Hey look!  It‘s a new Chewer Reviewer – number twelve!  And only three weeks late!  Since I‘ve decided to take a break from being an unreliable fuck, I bring you reviews by James May and Bryan Hickerson.  Dig it! – Jeremy

by James May

STUDIO: North American Motion Pictures
MSRP:  $22.98
RUNNING TIME:  90 minutes

The Pitch

Make a ghost picture based in an actual haunted hotel. Try not to make it too original or too scary. Cast pretty, vapid actors.

The Humans

Director:  Ed Winfield

Cast: “Sparkling” Kellan Lutz, Marnette Patterson, Mandy Amano, Scott Whyte, Richard Chance, Chuck “the one punch legend” Zito, and “Rowdy” Roddy Piper.

The Nutshell

Five students travel to the Goldfield/Overlook/Amityville hotel to try to document the hauntings that are occurring there. Guess what. It doesn’t work out too well for them. Unless you’ve never seen a haunted house movie before, you know where this is going.

The Lowdown

After scoffing at the “based on true events” in the opening credits, I decided to do a bit of digging to find out if there was any truth to the film’s claims. Turns out if you are referring to the ghostly happenings, then yes, the film is based on “true events”. Story of the haunting goes that the proprietor of the Goldfield hotel (strangely sharing a last name with the films director) murdered the prostitute he was secretly having an affair with and threw her baby down a well. While none of those stories are confirmed it is said that the woman haunts the halls of the Goldfield hotel looking for her baby. Okay so we start off with this ghost story, which in and of itself is a bit trite, but at least it’s based on an actual legend, the true test would be what kind of story the filmmakers crafted around the haunting. On that task they failed miserably.

“And I am all out of molasses candy.”

Starting with the tried and died premise of having a group of college age kids investigating a haunted house (don’t worry, the film gets into even deeper cliche waters by having one of the main characters be a descendant of one of the involved parties in the murder). After taking a shortcut  the groups vehicle breaks down miles outside of Goldfield, while traveling there.  Meeting what appears to be the towns only residents, a grizzled prospector looking old man and motherfucking Rowdy Roddy Piper, they find out that, of fucking course, they can’t reach anyone outside of the town. Guess where they decide to stay the night.

It takes about an hour of film time before the ghost actually does anything more than listening in on the gangs conversations (which was more bizarre to see on screen than I can express).  Much of the first hour is filled with bad fake jump scares that wouldn’t work on even the most nervous teenage girl desperate for attention, bad exposition, including two characters hypothesizing that the hotel is a gateway to the “other side” before they had even seen a ghost, and characters with seemingly less than one noticeable trait, having dull conversations centered around that fact. Once they show the ghost though, they can’t stop showing her in all of the actress portraying the ghost’s awkwardness. I really felt bad for the girl playing the ghost, Elizabeth. The bad makeup and terrible direction were doing absolutely nothing to make her scary or threatening. At best she was like a local theater version of Angela from Night of the Demons.

It can be expected that at this point the film will end in one of a few ways you are deadly used to seeing. Don’t worry, after watching the characters act in the dumbest ways possible it ends in a manner you will have seen coming half way into the movie.

Not even the Rowdy one himself could do anything to make this worth watching. Everything this movie tries to do, fails. Being that it stars a pre-Twilight Kellan Lutz, I can only recommend it to fans of that series, since they are used to and celebrate this level of sub mediocrity.

The Package

The DVD I have had no special features outside of a trailer for the movie that played, obnoxiously enough, right before the movie. The cover features a spooky ghostface girl, that does a good job of showing you the level of scary this film is prepared to take it.

I don’t know what this was filmed with but the colors and picture are all faded and ugly. The music was inoffensive and unnoticeable except for what might have been a musical cue nod to Goblin.

OVERALL 2.0 out of 10

by Bryan Hickerson

STUDIO: Peace Arch Home Entertainment
MSRP: 29.99
RATED: Not Rated
RUNNING TIME: 90 minutes
The Making of “In Tranzit”

The Pitch

A women in prison movie where the prisoners are accidentally male.

The Humans

John Malkovich, Thomas Kretschmann, Vera Farmiga, Nathalie Press, Patrick Kennedy

The Nutshell

After the end of World War II, German POWs are mistakenly sent to a prison camp that is run by women. Several of the prisoners are suspected members of the SS in hiding and so naturally every woman in town wants to sleep with them.

The Lowdown

While World War II films often focus on the Holocaust or the conflict between the Nazis and the Western allies, the Russian role in the war is often ignored. So it is refreshing to see a film that tries to buck this trend. However, once you see the high-booted Pavlov (Malkovich) and the shabbily dressed German prisoners, it is clear that this story could have easily taken place with the roles reversed, making this a wasted opportunity.

This is for your teddy KGB accent.

Once the prisoners arrive, the women are unsure of what to do with them and neither is the film. So it primarily focuses on the budding romances between Peter (Patrick Kennedy) and Zina (Nathalie Press), and Natalia (Vera Farmiga) and Max (Thomas Kretschmann). Naturally, one of the women, in this case Zina, gets pregnant and then Peter immediately gets taken away for a completely unrelated crime. Rather than deal with the consequences of the pregnancy, the film has Zina respond to Peter’s departure by hanging herself. And as if this plot was not strange enough, the camp then has a dance with the <del>girl’s camp across the lake</del> widows from the nearby village.  The women eventually pair off with the soldiers and get their rocks off with the men who quite possibly killed their relatives.

The film meanders on with no clear reason for existing until Stalin makes an agreement with the Western allies for the release of the prisoners. Perhaps that is my just desserts for expecting more from what is essentially a women in prison film. This film is meant to be watched in anticipation of the next sex scene. Vera Farmiga nudity completists, this film is for you.

It is easy to see why hailing trains never caught on.

On a positive note, it is easy to see why Natalia states that she misses music, as the score by Dan Jones is quite possibly the film’s brightest spot (besides boobs). I do not often listen to classical music, but the film’s orchestral score compelled to listen to what little classical music I do have.

The Package

The Special Features of this disc consists of an EPK of the film posing as a “Making of” documentary. However, this film did not leave me craving additional details concerning its construction, so I was not disappointed by the lack of commentary or other behind the scenes material.

OVERALL: 6.0 out of 10