Kirkkitsch’s Blog


Watching Vol.23
February 9, 2012, 6:00 am
Filed under: Movies, Reviews

All The Boys Love Mandy Lane– I remember seeing the trailer for this movie YEARS ago, on a trailer reel at work…then it never was released theatrically (at least not that I know of), THEN it never was released to Region 1 DVD. So, I figured I would never get to see it. Thank goodness for YouTube. Someone on YouTube uploaded the movie in its entirety, widescreen, in 6 parts. Since I can view YouTube via AppleTV, I FINALLY got to see it! It was worth the wait.

Synopsis: A group of high-schoolers invite Mandy Lane, a good girl who became quite hot over the summer, to a weekend party on a secluded ranch. While the festivities rage on, the number of revelers begins to drop quite mysteriously.

This is a slasher movie, first and foremost. It’s not as gory as some may be looking for, but it was alright by me. The film is shot beautifully, especially the desolate country home, where most of the action takes place. Someone has an eye for aesthetics and it shows; it raised the bar on the atypical slasher. The soundtrack was particularly good too! Also not your typical “buy the soundtrack too!”- kinda way.

At the risk of sounding like a slasher snob, I guessed the ending when I originally saw the trailer. But, then if you’ve seen as many slashers as I have, it’s not really rocket science. I did the same thing with the first Saw movie because I kept in mind the golden rule: no character is incidental. Regardless, I enjoyed the movie a lot, and though it wasn’t uber gory, there is one kill in particular that was wickedly brutal and totally something I’ve wondered why no slasher has ever done before. Even though I’m usually rooting for the protagonist, sometimes it’s fun when the antagonist reminds their victim who really has the upper hand. That’s all I’m sayin’. Also, I can’t help but love the first death. It’s probably sick, especially to those with a conscience, but I, personally LOVED it.

If you get a chance, take the time to check it out. However, if you’re one of those people that needs every little thing explained neatly away, then you might want to watch one of Gen Duh’s new remakes (A Nightmare on Elm Street, Don’T Be Afraid of the Dark, even The Texas Chainsaw Massacre) and skip Mandy Lane. All in all, I’d add it to my DVD collection.

Shark Night– I remember seeing the trailer for this one during the previews before some movie I saw in the theater. At the time, I thought to myself “pass.” And, as you know, once it hits RedBox, all bets are off, especially if I have a free rental code. This was the situation.

Synopsis: A weekend at a lake house in the Louisiana Gulf turns into a nightmare for seven vacationers as they are subjected to shark attacks.

One word describes this movie: Amateurish. The fact that a film with a major theatrical release, much less a 3D one, would have SyFy Channel-quality “special effects” is beyond me. Granted, the cast was good-looking enough, the premise and the CGI were atrocious. Surely, the mechanical shark effects have been upgraded since ’75’s Jaws. I mean, c’mon, people! I’m talking, B A D.

Here’s the one positive thing about this movie, this scene:

Ow! Yum! Yes, that was the one highlight (the chicks in teeny bikinis, if you’re straight). Overall, this one sank like a lead turd in a punchbowl. Don’t waste your time.

Donner Pass– I saw this title in the RedBox and did a little recognisance online before renting it (or using my free rental code). It was one of the few times a review was right, and I was pleasantly surprised.

Synopsis: Donner Pass has a well-known and macabre history – the place where George Donner and his party got stuck in the winter of 1846 and were forced to resort to cannibalism to keep from starving. But what if it wasn’t just history?

After I read the premise, I wasn’t so sure. It smelled like a zombie meets cannibal crossover movie. I also thought that incorporating The Donner Party, in order to give the film some kind of “based in reality” cred, was a little iffy. Donner Pass pulled it off, without getting too bananas.

The film looks good. Though it’s low-budget, it doesn’t wreak of it. The effects are relatively good, some more than others. The story is what makes it though. Even though you pretty much get a feel for where it’s going, you’re never quite sure how it’s going to get there. First off, all the characters, save one or two, are completely disposable, so you don’t really care (at least I didn’t) when they get knocked off; it couldn’t happen soon enough. But then, when you get down to solving the mystery of it all, that’s when it gets interesting and, I think, quite original.

Overall, above average slasher flick with a surprisingly unique premise. I could easily see this one getting the franchise treatment. I’d add it to my DVD collection for the right price. Worth the rental.


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