The following opinions should not be read prior to seeing the films in question. (Though it is possible you have resigned to never watch them at all...)

These are not reviews upon which you should base movie watching decisions. Rather, I write with the hopeful purpose of inciting sometimes interesting, sometimes informative, sometimes humourous discussions about cinema. What may prove unfortunate for the reader is that I often express myself in a pompous and juvenile fashion...mayhap there ought to be a "warning" in recognition of my sense of humour...

Regardless, I implore film fans to always remember that all film is art, and all art is subjective. No one can tell you if you like a movie, except you. Likes and dislikes of film can only be opinion, and opinion can never be wrong; only intelligently expressed and defended. There is nothing wrong with unconditionally loving a film that isn't necessarily held in the highest regard, so long as you understand and accept why you love it.

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Monday, June 21, 2010


Director - Kelsey T. Howard
Starring - Edward Furlong, Jaime Pressly, Andrew Keegan, Daniel Franzese, Laura Ramsey, Susan Ward

Why did I let myself get the slightest bit excited over this one? Deep down I was hoping for the hybrid love-child of Battle Royale and Series 7, peppered with the progressively demented challenges of 13: Game of Death, all in a Survivor scenario. It's all I really ever wanted Survivor to be. In lieu of my wishes, I got a really low budget, presumably digital video regaling of an over-weight, poorly aged Edward Furlong, Big Brother-watching a bunch of kids compete in challenges that bear a striking resemblance to games I played in my backyard when I was 12. And the tsk-tsk of it all is that Jaime Pressly pulls in top billing only to have her throat slit (poorly) at the running time of 15 min. 42 seconds. Though, her corpse does make a reappearance around 52 min., and that must hold some weight in the marketing world. With one fell swoop, she may have negated all of her My Name is Earl credibility, and I suspect that it'll only take a couple of more roles like this one before she'll have to resort to nudity...

With the intro culminating in the aforementioned death, we're introduced to Furlong's "Phillip", a love-lorn loser from a past reality show trying to regain the object of his desire by killing her and her reality TV sweetheart...by some logic...whilst they prepare for a new series. This affords him two important cinematic aspects: a very flimsy "motive" to terrorize a new batch of twenty-somethings, and access to a large, expensive, camera-laden house. Approximately 9 young, attractive, misled contestants then show up, and chubby Furlong (possibly exhibiting some great physical method acting) eliminates the need for independent thought by giving a voice-over detailing each stereotypical, one-note personality. Of course the Latino chick is "spicy"; of course the guy in the leather jacket is a "bad boy"; of course the nondescript, attractive blond girl is the "hero". I've seen B-movies before, I know how this works. Though were it not for Furlong's help I may have mistaken the flamboyant goofball and the cowboy...

Thus begins the real reason as to why anyone would watch this nonsense; the games and challenges that will hopefully decimate this nubile fodder in some sort of innovative fashion. I don't know what was more embarrassing to watch: the pylon balancing settled by some vengeful hose-spraying, or the fun-loving paintball montage set to modern-alt-rock. The bad boy's laughable melodrama following his balance sacrifice, or the abysmal choreography of the caged sword fight. Now, I don't claim to be any Mr. Atlas, but I would've slaughtered these nobodies and their party games, and laid claim to the coveted unrequited possessiveness of a washed up John Conner.

Furlong himself spends the majority of the film removed from the action, and probably only did two days of actual work with the rest of the cast. When it comes down to the physical hands-on dispatching, that honor is bestowed upon his simple-minded yet snappily-dressed younger brother Claude. He slogs his way through all the piss poor, low budget slashing, lame "chasing through the woods" sequences, and even manages to take a little beating via the "Asian Chick's" pitiful kung-fu. (Of course the Asian Chick knows some kung-fu...what sort of character development would it be if she didn't...?)

It all culminates in Nondescript Blonde pulling off the not-so-surprising victory and seducing her way to freedom, upsetting Claude and offering one brief flash of sympathy...who can blame Claude, really?...he lost the kidnapped love of his/his brother's life...we've all been there... Furlong then continues to implement his flawless plan by simply driving away; amidst all the chaos and clamor of the cops, he just drives on out of there; which leads me to believe that kidnapping, torture, and murder are all a hell of a lot easier to get away with then I originally presumed.

But before I toss and turn at night, I just gotta know what happened to Furlong's slighted Phillip. Does Nondescript Blonde get her 15 minutes of fame? Will Claude become the slasher icon that he deserves to be? Please, Mr. Kelsey T. Howard, please allude to a sequel of some kind... Hark! What's this? A last minute, unexplained cell phone call on a crowded tram? Let the games begin, you sly dog...

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