Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Danny Trejo Week: Furnace

This feels somewhat familiar.  Every twenty years or so, there are some films that are just iconic.  Right or wrong, one of those films is Ringu aka The Ring.  The film inspired many others to a varying degree, be it films like The Grudge and others.  The thing that comes across in films like those is that of the Angry Spirit.  Right away, I have a problem with this story idea, which is one of my key problems with much of J and K-Horror.  Why does a ghost just attack everyone?  If films like The Grudge, it kind of implies that it has, well, a grudge...but it just attacks random people.  What's my point?  This movie is pretty much a spiritual rip-off of those films, just with an all-American cast.  What's the cast?  Michael 'Oda Nobunaga' Pare, Danny Trejo, Tom Sizemore and Danny Trejo.  Well, it is his week.  There's not a lot more to set up here, so let's just skip right into the...
In the Intro, a Guard returns from work and blows off his wife to, well, blow off his head.  Random death or will there be a point to this?
Michael Pare plays the lead Detective investigating the death of the man.  The case leads him, naturally, to the jail where the guy works.  What mystery lies...in the Furnace.
Mysterious and random deaths occur at the Jail.  Is there a rhyme or reason to these murders?  No.  You get prisoners and then a Janitor.
Danny Trejo and Ja Rule are here.  They don't do much, but they do show up for group shots and share about three lines.  More on them later.
The burned-up ghost-thing continues to kill random people.  Next up, the Forensic Pathologist who is examining one of the bodies.  What is your beef with her?

Oh yeah, this bit of the thing on camera never comes up again.  Hello- you caught a ghost on camera!!!
Sizemore is a corrupt Guard.  That's pretty much the beginning, middle and end of his character.  You wanted something more?

This is the same film that has a Country Singer named 'Cowboy' Troy in a role.  What do you expect?
Eventually, we get an info dump to explain everything...kind of.  Basically, the old Warden tried to molest a girl- his niece or something- and seemingly-killed her.  When he went to dump the body, she turned out to be alive and burned to death...while an inmate killed the Warden.  Caught up now?
Trejo and Rule finally become important as they try to escape the Jail during the riot.  Since they have no connection the original murder, they die a violent death.  Couldn't have happened to more random people.
With nothing really resolved, the movie ends.  All is well, I guess, save for that Girl Ghost.  Why so mad, Girl Ghost?  The End.
Seriously, what is the motivation here?  There are many things that can be lost in translation (site plug not intended).  I've been told that vengeful ghost is a part of Asian culture.  Is it related to Shintoism, a belief commonly-found in Japan?  That's for more educated people with PhDs to discuss, quite frankly.  Me- I review shit movies.  This movie is not complete shit, but it leaves a lot to be desired.  The characters are hollow, the pacing is weird and nothing really seems all that interesting.  Sizemore's motivations are vague.  The romance between Pare- it's that Japanese charm!- and the Psychologist at the Jail adds nothing.  Ja Rule and Trejo are just kind of there...well, because.  What was the point of their characters again?  The biggest question, which I've harped on a lot, has been the lack of motivation for the film's monster.  This little girl ghost is just lashing out at everyone in sight.  Why?  Just because the wall blocking off the old Furnace is torn down?  That's...just lazy.  If you like average movies, this certainly is one.  Take us away, character killed off during the Credits...
Next up, a completely-stupid movie that I can't say much good about.  Can Danny and Borat's friend save it? Stay tuned...

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