Tag Archives: weird-ass twist

Somebody Hostel Me


1 Stars  2007/18/98m

“There are worse things than dying.”

Director/Writer: Christopher B. Stokes / Cast: Marques Houston, Omari Grandberry, Brooklyn Sudano, Alexis Fields, Sonny King, Brittany Oaks, Chris Jones, Jim Wilkey, John Wiltshire.

Body Count: 6

Dire-logue: “I didn’t expect this when I came here.”

Wow…there was so much wrong with this one. That tagline is spot on, there are worse things than dying, and watching Somebody Help Me – surely a hidden message regarding You Got Served director Stokes’ incompetent storytelling ability – is one of them.

In fact, when I sat down to watch it last week, it induced one hell of a headache that Ibuprofen couldn’t combat. When I caught the second half a few days later, I realised that some higher force was simply trying to warn me.

The only notable aspect of this film is that the primary cast members are black. And there’s this cliche that “the black guy always dies first” in slasher films. Now, I thought about this while the film ground on in the background. Somebody Help Me was my 530th slasher film and of all of those, the only occasions I can think of where this happens are Elm Street 4 and Scream 2. That’s not to deny the mortality rate for black characters in the genre – they rarely survive, but they also rarely buy it first. Same goes for slutty cheerleaders.

Anyway, two couples head out to Lake Arrowhead to celebrate nauseatingly sweet Serena’s 21st birthday. They meet some friends and party overnight and into the next day. Then they all disappear until only two guys are left standing. Everyone else has been nabbed by a loony surgeon who keeps them in cages and carries out various fatal procedures on them one by one… Yes, it’s Somebody Hostel Me, For I Am A Lost Turista.

My dog has a cage like this. He can escape from it in 5 minutes.

My dog has a cage like this. He can escape from it in 5 minutes.

An ear is cut off (fatal?), eyes are plucked out, a girl is scalped, another seemingly dies from being denied her inhaler. It’s soon down to Brendan (Houston, the now-grown-up twins’ neighbour from Sister Sister) to save everyone, aided by a freaky little blonde girl who sings “Ring Around the Roses” whilst on swings.

Final boys rarely work and this is no exception: we just don’t worry about a big guy hiding behind trees or under tables, there’s no fear attachment to his plight. One of several fatal errors the film makes.

Somebody Help Me goes on to pour out cliche after cliche and bothers to explain next to nothing. Who is the little girl? How can the killer survive being stabbed and shot with absolutely no impediments? Why was the phone out of order but working five minutes later?

The “race switch” ensures that all the black kids survive and their white friends all die (bar one who was alive but absent in the obligatory wrapped-in-blankets-outside-ambulance epilogue). The film attempts to make this some kind of running gag: when asked by the sheriff what their missing friends look like, one of them replies “white” having previously been against calling the cops because “we a bunch of black folks in a white town, we don’t want to scare everybody.” Like, seriously, that’s the pinnacle of your creative aptitude?

Agenda or not, I wanted them all to die: black, white, old, young, male, female, transgendered. Save for the weird girl, nobody evoked the slightest bit of interest or empathy and Stokes’ dreadful screenwriting seems only concerned with issues of skin colour over tension, credibility or coherence – it’s like he rented a handful of slasher films and banged out a script in a spare afternoon. Somebody needed help alright and it’s pretty clear it was Christopher Stokes.

Forget him not


2 Stars  2006/18/89m

“New summer. New secret. New slaughter.”

Director: Sylvain White / Writer: Michael Weiss / Cast: Brooke Nevin, Ben Easter, David Paetkau, Torrey DeVitto, Seth Packard, K.C. Clyde, Michael Flynn, Clay Taylor, Don Shanks, Star LaPoint.

Body Count: 7

**WARNING** MAJOR-ass spoilers follow

So, news of a third Last Summer stirred around 2003-ish and soon it was confirmed that there’d be no Hewitt or Prinze returning to battle Captain Birdseye’s evil twin one last time and that things would start anew elsewhere.

Well, that’s mostly true. Unfortunately, the decision to resurrect The Fisherman as the choice villain tosses one fucking huge spanner into the works and thus summons up one of the worst reveals in horror movie history.

