Old 37 full movie review - Gives Indie Horror a Bad Name
Clue #1 that you are, most likely, headed down regrettable waters comes in the opening credits when we see the director credited as Alan Smithee.
For those unaware, this is a long-standing entertainment pseudonym used when a director is so embarrassed of the final product that they wish for their name to be erased. By the end of the 80 minute run time of this movie you will understand, with no uncertainty, just exactly why the director would have done this.
I always feel the need to preface a review with some background on myself. I love horror. I've seen more horror movies than you have heard of and that includes plenty of indie work, so I'm not biased against horror with a low budget and that has nothing to do with my negative opinions of this movie.
We have, essentially, two concurrent story lines running here. On one hand are our "villains", two brothers played by the dream casting of Bill Moseley and Kane Hodder. Their father was a former military medic who couldn't remove himself from the war. He used an ambulance to intercept emergency callers and inflict torture upon them, all while bringing his impressionable boys with him. Through a never ending series of flashbacks, we see that this torture extended to their home life, as well, where the father abused both the boys and their mother, all leading up to their inevitable taking over of the family ambulance business.
Of course, any slasher needs a final girl and this one features the most boring, unimaginative one that you will see. Her best friend has abandoned her to hang with the beautiful people, but a tragic accident leads to her death. Of course, even though this girl has completely abandoned our heroine, she must give the eulogy anyways to some bizarre mixture of funeral/ school assembly. Somehow, this all leads to an obsession with getting breast implants, stealing the neighborhood mean girl's boyfriend and an all too predictable plot line where she loses the "real her" in her quest to become one of the cool kids. Naturally, these two stories line meet up in the end.
There are so many problems with this that I just don't even know where to begin. There isn't a single good actor in this entire production and, sadly, that includes Moseley and Hodder (two guys that I have met and like personally, which makes me more sad to say it). Moseley basically plays out a character that's just a slight shade away from his most famous roles, Choptop and Otis Firefly. You can hear both of those roles emerging in his lines as he plays the exact same sort of psycho. Hodder is given really nothing to do except skulk around and look menacing. The teenagers are bland and not far above high school play level talent. The only other person you've heard of in this one is Miley Cyrus' talentless older sister, who is killed in the first ten minutes.
It doesn't help that the writing is pathetic, either. The dialog, especially, is so bad that the viewer will find themselves laughing at the movie at times. It's one thing to see actors in a low budget production, who may not be top level talent, but they are doing their best with quality script. Here, the writing is even worse than the acting. I found myself wondering, at times, if they even had a script, or just made some things up to say as they went along.
The movie spends FAR too much time on the teenage drama, which is just boring and insipid. It's just so cliché and overly done as a plot line that there is no interest for the viewer at all. It spends an inordinate amount of time obsessing about a breast implant surgery for our heroine, then the day finally comes and she's totally blasé about it. Naturally, after getting her hair done and new breasts, she suddenly forgets all about her school work, changes her world-view overnight and becomes another cliché character.
She is interwoven into the villains story line through several all too convenient plot threads that lead to everything combining in the end. It's not enough to have her best friend killed on the road that these psychos patrol with their torture wagon, but we get flashbacks to reveal that her circle of friends may have had something to do with the death of the villains' beloved mother and they just happen to have seen it happen, remembered the faces and have been waiting for this revenge. As if that all wasn't a convenient enough plot device, our heroine's mother becomes friends with Moseley's psycho after his mother is killed. This mother apparently dates every man in town, who come into the two girls' lives every time it's convenient for the plot, including Moseley taking mom out on a date in our finale, even though he shows up at the home looking like a beat up, psychotic, homeless man that no woman in her right mind would leave the house with, let alone a single mother.
The one saving grace of all of this is some nice gory flourishes in the killings and torture, which will satisfy a gorehound. I appreciate the use of practical effects and real blood, rather than slick CGI. There are a few scenes that really grabbed my attention with the red stuff splattering around. These few scenes, though, are just not enough to redeem this movie in any way.
It's a shame to waste two talents like Moseley and Hodder in a movie as bad as this, but I just cannot recommend this to anyone.