I haven’t seen anything this bad since my grandpa decided to surprise the family a few years ago by showing up to Christmas dinner in the nude. We had to put him to sleep for that little feat. Now that I’ve seen “Harvesters”, I wish someone would put me to sleep.
In “Harvesters” we tag along with the most unlikely gang of criminals who take to robbing convenience stores across the U.S. Seriously, I don’t know how the hell this bunch got teamed together. Leading the gang is a tough Gulf War veteran chick, Frankie Falzone. Following her is a clean-cut looking dude with a nasty killing streak, his useless tag-along sister, an equally useless pretty thief and a drug addict who everyone b*****s and moans about. This gang is a calamity for sure. And hot on their trail is a pair of U.S. marshals, another pair of unlikely characters. This man and woman team looks and seems as harmless as your mom and dad. So for the first 40 minutes of the film, we’re forced to watch this riveting (that’s a joke) cat and mouse game until things really start to heat up…oooooo!
When the gang’s car takes a dump in the woods, they hijack the next car that comes along, driven by a pretty young girl. The girl takes the gang to her house where her entire family – mom, dad, sister and cousin reside. The gang decides to use this home as a hideout, keeping the family as hostage. But of course, one of the family members escapes. This causes the gang to split up, which makes room for the family to strike back and strike back they do. I won’t blow the family’s little surprise as it’s oh so exciting, but just know that the gang, as well as the U.S. marshals, wind up sloooooowly getting hunted all through throughout the last half of the film. They chase each other through the house and through the woods and so boring is this whole fandango that you’ll start rifling through the various options of killing yourself.
This shot on video feature tumbles head first into the pitfalls that usually take down this low budget type of fair. The biggest one is that the filmmakers try making a mountain out of a molehill and the results would be laughable if the feature wasn’t so damn boring. Basically they should’ve stood back and said, “Okay, we’ve got a bunch of really crappy actors, limited sets and not a whole lot of imagination, so let’s just get right to the point and really make what we’re intending to and that’s an exploitation film.” The first 40 minutes of “Harvesters” is padded with character build-up for crumby characters played by lousy actors, so no one gives a damn. They should’ve just shown the gang making a break from a convenience store and then going straight to the house where the fun could begin. This would’ve avoided the embarrassing sets, which included a strip club that didn’t have a stage, but rather the strippers would dance on tables and a U.S. marshals office situated in someone’s living room. I know these guys were working on a budget, but they should’ve have realized that also and saved themselves the hassle.
Here’s another pitfall that happens all the time. Joe Ripple somehow seems to think that 30 minutes of shot on video hide and seek equals tension. It equals a cure for insomnia, I can tell you that much.
“Harvesters” is a failure. It tries to be a gritty “Last House On The Left” type film, but instead comes off as the worst episode of “Little House On The Prairie” that you could ever imagine. Michæl Landon should’ve risen from the dead and gone Richter on everyone. Now that’s a movie!