Yes, I said Todd Bridges, as in Willis. This trio of shot-on-video films from the first decade of the new millennium features familiar names, which totally leaves you wondering…WHY?
SANDY HOOK LINGERIE PARTY MASSACRE (2000)
Watching this movie, I said two things to myself:
- Why do some people even bother to pretend to be making a movie?
- So glad Debbie Rochon has managed to rise to a higher standard of indie film.
I don’t know what to tell you. After a strip club intro of each girl in the movie, they all head to a vacation house for what is apparently a Halloween getaway (there are pumpkins galore, including a bloody Jack o’ lantern at one point). Then…there’s 50 minutes of what can only be called footage of the girls doing various things. There’s no plot here, but there is plenty of skanky T&A and some lesbianism. The girls play volleyball with their tits. A pair of tits gets pierced and we get to witness the penetration. Plus, Rochon is a psychic stripper, so she reads Tarot cards. It’s just nonstop, horribly edited clips of nothing happening.
And when a killer in a gimp mask finally shows up, it honestly seems like the killer and the girls were never actually in the room at the same time. It appears the killer pretended to be wielding a weapon at someone. Then at a different date and time, the girls pretended to act terrified of something. Finally, an editor spliced the footage together and added royalty free audio of women screaming.
When we’re at last down to a final girl, she seems to be involved in a chase scene for what appears to be about 3 days, because it keeps changing from bright daylight to pitch black night.
THE DAMNED (2006)
The Damned looks like it was shot with a video camera on the filmmakers’ block, with all their friends as the cast—except for Todd Bridges of Diff’rent Strokes fame.
A vampire clan (of about 4) moves into a house in a quiet neighborhood. Three dudes that life next door soon realize the new neighbors are vampires, so they team up with a couple of vampire hunters – Todd Bridges and some other dude. The group begins a…um…stakeout in the house to keep an eye on the vamps.
The movie mostly cuts between the guys talking in their house and cops driving in police cars. The vamps, which have white eye contacts and big white vamp teeth, get a few bloody bites on some victims, but there’s nothing particularly entertaining here as everyone stands around waiting for their cue to do or say something.
The soundtrack is a mix of punk rock music and an eerie little horror theme that is used so excessively that it loses its potency—and is even used during humorous moments, completely negating the tone of the scene.
Speaking of humor, with a film this low budget, the screenplay should have relied heavily on comedy, because there were actually a couple of moments that were quite funny. First, there’s a shot of all the guys sprawled around the living room sleeping with stakes clutched in their hands, and all jumping up with stakes ready when they hear a sound. Another scene has the guys so terrified the vamps are going to get them that when someone knocks on the door, one guy immediately shoots holy water into the face of the caller – a detective – despite it being broad daylight.
The Damned definitely didn’t exploit the opportunity to be a farce enough.
DEAD NOON (2007)
This one left me scratching my head. In order for it to come across as legit, the creators paid Kane Hodder to appear as an undead cowboy at the beginning and end of the film – but importantly, so that they could get an uber cool shot of being on set with him.
He serves simply as the narrator for what I guess is supposed to be a story. He tells of a shootout in the Old West, and then we see silhouettes of two cowboys talking before a fiery background. It’s supposed to be hell, and one of them is skipping out to get revenge on a town…
A barrage of “characters” are presented throughout the film. No idea who they are or what they mean to the story, because they all basically just pass through a desert area (the town?) being attacked by cowboy corpses.
It’s a string of slapstick, shot-on-video footage as numerous people run around shooting at undead cowboys in bursts of CGI explosions. It looks like a bunch of college kids bought cowboy costumes to put on a play.
The entire film takes place during the day, but even so, some of the cowboy zombies do look pretty cool and there is commendable effort to make the action scenes visually fun.