Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Moon Over Miami: Totem (1999)

A group of 'teens,' a cabin and some monsters.  This is the formula for a good movie.  That movie, of course, is Evil Dead II.  Sadly, I'm not watching that movie today.  Instead, I'm reviewing a Full Moon film from 1999.  The first sign of quality comes when I see that the title card is made using the same computer program (and font type) that the one from The Vault was made.  Sure- why not?!?  The film has a very loose plot and by 'loose,' I mean stupid as hell.  I mean, are we supposed to buy this crap?  Well, I rented it, so let's just take a look.  Get out your carving knives as we prepare to update the...
A girl wanders through the woods and ends up at a cabin.  She meets up with a bunch of random people who have been there for a while.  Blah blah blah, they bicker and proceed to wander around for a bit.  They find a giant totem pole with three puppets...I mean, statues on them.  That night, one of the people goes outside and is lost for a bit.  Another one of them goes after her and comes back with her dead.  One of the puppets attacks the cabin & gets scared away.  The corpse starts talking and speaks about some sort of prophecy.  Okay then.
Basically, the prophecy states that there will be six people.  Three of them will be victims and three of them will be killers.  To prove this, one of the women goes outside and another guy follows her outside, legitimately-concerned.  When they get near the statue, he gets blitz attacked by her with an axe- killing him.  She brags about how she defeated the prophecy...that is until the hero heroine explain that the prophecy never stated who in the group would be which role.  Oops.
Things take a darker turn after another random attack.  The lady from before tries to kill our heroine, theorizing that if she kills her, then the guy can't.  The doll...er, statue attacks again & kills her, saving our heroine in the process.  In a really trippy scene, we finally get the origin of the creatures...which consists of stock footage.  Don't worry- I'll get to that in its own segment.  The dolls attack again and our heroine inadvertently kills the only guy left, whom she has loved since...they met 30 hours ago.  We get a long, silly scene where a final ritual is done and all of the dead 'teens' are back as zombies.  They don't take it well, but the day is saved when the lead guy refuses to kill our heroine.  The dolls disappear, but the story is not really wrapped up.  You're just going to End though, aren't you?  I thought so.  The End.
Again with the dolls!  The plot of this movie is silly and very under-explained.  The dolls are evil spirits or something and locked away in the middle of nowhere.  Evidently, they retained enough power to set a ceremony in motion to free themselves though.  Good job keeping them contained, stock footage guys!  The acting here is pretty bad.  Not surprisingly, most of these people worked either very little after this or not at all!  The puppets are alright here, but they are about as transparent as they come.  It's sad to watch them try to move as if they are monsters or characters.  If you want to use puppets, just make them freaking puppets!  The film is pretty forgettable and doesn't try to stand out too much.  Mission accomplished!
Next up, a Full Moon film from the '80s that's all about boobs.  Say hello to my black censor boxes!  Stay tuned...

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