And how...

Released in 2005, certified UK-15. Reviewed on 06 Jul 2006 by Craig Eastman
Reeker image

I had my teeth pulled on Sunday night. Not literally you understand. There would be little precedence for such a thing since generally I take reasonably good care of my gnashers, bottle-opening escapades aside. Oh yes. Brush at least twice a day, I say, if not thrice, and chances are you'll be too busy to end up seeing Reeker; a "horror" movie so ill-conceived you'd think the writer / director had been responsible for such classics as Alien Avengers 2 and The Showgirl Murders! Oh...hang on. He is. It's a good bet you won't have stumbled across either of these no-names on your travels, and thankful we all are for that, but since Reeker somehow seems to have osmosed it's way into your local multiplex with some degree of commercial exposure there's an outside chance you might actually end up seated in front of it's particular brand of tedium.

What we're dealing with here is one of those efforts which is way too convinced of it's own smarts, and has less than jake with which to back it's confidence up. It all seems to start promisingly enough with a slightly surreal opening sequence that gave this reviewer a right laugh. Within the first half hour though the realisation strikes home that the funnies aren't intentional and the man responsible, that most revered auteur Dave Payne, clearly has delusions of grandeur that would make Michael Jackson blush. The action takes place at the Halfway Motel off a seldom-used highway in the American desert where a group of friends on the way to a "rave" break down and encounter a malevolent force that starts picking them off one by one. I'll clue you in on the Big Twist so much as the nature of the strange voices, mutilated survivors and reaper-like assailant are all belied by the establishment's name, and if you can't guess the outcome within the first two reels then you're not worth the DNA you're imprinted on.

Reeker's general banality is an accumulation of factors that encompass the whole spectrum of film making. There have been movies that share as inept a script, as bland a directorial style and as abortive a general conception before, but few have proven quite so turgid as this. It says something when twenty minutes from the end I was laughing like a schoolgirl much to the annoyance of my fellow patrons, not because of the film, but because my mind had wandered to Layer Cake and the bit where Monty says "somebody's about to get a fuckin' slap!". How I wish someone had dealt such violence unto our Davey instead of signing off on his crippled pitch. Still, as long as muppets like us keep lapping up any old horror shite the studios will keep bangin' them out, and it's easy-money apathy like that which has seen Reeker arrive at our doorstep in the first place. The sad thing is that with a budget stretching to tens of dollars, it probably made it's money back in it's first or second weekend on release in the states last year. I'm in the wrong business. Anyone fancy bankrolling this script I've written about a killer turd that eats it's victims from the inside out? Hang on, that's a fairly good analogy for Reeker, actually. Avoid.

1 out of 5. Burn The Witch.

Dave Payne
Cast list:
Devon Gummersall (Jack)
Tina Payne (Gretchen)
Derek Richardson (Nelson)
David Hadinger (The Reeker, although it seems unfair to single any one person out here)