Saturday, May 14, 2011

"Laid to Rest"(2009)d/Robert Hall

Let me begin by saying that if I had seen this this ultra-splatterpiece back in the eighties, the never-ending barrage of realistic chunk-blowing gore within probably would have left me in a Gene Kelly rain-singin' heel-click of approval with every spurt of arterial Ragu that FX-expert-turned-director Robert Hall could manage to serve up.That said, we're well into 2011 over here, and hundreds of cookie-cutter slasher movies have passed before my weary eyes, and the examples that rise above the standard have more to offer than the drippy red stuff, even if it is executed as magnificently as it certainly is in Laid, Hall's second directorial effort.Make no mistakes, the kills are indeed righteous.It's just when the movie has to rely on plot and pacing in-between the crimson violence and splendor that it ultimately fails to establish itself as anything more than a xeroxed lemon of little renown.Any self-respecting horror buff who's gotten through puberty will have great difficulty taking anything notable besides the gore effects from the experience.Of course, arguing weaknesses in a slasher storyline is kinda like ignoring a porno's money shots to critique the acting performances leading up to them.You aren't gonna rewind the disc to a quality dialogue exchange, you're gonna wanna see that practical lower jaw decapitation one more time.Or five.Such is life.Onwards!
A lamentable lawman misplaces his face-piece.
A girl(Bobbi Sue Luther) with no powers of recollection and severe head trauma wakes up inside a coffin, quickly realizing she's been abducted by a deranged psychopath with an acute technological flair to go with the chrome skull mask he wears and the dual brass knuckle surgical knives he wields.After the funeral director(Richard Lynch) leaves, she manages to knock the casket over, crawling out to find the exits locked and unable to remember enough information to relay to a 911 operator.Her escape attempts are thwarted by Chrome Skull(Nick Principe), who dispatches the returning director before getting momentarily knocked out by a pesky door and allowing the girl to run into the street where she's picked up by a man named Tucker(Kevin Gage), who takes her home to a cold reception from his wife Cindy(Lena Headey) until her husband explains the weird situation as he knows it.The girl, who only remembers being put in a box, takes a shower and is given a bed to rest on until Cindy's brother Johnny(Jonathon Schaech) arrives the next morning to take her into town, as their house phone has been shut off.When she grows uneasy, Tucker comes in to comfort her, calling her "Princess" from a fleeting memory she has of a childhood doll she once owned.Upon returning to his room, he notices that his wife has disappeared, and once outside, they realize that Chrome Skull has abducted her.The mysterious killer offers to exchange Cindy for Princess, but when Tucker refuses, attacking the maniac instead, he mounts the man's wife to the house with a well-placed head-stab.The new widower waffles his assailant with his walking stick, sending him down a flight of stairs before he and Princess can flee the scene in his truck.Cindy's brother and his girlfriend finally arrive at the house, where Chromesky relieves the young man of his face and eviscerates his squeeze.
That's not even quasi-sexy.
At Steven's((Sean Whalen) place, Tucker and Princess contact the authorities through his computer, discovering that Skull has snuffed thirty-one dames to date, filming each murder from the nifty shoulder mounted video camera he employs.After a fruitless close call at the police station where the girl gets herself slashed and Steven stabs the masked fiend, the three drive to the funeral home so that Tucker can dress Princess' wounds where Steven witnesses his own mother's corpse dragged from a hearse into Skull's digs on the side of the cadaver parlour.While Tucker returns home unaware Johnny's already been eighty-sixed, Princess enters Chrome Skull's lair for a mano a mano standoff.A new female victim is beheaded as 'Cess hides in a coffin until Tucker returns, shooting the killer twice before making a getaway in Chromesky's fancy wheels(with custom tags).In the car she watches a video of Skull being told of the Sheriff's impending interference by the funeral director, then locates the nearest store in the GPS unit and drives off while the two men are inside Steven's house.In a hearse, Chromesky syncs up the GPS with the one in his own ride so that he can track its whereabouts.At the store, all sorts of nastiness ensues as a clerk is forced to suck on his own shotgun(!), a patron gets decapitated, and Steven gets tire sealant shot into his ears until his dome explodes(!!).Tucker get labonza-shanked as Princess hides in the cooler where Chromesky has set up a video camera that reveals her identity as a streetwalker.Skull then uses what he believes to be glue to reapply his mask, only the substance is in reality acid mixed up by a pre-corpse Steven, and it dissolves what's left of his face-piece(!!!).Princess hops out of the cooler and grabs a nearby baseball bat and swings for the fences at Chromesky's goopy head-mess, effectively smashing it for keeps.She embraces a mortally-skewered Tucker who buys the farm, then hops into one of the victim's car and drives off to Atlanta.The police arrive and find a note pinned to Tucker's body revealing the whereabouts of Chrome's vics and requesting to let Steven be buried next to his mother.Sequel anyone?
Don't even think of lifting that last AMP if you know what's good for you, Chromesky.
Chrome Skull:Laid to Rest 2 has recently finished shooting and boasts of a cast that includes Brian Austin Green and the delicious Danielle Harris.The Detroit-born Hall, whose effects feature prominently in such films as Devil, the Crazies remake, and the Terminator:Sarah Connor Chronicles tv series, promises a prequel directly afterwards.Goody gumdrops.Luther has appeared in fare like the 2009 Night of the Demons remake and Deuce Bigalow:European Gigalo.Gage has found work in genre films like May(2002) and CHAOS(2005), as well as mainstream titles like Heat(1995), Blow(2001), and GI Jane(1997).Like I said earlier, give Laid a shot, even if the threadbare script leaves you feeling empty, you'll be talking about some of the inventive gore set pieces long after you've ejected the Anchor Bay disc.On the scale it scores two big ones, not too shabby for a slasher in this day and age, eh?
I'm acid and not glue, on the back of your mask your face is through.


Outsider said...

Good review. I agree that this had good potential for a decent story with killer gore.

beedubelhue said...

Thanks! The gore was, indeed, top notch.I look forward to checking out the sequel.


Connect with Facebook