Far away from the fishing port of South Carolina and even further from the Bahamas, Broken Ridge, Colorado, is the setting for round 3, in which a quintet of teens-about-town share the legend of The Fisherman who hunts down teenagers on July 4th if they’re keeping naughty secrets. This occurs at the top of a Ferris wheel for some reason. About two minutes later, The Fisherman appears at the carnival and chases them away.

iakwydls5No… it’s all a prank, which was supposed to end with their bud PJ ‘falling’ off a building roof on to some pre-positioned mats. Instead, he lands on a tractor and, y’know, dies. His four friends decide to let the police go on thinking that a killer was on the loose, burn the costume and toss the hook into a lake.

One year later, they’re largely estranged in a retread of themes from the original film. Then evident heroine Amber receives fifty I Know What You Did Last Summer text messages, which serves to reunite the group to track down who sent them. More torment follows, one of the four apparently slashes his own throat with a hook and The Fisherman attacks Amber from on top of a moving cable car. Or gondola as they refer to it!??


Come July 4th, the teens decide to stay in town so that Zoe can mime to Weapons of Pleasure’s admittedly rockin’ Daredevil in the hope of attracting the eye of a talent scout, instead only attracting Mr Slicker, who begins doing away with the rest of them and anyone else who gets in the way.

OK spoiler time: with two major suspects deadified, who is it? Angry girlfriend? Boyfriend? Mom? Dad? Sister? Dog? No. It’s no one. It’s just… The Fisherman. It’s the legend that kills. He’s some mouldy looking supernatural fella who can pretty much teleport where he wants and not die.

Observe the film’s final shot, which I did not do anything to:

iakwydls1Who the fuck thought people would be happy with this ending? The whole winning aspect of the premise is that you don’t know who’s fucking with you, what they might do and when. Screw that, let’s make it a ghost of somebody with no stake in what actually happened. To make things worse, there are a couple of extra girls who appear a few times early on, either of whom would’ve been acceptable over this! One of them’s even on the cover and she doesn’t do anything except say things like; “He’s so cute; oh my God; I love your dress; Facebook!; Jay-Z’s so talented!”

Breathe. Until this disastrous turn, I’ll Always Know functions predictably but passably as a revenge slasher film. It’s palpably cheaper than its fore-bearers and the continual flash edits are annoying attempts to jazz up pedestrian direction and photography. The characters are largely anodyne fodder: good girl, bad girl, asshole jock, nice guy, backed up by a group of red herrings.

Persistent rumours of a fourth film may well have been ass-raped by how maligned this stupid film is. My tolerance for crap means it garnered a more than generous two stars for being just about competent for a once over – but I wouldn’t fork out on the box set if you’re only really interested in Jennifer Love Hewitt’s boobs.

An early draft of the next sequel

The next sequel will see the killer use a time machine to make pre-accident threats

Blurbs-of-interest: Paetkau was the ladder-eye victim in Final Destination 2; DeVitto was in Killer Movie; Don Shanks played Michael Myers in Halloween 5 and was in Sweet Sixteen.

Drink yourself dead


1.5 Stars  2009/18/76m

“You’ll be legless… Armless… Headless…”

Director/Writer: Kate Glover / Cast: Chloe Boreham, Christopher Tomkinson, Cassandra Angelia Swaby, Steven O’Donnell, James Kerley, Erica Baron, Michael Lewis, Tudor Vasile.

Body Count: 10

Britain and Australia share a pub culture like no other, different from trendy bars in the city, “the local” is the choice meeting point for all kinds of folk to sup on a pint, or – in the case of many – down so much that you fall asleep and later stagger on home.

A local pub is the setting for this Australian indie flick, which couldn’t have cost much more than a round of beers. With a plot so simple it was doubtlessly scripted on the back of a beermat, Slaughtered‘s got some problems alright with amateur night acting, a crap sound mix and an obvious killer who has absolutely no motive.


Yeah, that’s right! There’s no big unmasking or soliliquy of why-I-killed-y’all at the end, it just pretty much stops! Where are the cops? Why aren’t they clearing up bodies and collecting evidence? Why did everyone keep working despite the fact they’d found bodies strewn all over the joint?

If it was intended to be a parody, it doesn’t work. It’s funny but not in the right way and suffers from a major case of predictablosis with a second string of budgets disease. Although it must be said the gore jobs aren’t bad at all, despite that in the scene where a girl is forced to ingest shards of broken glass it’s clear as day that there’s nothing in the liquid!

Silly but inoffensive stuff, notable only for being one of the few slasher films directed by a Sheila.

