Monday, August 4, 2008

Devil's Moon

Well, that was certainly a nice, refreshing week off, and now I’m ready to come back for some more reviews! What’s that you say, I took a tiny bit more than a week off? Nah, I’m sure you’re all just crazy and imagining things. Anyway, to celebrate my grant return after a scandalously long one week absence, I’ve decided to return to everyone’s favorite bargain collection of homemade horror movies, the Tomb of Terrors collection! Now, I realize that I may have been a tad critical, even harsh, of some of the previous films found in the collection, but I’m sure that we’ve got things back on track now, and starting with today’s entry, Devil’s Moon, we’re going to usher in a new era of quality low-budget horror entertainment. Because as we all know, in big box sets like this, they always hide away the best films in the back so that we can enjoy searching for them. Really, it’s about the journey.

And that journey is going to have to go on a bit longer, because this movie is a complete dog. The first thing you notice when the film starts is that it’s by “Gasslight Productions”, and I don’t know which is worse, the idea that they’d misspell their own company’s name in the opening credits, or the idea that they’d think it was funny to intentionally misspell Gaslight so that “ass” would be in it. Either way, it starts the film off to a fairly low standard that it absolutely manages to live down to. Lacking what some would conventionally refer to as a “plot”, it starts off by dealing with a serial killer trying to become immortal by sacrificing his victims to the dark gods or whatever, though his villainous credentials are somewhat nullified by the fact that he talks like an irritating frat boy. The film then moves on to a pair of annoying coworkers who run afoul of the mad killer, and soon start running through the woods endlessly trying to avoid him. Then some evil spirits get involved and a few zombies start running around because he was the essence of pure evil as summoned by a couple of college age goths who spend too much time in the woods. If this seems a bit busy for a 90-minute film, I’d tend to agree, if not for the fact that it’s all so thinly fleshed out that there’s not a scene in the film that doesn’t seem to drag on forever.

When I say this is a home made horror movie, I don’t think I’m exaggerating. The acting is so amateurish that I’m stunned to see that so many of them have appeared in multiple films (though to be sure most of them have only been in similar no-budget horror like this). The script manages to be both cluttered and dull, a good sign of someone who could barely be bothered to finish up a first draft. The lighting and sound, always good indicators of a film’s budget, are strictly limited to the kinds of lights and microphones that someone with a normal job outside the industry could afford (the opening scene, for instance, which drags on a good deal more than it should, is “artistically” lit only by a regular computer lamp). The director, David DeFino, wisely has yet to make another film after this. I mean really, how was he going to top this?

Rating: Zero stars

1 comment:

mle said...

Welcome back, Zachy!!