Reviewed by Uncle Creepy
Starring Loren Dean, Judy Reyes, Lori Heuring, Johnathon Schaech, Johnny Messner
Directed by Tim McCann
Distributed by Sony Pictures Home Entertainment
So far this year I’ve seen at least nine films based upon the consequences that come about after someone is killed accidentally. Accidental death is all the rage these days, and it’s not going to be long until someone makes a film that’s nothing but one deadly mishap after the other. We can call it Random Destination (I’m looking at YOU, David Rosiak! Start writing)! Tim McCann (no relation to Shoe-meister Thom) continues the trend with his not-so thrilling thriller The Poker Club.
Once a week Aaron Tyler (Johnathon Schaech) and his buddies get together to get drunk, get high, and play cards. Usually the festivities are uneventful, but on this night something happens that will change all of their lives. A knife-wielding intruder is discovered lurking about Aaron’s house by one of his friends, and it’s not long before said intruder gets accidentally put down via a well placed shot by a baseball bat.
Not wanting to call the police because they were all drunk and stoned, our group decides instead to wrap the body in a tarp and then throw it in the river. Out of sight, out of mind, right? Who would possibly know? I’ll tell you who, the burglar’s cousin who was watching from the window. As a result one-by-one the participants of this ghastly accident start turning up with their throats slit. Couple all this with a few unnecessary subplots about love and cheating, and there you have it: instant by-the-numbers bullshit.
By the time the end credits roll, we’re treated to several twists and turns that are meaningless, silly, and void of any common sense. The Poker Club tries to be a lot smarter than it actually is, and the weight of all these extraneous things introduced for no good reason ends up making the film collapse in on itself. After the first twenty minutes or so, everything goes straight to hell in an eye-rollingly dumb handbasket.
We get off easy on the special features. All that’s there is a commentary which you’ll probably never listen to with director Tim McCann and Johnathon Schaech himself. Jonathan is a good actor who always ends up in mid-level roles like this and Prom Night, and that is a friggin’ shame. Someone please through this guy a bone already!
If you’re looking for a good time killer, look elsewhere. The Poker Club fails miserably at everything it attempts to do. The only real victims here are the poor investors who fell for McCann’s bluff and went all-in. Sigh.
1 1/2 out of 5
1 out of 5
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