Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Skeleton Crew (2009)

Directed by Tommi Lapola and Tero Molin

If you shoot a terrible horror film and have trouble with finding decent distribution, fear not crap makers, because you always have a good chance of your junk being aired on Showtime Beyond. It might be at 3am on a Thursday night, but hey, maybe there is a reason for that and you should be happy that you get any airtime at all. Enter Skeleton Crew, a film by co-directors Tommi Lapola and Tero Molin.

During the filming of his low budget horror flick at an abandoned mental institution, director Stephen (Steve Porter) and his crew uncover reels of old snuff footage filmed using the asylum's in-patients many years ago. Unsatisfied and under stress with how his production is coming along, like the crews' low morale from not being financially compensated due to his lackadaisical investor, Steven slowly becomes obsessed by what he views on those old reels and decides to make a snuff film of his own. His psychotic tendencies soon make the cast and crew’s concerns about getting paid on Friday the least of their worries.

On the top level, this is a very cool plot in an equally creepy setting. The thought of the finding old, authentic snuff films on a film set that drives the director insane is pretty intriguing concept. Add in the fact that the film stock plus the lighting effects are truly unnerving and you have a fun little flick with a good deal of potential of your hands. Too bad that the film is just awful!

It starts off great after what we think is the actual movie we are watching is actually the in-movie being filmed. Your eyes will roll as it appears to be a run-of –the-mill, patients running the asylum horror flick until Steve yells “Cut!” You will feel relieved as it is all just a setup for a better film awaiting your eyes. Then…the wheels come off shortly afterward.

There are some interesting kills and a lot of gore for the bloodhounds, but the buck stops there. Skeleton Crew begins a downward spiral that continues until the laughably ridiculous final frames. For one thing, two characters drop out of the film and are never referred to again. They actually just vanish with no exit stories. Maybe their agents told the actors playing those parts  to get off the project immediately because it is a stinker. Then there is the deplorable acting from the cast, who appear to be bored more than anything. The only actor having a blast is Porter, who hams it up worse than honey-baked, spewing off too many Freddy Kruger-esque one-liners than you want to count in a projective voice made for community theater rather than on the big screen. And his sporting of a “John Carpenter’s The Thing” t-shirt the whole time is a reference that will make you wish that you  could shut this off and watch that classic again instead of this bore fest.

And that ending…wow. Just wow.

This is one film crew that you don’t want to be a part of, paying gig or not. There’s better bad horror films that are at least fun to watch on Showtime Beyond, so make sure to skip this one. It really tells you how good the film is when the title song (by Doom Unit) is the only worthy takeaway.

1 out of 5 Creeper Santas




Maurice Mitchell said...

Jeez. You gotta wonder why they bothered.

[Retro-Zombie] said...

i was disturbed by this film... i was also entertained... maybe it's me.

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