Ah, farming. Rising before the crack of a summer dawn so as not to waste a
precious moment of daylight. Toiling all day in the burning sun, earning manly
calloused hands and sun-scorched skin, the badges of honor earned by a life of
honest hard work.
It's an albino's dream!
Oh, don't worry. For better or worse, there's no farm here nor farming. Not
even that many albinos.
Here's what there is: a group of smart-ass city-slicker college kids head
for adventure out in the Ozarks, where they encounter inbred mutant rednecks.
How do writers come up with ideas that fresh, that original? I guess we
ordinary mortals can't understand how true geniuses get their flashes of
creative brilliance. 'Tis a mystery.
I started out being unexpectedly impressed with this film. The opening
credits sequence is a good "hook." Two little kids ride their bikes through
the eerily deserted streets of a small rural town. The amber tint of the scene
gives everything a warm glow, as if we were about to watch one of those
chick-flicks about finding love in the Tuscan countryside. Then something
seems wrong. The amber filter gives the sky an unearthly color, and the
earthly warmth seems to transmute into surreal, alien menace. The two boys
stop by a rusted-out old gate which obviously marks forbidden territory. The
older of the two boys is all manly bravado. He squeezes through the gate and
rudely taunts his companion for being afraid to follow. "You're a pussy. I'm
not afraid of anything."
If you watch a lot of horror movies, you will know that whenever anyone
says, "I'm not afraid," it is a foreshadowing of their doom, which often
arrives immediately, as it does here. Both boys appear to be devoured and or
dismembered by horrible forces which move so quickly that we barely glimpse
them and do not fully understand what they might be or precisely what they
have done to the boys.
(Perhaps the albino farmers are upset by the kids having delayed their
Then the film actually begins. We have been lured in by a teaser which told
us enough to get us curious and involved, but not too much to spoil the
If the rest of the film had been as good as that opening sequence, it could
have been quite a nifty little genre masterpiece. Unfortunately, the rest of
the film is just a typical bit of "college kids vs mutant hayseeds" torture
porn. The film's forward movement touches every single familiar point in the
roadmap of that sub-genre, and does so with some sub-standard performances.
Move along, lads, nothing to see here.
There is a bit of nudity. As mandated by the genre conventions and
standards, there must be nudity from both the wiseacre city-slickers and the
inbred cannibal hillbillies.
Alicia Lagano provides the human nudity, and
Bianca Barnett flashes some
mutant tit-tays. Her breasts look unmutated, but the rest of her appearance is
intentionally as unappealing as possible, because that's what makes the scene
IMDb report: No votes. No score. No comments. Only one review - in German
(the movie is in English).
The Steam Experiment
(aka The Chaos Experiment; 2009)
This is more or less a STV clone of Saw. Six people are tricked into a
sealed steam room on the pretext that it's part of a love connection program.
As the heat intensifies, we get to see how far their psychological
deterioration will progress. There is also a framing story in which a mad
professor says he will let the six people out of that room if a local
newspaper publishes his theories on global warming.
The dramatic tension, if you want to call it that, originally seems to
center around the survival of those in the steam room, but as time goes on, we
learn that things are not as they originally appeared to be. Our interest
switches to unraveling the story's mysteries: Who is the mad scientist? Is he
more scientist, or more mad? Does he have confederates we are not told about?
When does the steam room incident actually take place? Does the steam room
situation really occur, or are we simply watching one of his delusions? After
we debate these matters in our heads for 90 minutes, there is an ambiguous
twist ending which renders all of our previous conclusions false, or at least
uncertain. In the previous sentence, one might substitute the word "confusing"
for "ambiguous," if one were so inclined.
The cast is quite strong for a STV cheapie. In fact, it would have been
close to an A-list cast if the film had been made in the 1980s. Val Kilmer is
the mad professor. Armand Assante is the detective questioning him. Eric
Roberts is one of the six human lobsters. Given that all three of those men
have turned in excellent performances in real movies, one would have to say
that the cast is the film's strength.
Everything else is the film's weakness.
Sidebar: Eric Roberts is now up to 109 IMDb acting credits. He is only 53
years old, and 92 of those credits have come in the past 15 years, so he could
pass 200 acting credits by age 68. How large is that number in context? Gerard
Depardieu has 153 credits at age 60. He has amassed 45 of those in the past
eight years, so assuming the same rate for another eight years, he will also
have about 200 credits at age 68. In other words, Eric Roberts is in about as
many projects as Depardieu. That's about the same as saying somebody is as
good a hitter as Ted Williams.
On that strengths/weaknesses issue, I have misspoken.
Eve Mauro does the wise thing
in a steam room and removes her hot, stuffy old top. She has a very toned
body. I reckon we have to call that a strength.