Dread / The Final / The Graves / Hidden / Kill Theory
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STUDIO: Lions Gate
MSRP: $19.98
RATED:  R
RUNNING TIME:  88 minutes
SPECIAL FEATURES:
•Audio commentary with Brian Pulido
•Audio commentary with Francisca Pulido and Adam Goldfine
•The Graves: Behind the scenes
•Sound designing The Graves
•Plan to actual
•Spot the gnome
•Audition/Script reads
•Calabrese music video: “Vampires don’t exist”
•Original Script
•Trailer

The Pitch

Take one half Rob Zombie redneck horror and mix with quarter parts ‘town-with-a-secret’ and demon possession film and there you are. Crap.

The Humans

Di
rector/Writer: Brian Pulido

Cast:  Clare Grant, Jillian Murphy, Tony Todd, Bill Moseley, Amanda Wyss, Shane Stevens, Patti Tindall, Cathy Rankin, Randy Blythe, Barbara Glover


Believable this movie ain’t.


The Nutshell

Two improbable comic geeks who also happen to be attractive sisters(Clare Grant and Jillian Murphy) with an equally improbable last name go for a trip to Arizona. Running into a some homicidal hillbillies, they eventually take matters into their own hands. Well, it turns out that these folks aren’t the only ones killing people. A religious group has taken over the town and is killing folks in worship of a demon in a mine. It’s two horror punk girls versus a town of crazies.

The Lowdown

God help me, this movie is filled with Rockabilly music, the most unlikeable of all musics. In fact every easily hateable thing about the boringly incestuous horror lifestyle is comfortably packaged in this terrible film. Bad Rockabilly music, a pair of Hot Topic bedecked goth girls, childish horror comics featuring enormously titted anti-heroines, and fetishized b-actors. I’d say this was the worst part of the film, but then again, the film.


“Well hell, this thing used to fit.”


This is the feature directing debut of Brian Pulido, who comic fans may know as the creator of Lady Death and the surrounding Chaos comics line(also home to the Chyna comic book). One scene in the film even takes place in a comic shop that apparently only sells comics written by the Director, Pulido, while the protagonists espouse their preferred issues. It’s a short moment in the film, but tells you how much the movie wants to divorce itself from its creator and his previous works, which is to say not at all. This is a bad thing.

Storywise this movie offers nothing you haven’t seen before. They try to add a twist to the usual hillbilly slasher horror by adding supernatural elements. This is great except for the fact that they never bother to establish any motivation for the killings. Peoples souls are sacrificed to a demon wind occupying a mine shaft, creating some sort of demonic army or something. The purpose is pretty much left at the fact that these people are all being controlled by the demon wind. Boring.


Surely, the most common sight at the screenwriter’s trailer.


This is another issue I have with this movie. It’s bad enough that movie the is filled with nothing but stuff you’ve seen dozens of times in far superior horror films, they don’t even have enough of a budget to bother showing anything. Most of the gore is left to the imagination and any hope of actually seeing a demon or much anything demonic is in vain. So even if you enjoy the fairly terrible Chaos comics, don’t expect too many scenes from those comics that might actually require a budget.

Tony Todd is having a damn good time playing the religious leader of the town. He is a crazed southern Protestant style preacher who leads the demonic ceremonies. The fact that he wears the garb of a Catholic while acting the role of a Protestant is a detail that tells you that the creator is more interested in the way things look more so than having it make sense in any sort of real way. Todd is the best part of the film, though. Seeing him go so wildly over the top almost makes the rest of the suffering worthwhile. Too bad he only occupies about 20 minutes of screen time.


Warning: approach the Zombies of Mass Destruction review with caution.


Clare Grant and Jillian Murphy play the leads and are passable at best. The movie is filled with bad acting and distracting cameos so at the least they don’t do anything to ruin the movie any further, but they are mere connective tissue for the more veteran character actors scenes, such as the previously mentioned Tony Todd and Bill Moseley as one of the serial killing brothers. Moseley himself is playing a character he could play in his sleep, at this point. ‘Murderous hillbilly that takes joy in what he does’ is a character thats on page description could just as easily be replaced by a picture of Bill Moseley. Moseley is perfectly fine in the role if never in the least bit surprising. The rest of the cast ranges from decent(Wyss, Stevens, and Glover) to god awful(Lamb of God’s Randy Blythe).

If Rob Zombie’s legacy is films such as this, then I should say, the verdict is in. Flush twice. ‘If you don’t have anything interesting to say, don’t say anything at all’ seems to be the theory here. These sort of cut and paste films are a plague.  We have to cut this trend off and cauterize the wound. It has to end if horror is to survive another generation. Please don’t support this movie.


It’s been one long dry spell since my last bone voyage.


The Package

There are two commentary tracks on the disc, as if there was enough things to say about the film to warrant such a thing. Brian Pulido has a few things to add on his commentary when he’s not just narrating the on screen action. Plan to actual, Audition/script reads, Calabrese music video, Spot the gnome, and Sound designing The Graves comprise about a half an hour worth of features with the Making of offering a 20 minute look at the film but it is the usual EPK stuff. Lot of special features here that no one will watch. Can’t blame them for giving you too much, though. The movie is presented in widescreen with available Dolby 5.1 and optional English and Spanish subtitles.

OVERALL  3 out of 10   

Awkward morning after.