really hates people messing around in his woods. We learn a lot more weird information about Bigfoot at the end of the movie, but all I will say about that is that it completely ruins what little bit of integrity the film might have had rounding turn four and heading for home.

So, five young adults go "off the map" camping somewhere in the Pacific Northwest - in the same area where a camper went missing a month earlier. The trip is sort of a forced reunion of two childhood friends who grew apart after a stupid fireworks prank gone wrong; when the cops showed up, Darren - the instigator of the whole thing - ran away like a little girl, leaving the otherwise practical young Warren to take the wrap and spend eighteen months in juvenile hall for his pal's cowardice and stupidity. Out in the woods, though, things seem to be going well - apart from an uncomfortable encounter with two hicks; the guys even have a little bonding moment while urinating and a few sparks begin to fly between Warren and Lucy, the only girl on the trip (well, not counting the dog). Then - wouldn't you know it - Bigfoot has to show up and ruin everything.

I'm surprised to see that the budget of the film was 125K - it looks like it cost a whole lot less than that to produce. After the first day in the woods, the movie takes on this low-light appearance, as if it's always dusk. At first, I tried to figure out if scenes were supposed to be taking place during the day or the night - but I soon decided that I really didn't care. The acting isn't egregiously bad, but it's a long way from good, and much of the dialogue doesn't feel natural. And that ending! Looking back now, I can see where the filmmakers were trying to go with it, but it really just doesn't work. It's like the film suddenly begs to be ridiculed, and that's really not the kind of final impression you want to leave with the audience.

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