Saturday, October 22, 2011

'80s Trash: Scream (1981)

I haven't misled you, have I?  Today's film is NOT the seminal, satirical slasher film from the mid '90s.  Instead, it's a fairly-obscure film from 1981.  Sorry, I couldn't resist!  This movie is certainly NOT like that film in every way, save for the sequel.  The plot is much more like Creeper, a film that I can imagine that most of you haven't even seen.  In a nutshell, people go somewhere and something kills them.  I hope that can fill 90 minutes!  If you like lots of build-up to no real resolution, you'll love this film!  To find out what I'm talking about, read on...
This random opening scene pans around a room until it shows part of a painting and two 'dead' figurines.  Does it amount to anything?  No.
These people take a white river rafting vacation- sponsored by Dr. Pepper, no lie- before hiking to a friendly Ghost Town...
...yeah, I'd totally stay there.  In pretty quick fashion, three of them get killed by a P.O.V. killer.  Oh good, they're obviously building up to a big reveal.
With a cast of 11 lead characters, you'd expect a pretty paced out killing spree.  You'd be wrong.  Everyone lives for the next forty-odd minutes.  Pointless meandering and looking around- it's got that!
A weird, weird man randomly rides into town with a body in tow.  He says a random story about a ship Captain and then leaves.  Nobody tries to stop him or ask any questions.  Alright then.
 After a sudden burst of kills, whittling the cast count down to a mere 8, the weird man from before rides and shoots the killer to death.  Ready to find out who the killer is?
It was apparently the ghost of the ship Captain, who shows up every 100 years.  Do they show him?  No.  Do they actually say this?  No.  Does this film abruptly?
Makes me want to Scream!  The plot of this movie has some potential, but can't make much use of it.  The set-up: good.  The middle portion of the film: slower than a one-legged man with a limp and only three toes.  The film really could have been good.  Here's a quick list of the reasons why it is not: bad pacing, sub-par acting, no killer reveal and a nonsensical plot overall.  Why does an evil Sea Captain kill people (and figurines)?  Why is the old ship-mate still alive?  Where did he get that horse?  Why did one of the characters die off-screen?  Who rides a dirt bike into a ghost town for no good reason?  Why the hell did I have to watch the movie with the Audio Commentary on during the Finale to get the Finale explained?  When the Director says that he doesn't care about what people say about it and that, essentially, 'they couldn't have done better,' the film can't be good.  On the plus side, he's not challenging any Critics to a boxing match!  This guy liked it though...
Up next, I cover some crappy sequels from some major horror series'.  First up, Jason goes to space and fights Aliens cliches!  Stay tuned...

1 comment:

  1. The movie does manage an air of mystery, although partially because nothing is explained. I do like that the killer seems like a ghost that grabs weapons, and you only see the weapon moving around.