Tuesday, October 5, 2010

ROT: Reunion of Terror

So those who read yesterday’s entry may recall me complaining that I blind bought this, not realizing that it’s by the same director that did such a terrible job on Spring Break Massacre. Despite that, I was quietly hopeful that he would do a better job with this film, released the same year, because after all, maybe he just put all his effort for the year into one, leaving him with no energy left for the other (yes, this had to be the better one, even with such a retarded name). It could happen, right?

Well, apparently my ridiculous theory is true, because it is a good deal better than its sister title. It’s still a good deal away from good, however, and I may be a little too generous here with the star rating, but it’s such a noticeable improvement over Spring Break Massacre that I felt it had earned it. I’m still not getting another movie by Michael Hoffman Jr. if I can help it, but he at least show he can make something that’s not outright aggravatingly bad. Or at least not completely aggravating.

The film starts extremely promisingly, with two topless lesbians fooling around in a tent in the woods for several minutes before they decide to leave the tent and are summarily killed. We then move on to a group of friends going off to a mini-high school reunion at a cabin in those same woods, who are retarded and unpleasant to listen to, and who all soon get stalked by a dangerous killer, though not before first encountering a slutty hitchhiker (who helpfully jerks off one of the guys for a ride) and an absurd game warden who talks like the writers (Bill Cassinelli, Hoffman, Meghan Jones, and Justin Powell) had just gotten done watching Reefer Madness before setting down to write this.

There’s several problems with the film, of course, and they’re mostly the same problems Spring Break Massacre had. There’s far too many flashbacks (sorry, but a film that’s less than 80 minutes long should never have a flashback to something from earlier in the film) and shaky cam, and while the lesbian scene was appreciated, the three main girls never get naked, aside from one quick nip slip (yes, breasts are an important part of my life), leaving it with even less nudity than Spring Break Massacre. Also, for those wondering who the killer could possibly be, here’s a little guide: the killer is not the person who disappears and everyone freaks out over the killer is the person who disappears for no reason and nobody notices at all. You’re welcome.

That said though, there are some improvements. The violence is a good deal better, and the killer has a more interesting (if completely ridiculous) motivation. Also, with the benefit of a woods setting instead of just a house, we get some more interesting stalk and chase scenes that, while hardly anything that would get Hoffman invited to make a new Friday the 13th movie, show at least some basic competence. The picture is also sharper, eschewing the fuzzy digital video that Spring Break Massacre had that kind of drove me nuts. I always like to think it’s important to actually be able to see the movie I’m trying to see, and any efforts to make that happen better are always appreciated by me.

It is, of course, still far from a good movie, but hey, if Hoffman can keep improving at this rate, then he may just make a damn good one sometime soon. Of course, IMDB is saying this was made first, so it’s actually possible he’s just on a steady downward slope. Hopefully the downward slope will also be inversely proportionate to the amount of nudity in his films. We can only hope, right?

Rating: **


katsucurrys14 said...

moar lesbian time; less killing

Orville said...

I interviewed the director of these - and considering the budgets ("Reunion of Terror" was shot in L.A. for $12,000 and less than $20G after post) and was actually made second; I'd say he's a far cry from terrible. I interviewed him for our blog and think many of you are actually missing the point. He focuses on lighting; camera work and other aspects no one else seems to in the budget range. He's quite knowledgeable of the genre; and seems to pay homage to films that people have forgotten through subtleties.

And, personally, I thought "Spring Break Massacre" was a funny joke - though it was shot the year before.

Get ready for it; he revealed he's making something with a budget now and has been working some bigger flicks as an editor.

Either way - neither of those movies are great. Maybe that's why I like them?