Ooh, a horror film starring a wrestler, and produced, and distributed by the WWE! Wow, that’s amazing. No, it really isn’t. Because while fans were salivating over the prospect of having an actor who acts like a lunatic star in a film as an actor who pretends to be a lunatic pretending to be a lunatic, I just couldn’t believe that horror continues to be bandied about like this.
“Evil Gets Raw”, so the tagline reads. Oh, I get it, because of WWE Raw. Oh, horror fans are not this stupid; not even wrestling fans are this stupid. I should know, I used to be a wrestling fan. And yet—both audiences seemed to have bought in to this marketing scheme of having this actor pretending to be a wrestler pretending to be a lunatic on screen pretending to be a lunatic.
Now, having a villain character pretending to be a villain character is nice and all, but what about Hulk Hogan? I theorize that “See No Evil” would have been much more entertaining had Hulk Hogan been a knife wielding slasher stalking a bunch of nameless characters. Can you imagine the hulkster puckering his lips, swinging a chainsaw and screaming “What are ya gonna do, when the hulkamania comes after you?!” Don’t pretend that wouldn’t have been fun.
What sets one film with a wrestler apart from the other? I’m not so sure. We have the Rock acting in films now, Hulk Hogan had the camp classic “No Holds Barred”, DDP made a great appearance as one of the Unholy Two in “The Devil’s Rejects”, and John Cena is making a cheesy Navy Seals action film, yet this one annoys me the most. Why? Because it’s messing with my sacred ground. It’s horror—or more appropriately, it’s a vehicle pretending to be horror, and you don’t ever f**k with my horror. I’m not as complacent as other horror fans.
“See No Evil” is a wannabe grindhouse Z film that’s one part “Saw”, one part “Slumber Party Massacre”, and one part “Jason Lives”, a film whose main character is the killer, and not the victims. The characters in the actual film are set up just right that we won’t give a crap if they’re brutally slaughtered somehow, and there are more blatant stereotypes than an episode of “The Real World”. There’s the slang spouting black guy, the blonde slut, the sassy Hispanic girl, the silent virginal girl, and so on. They’re convicts, a mixed bunch of convicts who spout awful dialogue, fight quite often, and are basically sent to the meat grinder.
The writing is set up so that audiences will actually say “God, I hope they die”, to which most of them will. Under the hands of a “Devil’s Rejects” stalwart who resides in an abandoned hotel which they’re cleaning for three days to take a month off their sentence. That’s the entire plot. But, damn it, there’s always some axe wielding psycho (he wields an actual axe!) waiting around the corner to hack up some obnoxious teenagers. The remainder of the film is comprised of the victims walking around the hotel cleaning and being offed one by one. However, in a limp attempt to add character motion, there’s a rumored safe filled with money in the hotel, which only motivates the characters to go discovering and experience a brutal fate.
Most criminally however, is that the film postures itself so as to allude “Here’s the next Jason, folks!” But there’s really no chance in that happening, because the killer has no personality, no mystique, and no aura. He’s just a man wielding an axe. He won’t be the next Jason, or Michael, not even the next Creeper. The character is set-up as a faux-Leatherface who hooks his victims, and drags them into his dungeon ala “Texas Chainsaw Massacre”. And the writing is so utterly f*****g terrible I was pulling the hair out of my head. Upon witnessing one character have a hook shoved up his chin (with blood splatter), and pulled up with his legs dangling, one character asks “Think he got him?!” No, he just hangs from hooks by his chin for fun!
Are we so desperate for bloodshed and quality horror that we’re willing to sit through a really terrible film just to see some red and set ourselves in a mindset of denial that this was actually wathcable? It’s embarrassing to think that this will actually gain a fan base, and that wrestling fans will show up in droves. Because the local yokel movie audiences love the predictable and unoriginal, that way when they guess the “plot twist” and see all the killings coming, they can leave the theaters feeling intelligent and can brag for weeks, when really all they did was just predict the predictable.
“See No Evil” is a ridiculous messy Z grade film that should have been released straight to video. It’s unoriginal with no rhyme or reason, and never takes advantage of its golden opportunity to provide us with an entertaining story. It’s just a quick time filler that you can sense was made with haste and utter disregard to anything in its production. As hard as it tries, it’s not grindhouse, it’s not edgy, and it’s far from original.
Maybe Hollywood does hate us.