What were Perez’s intentions here? It lacks any semblance of suspense, truly inventive, believable kills, and deep character insight. Allusions – whether intentional or not – to classics like Fincher’s Seven, Fukasaku’s Battle Royale, or Demme’s Silence of the Lambs accentuate how egregious this entire enterprise is.
Let’s start with the make-up, which is the one thing Perez could’ve easily nailed with a bit of effort and creativity. Havoc looks like Leatherface got caught in a barb-wire fence. This could very well be another mask Perez is reusing from his previous features. Gorehounds will be displeased with the rapid cutaways and close-ups during crucial scenes. Peter Jackson did all this much, much better in the late-1980’s, tongue-in-cheek Bad Taste.
I’ll try to summarize the rest of what aggravated me about Cry Havoc in one paragraph. It’s cruel and deeply misogynistic (the navel-gazing is taking to a hilarious extreme). Shots don’t match, either in exposure or location. Characters see each other when they clearly shouldn’t but cannot hear each other’s screams when they clearly should. For the most part, it’s impossible to tell who’s where at any point, particularly during the dull shoot-outs.
“…lacks any semblance of suspense…”
Perez-the-cinematographer still seems to struggle with that damn focus (24’s the charm?). Maybe it’s the copy I watched, but some of the dialogue is poorly dubbed, clashing with a “hip-hop-meets-rock” GarageBand score. The acting is uniformly, laughably bad. Perhaps its worst sin is the way it ends – which is to say, it has no resolution, no catharsis, it just… ends, as if Perez ran out of ideas and wrapped it the f**k up.
I did love the sequence where the dumb-as-nails interviewer ends up in a changing room, being asked to slip into one of the chosen dresses for her chat with The Voyeur. “I guess I could get all dolled up,” she speaks to herself (out loud!). “This interview is gonna make me a star reporter.” She then spots cameras all over the place, proceeds to act infuriated, then changes her mind immediately – this is her “express ticket to CNN,” after all – and takes off her bra anyway.
I’d say that Perez was biting off more than he could chew, if at least one aspect of his filmmaking worked. Alas, judging by Cry Havoc, the man would be better off taking a breather and revisiting film school, maybe watching some classics. Unless, of course, it’s making him a few bucks on VOD. In which case, good for him. I’ve wasted my time, so you don’t have to waste yours.
"…It’s cruel and deeply misogynistic..."