April 18, 2010
THE GRABOID – 4.19.10
April 18, 2010


STUDIO: Camp Motion Pictures
MSRP: $17.99
RATED: Unrated
RUNNING TIME: 226 minute
•Commentary for both film
•Radio Interviews
•Making Of Grave Mistakes
•”Cinemaryland” Segment
•Trailer Vault

The Pitch
A double dose of terror from the terrifying world of digital video! The Humans Director:Chris LaMartina
Writers/Producers:Limmy George and Chris LaMartina
Cast (Book Of Lore):AJ Hyde, D, Patrick Bauer, Dan Vidor
Cast (Grave Mistakes):Ryan Thomas, John Beck

“Thank you lord for my amazing sweater and the ability to eat an entire chicken without silverware. Sincerely yours, Weird Old Man.”

The Nutshell
Hey Kids! It’s easy to make a movie! The Lowdown Digital Video is a funny thing. Because of it, anyone who wants to can make anything they want to.This can be good. And this can be very, very bad. DV is the dodo bird of cinema. On it’s own it does fine, but once it gets exposed to rest of the world it dies a quick death and is sent to bargain bin purgatory, where it’ll spend the rest of it’s days getting  picked over for the styling’s of Lorenzo Lamas.
“You should’ve learned to fly DV movie.” Our double dip of digital droll starts off with Book Of Lore. Rick Adams (Hyde) is a mess. Not only does he have one of those giant white spots in his hair but his girlfriend has up and disappeared because she looked in a bag on top of her car and the worst cop on Earth is too busy doing absolutely nothing to help out. When his shiny faced bully finds poor Future Mrs. Rick Adams, dead, with her fingernails stabbed into her eyeballs, things start to get really weird. What do the killings have to do with a composition notebook that is found under a dead brothers bed? Why are Rick’s friends (Bauer, Vidor) apparently mentally handicapped? What does the bag have to do with his dead girlfriend? And why doesn’t anyone in town care that one by one, half of their population is being slaughtered in gruesome off screen deaths?!?! Only one of these questions will be answered by the never ending Book Of Lore.

“You don’t know what it’s like to be a cop who looks like a guy that doesn’t look like a cop. I’m a tough nut to crack. Fact.”

Gotta hand it to the youngsters who made this one. It certainly has a beginning. And a middle. And an end. Too bad they go off on tangents that make as much sense as sticking a microphone in a jar of mayonnaise and dancing to the beat of an IPad in a blender. The whole film takes place in some kind of fantasy world where college kids have bullies that are nerdier than they are. Ol” Shiny Face and his Dirt-stache Magic The Gathering sidekick just don’t move me the same way Brad Renfro would. There is no reason for some of the characters to be in the movie at all. The sheriff for instance doesn’t do anything remotely cop like in the entire movie except sit there looking like a cross between Forest Whitaker and 50cent with a badge and rip down missing person posters in front of their loved ones. “She’s not missing anymore.” Oh thanks 75cent. You really know how to break it easy! The book of the title is nothing more than a composition notebook that is found under the bed and a few times we are given mini-stories about the other things that have happened in the town in flashback form. All of these are more interesting than our driving plot of a killer who calls himself the Devil’s Left Hand. That’s DLH for short. Don’t you forget it. The book just ends up being a device to keep everything moving with more and more “revelations” being discovered in every other scene despite it being a rather tiny book with blatantly obvious . Ultimately this ends up being more like The Finalest Destination:Part 2 than anything else, with the book containing clues pertaining to who’s gonna get killed next and where and how! Everything is competently shot and the lighting and sound aren’t the worst they could be. The hilarity level of the acting reaches a couple high points as well. There’s nothing like Ol’ Shiny Face yelling out, “Where’d you get that shirt? Pit Stains R Us?”. Oh the joy. Ultimately it’s just too long, clocking in at 110 minutes and constantly confuses you with events that just don’t make any sense and are never explained.
I feel like I’m being a little harder than I should be, but they obviously had the drive, money, and ability to make something better, and they almost get there but it’s more like watching something your friends made in high school and you watched the whole thing to be polite. Low budget horror movies are all the rage. But this one just punches you in the eyes and head and doesn’t even have the decency to tell you why.

Fred Durst kicks it up a notch and goes truly old school, typing his lyrics for his new jam “PleaseNoPleaseDon’tNo!” from the upcoming album “Still Sucking a D”.

Grave Mistakes
should have been the main feature on the DVD. It’s thrown in as an extra which is unfortunate because it really is a bigger, better film than Book Of Lore. Mr. Burke (Thomas) is a grave robber that looks like a junkie. His friend is Old Man (Beck)and looks like Colonel Sanders. Old Man has an antique shop specializing in the boring and Grave Digger just can’t get enough of the cash money. KFC seems to be throwing at him like Frisbees. When Burke brings him a ring that looks incredibly like the one that was buried with his dear dead mother, he decides to up the anti and offer him trade for seemingly worthless items that all have incredible stories to go along with them, which are all dished out. Original Recipe style. This is set up as an anthology with the grave robber story as the wrap around. A zombie, a ghost, a demon and vampires round out the other four. This is a big step up from their first feature. Every story has the same basic formula. Someone does something, something undead shows up and fucks everyone up, but it is rather fun to watch throughout. The biggest flaw in the film lies with the picture quality. The wrap around looks about as best I’ve ever seen Canon DV look. It’s got a really nice golden hue to everything and the lighting and framing of everything just stands so far above the rest of it, that it makes it seem like it wasn’t even supposed to be part of the same movie. The other stories are your typical DV with the basic hues of blue, yellow and green taking precedence of everything. A lot of the cast of “Book Of Lore” return to this and they all decided against working on their technique in the 3 years since, but that doesn’t stop this from being very watch able with a few stand out moments that make this film the better of the two by leaps and bounds. Even all the art on the back of the box and before Book Of Lore starts is from Grave Mistakes. All in all neither of these are very good but for what they are, they could be a lot worse. They almost go out of their way to be as inoffensive to everyone which is a nice, different touch to films like these, but they never really get any better than forgettable. Everyone seems to be having a good time making them and that comes off on screen. At least their hearts are in the right place.

“I don’t know if I want to piss myself or stick my tongue in your mouth and wiggle it
around a little bit. Decisions decisions”

The Package

For a little DVD there is a lot of features on the disc. There’s a 12 minute making of featurette which talks about filming and how they went about writing it. Your basic stuff. The radio interview that brings up a few interesting things about the casting and where their influences come from. A short TV news spot is a nice touch and is what you’d expect from a local college news channel doing a 5 minute spot on the students working on the movie. The commentaries are hard to get through. There are more “um’s” and “Uh’s” than you can shake a stick at and are an overload of information. It’s like listening to two people you’ve just met talk about their home town and friends but you have no idea who or what they’re talking about and don’t really care. The best thing on the entire DVD though is the trailer vault. 12 trailers from the weird home video horror movie’s of the 80’s, 90’s, and new DV pictures like Nun Of That and Killing Spree. The trailers for Video Violence 1 and 2 are almost worth the DVD on their own.
Book Of Lore 4.5 out of 10
Grave Mistakes 5.5 out of 10