Thursday, September 17, 2009

27 Days of Fright (The Reprint) - Day Fourteen

Originally Published Sunday 19th October 2008


Into the end credits for the film Reeker, the film-makers inserted the following note: “If you’re a film reviewer and you’re uninspired enough to use the phrase “this movie stinks” or any other lame pun/riff on the title – ha ha ha.” I noticed this as I like to let the credits roll until the very end so I can be sure that there’s no after credit scenes. How confident in your material would you have to be to insert a comment like this? Would you perhaps be concerned that the reviews may not be stellar so you try to get a dig in advance? And what would lead to such a monumental lack of confidence in your own film that you would be so concerned? In my opinion the only thing that could have caused such a crisis of confidence is if they’d actually watched the movie!

Reeker sti- no, wait, we’ve been warned! Reeker is a really bad film! The kindest thing I can think to say is that it’s child’s horror, a scary movie for the little uns.

Five college types are on a road trip to God only cares where and along the way see a car crash. At this point if you’re thinking “I can guess what happens” then you know how I felt. They press on when they hear sirens approach but have to stop to kick one of the group out for carrying drugs. Deciding that they can’t leave him out in the dessert they return to a diner they had stopped at earlier. They get there just as the car runs out of petrol. The diner and attached motel are abandoned and there’s no petrol either.

Stuck there for the night, the five split up with one couple availing of one of the motel rooms, the other couple pitching tents and the remaining guy heading up the road to the next stop to look for help. One by one they are killed off by a strange creature that for the most part is really just a bad smell. Honestly, a bad smell. They get a whiff of something rotten and then they’re killed. Along the way we meet some other victims, like a guy driving a mobile home looking for his wife and a trucker who’d been sliced in half and left in a dumpster but was strangely still alive.Guess what? They were all dead, killed in the crash near the start. The two who manage to escape the smelly killer are in the process of being saved by emergency services in the real world.

Breathe through your mouth!

Reeker has borrowed heavily from other films, which is a nice way of saying it stole a bunch of ideas and threw them together for the purposes of making money. The five kids on a road trip (Texas Chainsaw Massacre) are made up of two girls and three guys, one of whom is disabled (Chainsaw Massacre again - though this time the guy is blind not in a wheelchair). There’s no petrol at the rest stop (Chainsaw, again). The kids at the motel are killed off one at a time while there are parallel events in the real world (Identity). This goes on and on.

Reeker does have one or two decent moments, like the cute girl getting killed in the outdoor privy and the horrible injuries some of the victims suffer are good effects, but the whole thing is woefully predictable and not scary at all, though I’d imagine younger viewers would jump at the right moments. The biggest complaint though has to be how boring the film is. There are long sections where nothing happens at all – I’m not kidding when I say I fell asleep watching Reeker I was that bored.

Two thumbs down for Reeker.

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