Monday, April 21, 2008

Three on a Meathook

Over the weekend, I noted a slight difference in print quality in the two films I saw. One was There Will Be Blood, which had a lush, sharp print job, perfectly complementing the rich visual texture of the film. The other was Three on a Meathook, which had a washed out, lifeless print, with colors fading and bleeding into each other, so that night scenes would be off enough that a lot of the shadows had outright reddish tints. It’s a goddamn disgrace of a print, and it is perfectly complementary to this goddamn disgrace of a film.

The movie, allegedly based on the life of serial killer Ed Gein according to the DVD case (though so far removed form it that, like Psycho before it, its killer doesn’t even have the same name), follows a group of four girls who decide to go to a lake for the weekend. On the way back, their car breaks down, and they get a ride from a young farmer to his house where he lives with his dad, with the promise of a ride back in the morning. Of course, his father is against the idea, because the son has had problems with women in the past, and before we’ve even made it half an hour into the film the girls have all been murdered, though the killer’s face is never shown, to be our glaring clue that the killer is actually the father. They don’t get around to revealing this until the very end of the film, of course, so I apologize if you honestly think you were going to be surprised by this, but come on. It’s so obviously him he may as well have been tapdancing in their blood afterward (the DVD case also ruins the surprise, giving us a picture of the father covered in blood). The next day, the son goes out into the city, meets a girl, falls in love, and spends the night with her. He then decides to invite her to spend a night at the farm, along with her friend, and one can guess what happens.

If I had to pick one major flaw with the film, it would be the atrocious pacing. The film blatantly rips off Psycho with its first group of women, introducing us to them, having them travel around, and then killing them in less than half an hour. We then get over half an hour of absolutely nothing happening, as the film stops dead so that we can watch the father and son whine at each other, and the son have a tepid romance with some girl. Then there’s another brief murder, and then we get a repeat of the ending to Psycho, as a cop tries to delve into the psyche of the father after he’s been captured (off-screen, of course). The murders themselves are also nothing memorable at all; two are killed by quick gunshots, and two are just quickly stabbed. There’s one minor treat by one girl being beheaded really goofy (she’s backed against a wall and her body falls to the ground while her mannequin heads stays on the wall), but that’s cut away from pretty immediately, on the presumption that this isn’t what we wanted to see this film for. There’s some nudity, but it’s pretty brief, and the film is so washed out that you can’t really get a good look at the girls anyway, so the point is lost.

My friend Curtis told me this film was worth checking out, presumably because he wishes me ill. I am telling you all, there is nothing redeeming about this film. If it has a good side, it’s that at 77 minutes it’s over fairly quickly, though if all the padding had been excised from it the film would have been closer to 40. It’s just a complete disaster in every way, shape, and form. Do not see this.

Rating: Zero stars

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