NIGHT OF THE DEE-MON
It was time to catch up on any Dee Wallace movie appearances I missed, and Prime came through with three of them—one featuring Dee in a starring role so juicy it scored a place in my collection.
CURSE OF THE WEEPING WOMAN: J-OK’EL (2007)
Unless you can guarantee your movie kicks ass, you should steer clear of having the word “joke” embedded in your title.
It’s not that this film is a joke, it just doesn’t have any punch (line). I feel like I blogged about a film based on the same legend in the past year—a woman who drowns her children by the water and now haunts the lake, crying over the loss.
In this film a cute guy comes to his mother’s home in Mexico after his young half-sister disappears. His mother is Dee Wallace, and here she’s no E.T. mom—she’s cold and distant with her son.
Despite her asking him to leave, he sets out to find his sister, and is soon embroiled in loads of talk as he meets the locals and tries to unravel the mystery of who is abducting kids in town.
We very rarely get to see a silhouette or fleeting glimpse of the woman with creepy hands.
Seriously, barely anything intriguing happens here, nor does anything scary.
Only after the main guy goes to the legendary lake at the end does the twist add a little excitement, but you’ll probably figure out what’s going on by the time you get there.
HAUNTING OF CELLBLOCK 11 (2014)
This is Dee’s smallest role of the three films, but she once again gets to be something other than the mom hero.
She plays a totally bitchy TV producer in what is the most humorous scene in this otherwise serious ghost flick.
But the film stands on its own even after Dee is done doing her thing. Haunting of Cellblock 11 makes the brilliant decision not to be a found footage film despite ghost hunters filming at an old prison for a TV show.
It’s such a relief to not have the characters filming every single pointless moment of their trip to the prison. The only camera POV scenes happen when they’re filming or watching on their monitors.
The plot is pretty cliché, with the group getting background about a crazy doctor that did horrible experiments on inmates. I’d say yawn, but at least this guy also raped them.
There’s a creepy ghost inmate who is also vicious and does some possessing as well, so the scary parts are a lot of fun. Plus, the ending is deliciously devious.
Yet since it’s so well done, the film feels like it could have used more scares, action, and victims! When all is said and done, you want more! Seriously, it feels underdeveloped because it does everything right and isn’t just another poor man’s found footage haunting flick.
HANSEL & GRETEL (2013)
Forget the recent Dee leading role in Red Christmas. Ferrante, who had Dee make an appearance in BOO! years ago, taps her again for this one, giving her the opportunity to soar above her dastardly performance in The Frighteners. Dee goes from 0 to 100 throughout this film.
Cujo, is that you?
All you really have to get past is the fact that there are two contemporary 20-somethings named Hansel and Gretel.
Gretel works for Mrs. Claus…I mean…Dee at her Gingerbread House sweets shop.
Her cute brother Hansel storms out after their dad announces he’s remarrying. Gretel chases after him, and the pair ends up crashing at Dee’s house in the woods.
Pretty soon the horrors begin, and Hansel and Gretel discover they’re dead meat if they don’t escape the house. Actually, dead, cooked, eaten meat!
Gore, murder, witchery, and Dee at the top of her game made this an instant buy for me.