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By Eric Campos | May 16, 2004

Ya know, with all of the oohing and aahhing I did over the past three films of Ron Atkins that I reviewed – Dark Night of the Soul and Schizophreniac 1 & 2 – I’m kinda relieved to find that there’s a film of his that I didn’t like. Things were starting to get a little weird in a “Misery” type of way.

I smelled trouble brewin’ right away as the film opened with a couple of FBI Agents discussing a case. If it’s one thing that ultra low-budget films rarely have been able to pull off for me, it’s law enforcement characters, especially homicide detectives and FBI Agents. It’s like watching adults playing cops and robbers on the playground…poorly…and it just fuckin’ grates at me. There’s no way I’m buyin’ the story if I don’t believe the characters at least a little bit. And that’s the very case here. As these two characters carried on, my mind started to wander. I couldn’t help it. How do you pay attention to something that the “actors” seem to have little or no focus on themselves? I had no idea what these guys were talking about and still don’t, but I bet it was a discussion about the trio of cannibalistic freaks living amongst the cheap prime rib dinner waste of the Nevada sewers like Ninja Turtles…

…because shortly after, that’s when we meet the cannibal family ripped straight from the frames of “The Texas Chainsaw Massacre.” There’s the masked butcher who’s played as kinda retarded, the wacked out, spastic brother and the domineering father figure who, in this case, comes cloaked in a black trenchcoat, cowboy hat, horribly fake moustache and even more horrible Clint Eastwood impression – this character was actually the one thing that got me through – funny is funny So, you know, the family captures females, drags them down to their lair and tortures them. Meanwhile, the FBI wander about trying to solve the case and that brings us to a shocking twist…okay, it’s not so shocking.
Actually, the only shocking thing here is the abrupt ending. I actually had to rewind back to see if I missed anything. Nope, it just f*****g ends – WHAM! – final death! Now that’s the Ron Atkins that I’ve come to admire – unpredictable and disorienting. Too bad this shows through only during the last shot of the movie. Other than that, this is a really stanky slasher flick with very little originality to speak of. There’s just too many of these floating around out there and I know that Atkins is capable of a whole lot more.

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