A couple of weeks ago, I did a review for Killer Movie, which was a dark comedy about horror films and the real life horror that happens during the filming of one. That film was okay, but it’s hard to pull off that satirical/horror bend without skewing too much one way or the other.
Dark Reel has a similar idea – a low budget movie house (we’re talking REALLY low budget. One of their films was “Gnome Killer”) is producing a new movie called “Pirate Wench 3.” Adam (Edward Furlong) recently moved to California, following his now ex-girlfriend, and he’s kind of a loser. He decides to enter a contest for a walk-on role in the film and ends up winning, actually hand selected by Connor Pritchett (Lance Henriksen), the head of the studio. Adam’s first day on the set, he’s introduced to the beautiful Cassie Blue (Tiffany Shepis…yum), and they hit it off. Of course, that same night, one of the actresses on the film is murdered pretty viciously by a masked killer. As more murders happen, Adam’s role in the film grows from walk-on to main character, so it isn’t long before the police (Tony Todd and Rena Riffel) suspect he’s the killer.
More after the jump.
I enjoyed the hell out of this film! Writer/Director Josh Eisenstadt (a quick IMDB check shows he has two previous films) does an excellent job keeping the satire firmly in place, but the horror aspect is always prevalent. Even in the funny scenes, you know that someone is the killer, and the film does a good job of giving enough red herrings that it’s not obvious who the killer is the entire running time. The writing is smart, the direction is solid, if nothing spectacular.
The real gem of the film though is the acting. I’m not a big Edward Furlong fan, but he did a good job playing the awkard fan/protagonist of the film. I found it a little odd that he got an “and” credit in the film, considering he’s essentially the lead character. Lance Henriksen, who I have been a HUGE fan of for years, does a great job in this one, and is actually one of the main sources of comedy in the film. I know…weird, right? I love it when he plays off-type, which is rare. He’s usually the stoic, quiet man. In this one, he’s the fast talking jerk movie producer trying to keep his company afloat. Tony Todd is even pretty funny in this one as the detective covering the murders. Yes…Tony Todd! The rest of the cast all do a great job, but let’s be honest…the main reason to see this film…
Tiffany Shepis! Why hasn’t this lovely actress been in more Hollywood films? She seems to keep getting parts in B-grade horror, but she’s talented, gorgeous, and a great actress. She actually won a couple of awards for her acting in this film, which is saying something, because she’s always good. Trust me, the film is worth checking out for the Shepis alone!
Dark Reel comes out March 10th, and you can pre-order is using the link below!
Paul’s Awesomeness Score – 8 out of 10 (for the movie)
Paul’s Awesomness Score – 11 out of 10 (for The Shepis – sorry Arielle!)