Return to sender


1.5 Stars  2004/86m

“Back from the grave to redeem his soul.”

Directors: Lloyd A. Simandl & Jonas Quastel / Writers: Evan Taylor, Jonas Quastel, John Sheppard & Pat Bermel / Cast: Erin Karpluk, Nicholas Irons, Richard Bremmer, Mhairi Steenbock, Jane Peachey, Daniel Coonan, Colin Lawrence, Myfanwy Waring, Andrew Miltner.

Body Count: 6

My BFF Grace auditioned for a role of “black girl with attitude” in this movie. “Cool!! Ripper‘s a really good little film!” I cawed. She didn’t get it. We were sad. Sometime later, sadness blossomed into a joy of relief. And there was no sign of “black girl with attitude” anyway.

The 2001 Anglo-Canadianian original was a neat little knock-off of Urban Legend with a confusing ending that sort of nodded in the direction of a possible sequel, which resulted in this dismal British feature, the quality of which is alluded to by virtue of the fact it’s never been released in the UK in any way, shape or form to date.

This hackneyed marriage of ideas from A Nightmare on Elm Street 3 and the left over jetsam from the previous film sees Molly Keller (now played by Karpluk) in an institution following the intangible twist ending(s) from the first round. Her shrink recommends her for a trip to a specialist clinic near Prague where Egor-like doc Bremmer carries out questionable treatments on a group of troubled youths by exploring their subconscious while they sleep – how or why he does this is something we’re apparently not meant to ask about.

Molly’s schizoid brain transmits a cloaked fiend – possibly Jack the Ripper, who we’re told is an ancestor of hers – into the groups’ collective dozing and he begins doing away with them one after the other while they roam about in their fantasies / nightmares.

Even with two directors and four scribes, the creative team fail to even muster the most basic of chills given the gothic castle setting and while away the running time with endless ‘dream’ sequences, including some sexual deviant ambling around a fetish club, serving no purpose other than to visualise soft-core lesbianism and an excess of tits.

Otherwise, criminally undeveloped sub-characters are blandly killed off before Molly confronts the dream stalker (though not before aping Jennifer Love Hewitt’s “what are you waiting for?” moment from I Know What You Did Last Summer) and the film ends as confusingly as the first one did, with absolutely no confirmation of who did what or if any of it happened at all to a group of people who might not have even existed.

Nothing but a mass of empty shells and no gun powder, Ripper 2 is the equivalent of Root Canal Surgery: The Musical, starring Justin Beiber.

Blurb-of-interest: Lloyd Simandl had already directed the even worse Possession: Until Death Do You Part back in 1987; Erin Karpluk later had a role in the TV series Slasher.

Lonely Days, Boring Nights

lonelyjoeLONELY JOE

1 Stars  2009/97m

“Stay off the tracks.”

Director/Writer: Michael Coonce / Cast: Erica Leerhsen, Peter Speach, David Fine, Matthew S. Harrison, Jaclyn Walsh, Robert Krigbaum.

Body Count: 7

Dire-logue: “Why don’t you bring someone in?” / “Who – fuckin’ Ghostbusters?

When a cheap film begins with a stoic declaration that it’s based on true events, my heart dies a little – post-Chainsaw, has there ever been one that was any good? Maybe Lonely Joe will break the curse…

It didn’t.

Erica Leerhsen, ironically from the Chainsaw remake, plays Michele Connelly, a New York journalist who is tormented by flashback dreams of her brother’s murder years earlier at the hands of a psychotic farmer who slaughtered countless locals. Now, disappearances are still occurring and Michele grabs a week in her hometown of Solvay, New York, to look for answers.

To be honest, I was ill when I watched it and so found myself losing interest quickly and had no patience for endless dialogue that didn’t lead to anything and under-lit scenes of people traipsing around in the dark. The low budget was off-putting rather than endearing and, Leerhsen aside, the cast provided nothing remotely entertaining and what scant murders there were took ages to begin and were either void of action or off-camera completely and the killer hardly appeared in it.

Things turn out to be more of detective/ghost story than a slasher flick and by the time the twist is unveiled so little had happened and 97 minutes had tick-tocked by so slowly that it felt like I had been there all week with Michele. Painfully slow and boring.

Blurbs-of-interest: As well as the TCM remake re-imagining, Leerhsen was also in Wrong Turn 2: Dead End and later Mischief Night; David Fine was in Sweet Insanity.

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