mattstechel’s review published on Letterboxd:
(3 characters come back into the house of one of them and find a dead body of someone they all knew who overdosed on tylenol:)
"Well i guess she had her last headache" "This just makes me kinda sad, mean I know she was pushy and turned out to be a psychopath but I still liked her" "Yeah she seemed like good people til last night" "Well she was good people til last night, everybody turns out to be raspy now and then"
I didn't care for any of this, but i did think the acting of the lead was at least decent enough for a Shot On video movie--the acting in these-or at least the ones I've seen--is rarely ever like good, but I would argue that the lead actress here did a good job registering the emotions the plot required her too, but the story drifted too far into aimlessness to me. Like the first hour or so there's a plot that's happening
(Young somewhat underage woman moves to a new town with her dad to whom she's a bit overly close to and her new horrible judgmental step mom and finds herself left alone with her religious zealot of a step mom after her dad gets called up to active duty overseas, and comes to find out that her step mom is trying to knock her and her dad off to funnel the insurance money to her lover who's a minister from another town? a pastor? he's something with the church, she used to be a nymphomaniac but had reformed, but apparently not as much as had been thought)
(She finds this out by getting told by a potential rapist who broke into the house one night and in holding her at gunpoint mentions that the Tang in the fridge smells like cyanide. "No it doesn't, it smells like almonds") (So the would be rapist who broke into the house and holds her at gunpoint ends up saving her life--and the two of them end up in somewhat of a relationship) (Hey if you can't trust the rapist who saved your life...who can you trust???)
So before too long the step-mom is tied up and being held in the garage (with the body of her lover murdered and laying next to her) and the two protagonists have no idea what to do. And that's where the movie pretty much drops off for me??? Like everything after that felt like the movie was just fishing around for something to be about.
There's an eye-patch wearing lesbian best friend (our young woman protagonist's only friend in town!) who has the hots for her while our protagonist tries to fend her off, there's a tangent the movie goes on where the two of them go to confront the guy who caused her to have to wear an eyepatch, and she ends up getting revenge, (ok) and there's another tangent where the rapist who's now her boyfriend ends up meeting up with a good crazy friend of his who has escaped from prison and needs a place to hang out, and this wild eyed blonde dude has a plan to rob an amusement park that may or may not be Disneyland. (Ha!)
This back stretch is where the movie finally unleashes it's full crazy where as before it was steadily building up to crazy but still had one foot planted firmly in domestic melodrama albeit with a slight touch of kitsch to it (sorta Horton Foote by way of John Waters) but the aimlessness of that back half hour lost me--not that the movie ever really had me to begin with, but i probably would've given it a slightly higher rating (maybe a straight two star "I wasn't that into it, but it was competently made?) but then that last half hour hits and it all goes out the window--like any narrative momentum that had been built up here just goes to shit.
I did like the crazy blonde guy being asked to surrender himself by a guy over a loudspeaker saying "I'm your dad and i want you to give up" and then he's like "DAD???" "We're Sorry Dad!" and the rapist turns to him and says "For God's Sake Troy, Your parents are dead, you killed them!!!" "Maybe I didn't, maybe it was a bad acid trip" (voice coming from loudspeaker) "We love you Troy, Oh Good God Almighty We Love You, Put Down Your Gun And Come Into The Light So We Can Give You A Big Hug" "Hug? That's what they never gave me" (drops gun and runs outside) "DAD???" (Gunshots)
Terrible, but i laughed which may be one of the few times i had any kinda reaction to anything happening here so that should give you an idea of how starved i was for any kinda feeling here. I could see other people liking this as it's pitch black, and almost gleefully nihilistic at times, and it's shot on videotape aesthetic is certainly something that while off putting (as i tend to find most shot on video movies) also weirdly actually helps the material since this would probably be death if shot on film since most of the acting outside of our leading woman is either stilted or overly theatrical (You can tell they're all amateurs) (Shrugs)
Ultimately i kinda had to go one star here--tho i might tick up slightly just cause I didn't hate it exactly-- I just didn't care for anything in this (and that last half hour made me eyeball that amount of running time left tab pretty hard). It just didn't work for me ultimately as just about everything onscreen more or less didn't really register with me on any kinda level be it serious or gleefully dark comedy. It was just kinda there, and I was largely wishing I had chosen to watch one of the roughly 800 other movies sitting on my youtube playlist instead maybe (but I didn't mind watching it either, it was something i was vaguely interested in having heard of it prior but in fairness--I'm interested in most things that could be said to be a movie???) (The one giant exception may actually be Hallmark Channel Christmas Movies--and now i'm trying to imagine this being a parody of one of those if it was made today.) But i can think of one person off the top of my head who genuinely might enjoy it so i'll probably recommend it to him at the very least.