Reviewed by The Foywonder
Starring Maria Aceves, Preston Davis, Lindsey Landers, Nathan Parsons
Directed by David DeCoteau
In my review of the slasher flick Dead Tone (read it here), I stated that I had seen better slasher movies and I had seen worse. The Brotherhood V: Alumni constitutes the worse. It’s only February, and here I already have a frontrunner for worst direct-to-DVD horror movie of 2010. If I see ten more horror movies bad enough to knock this one out of the top ten, ten more horror movies as devoid of entertainment value as this snoozer, then it is going to be a very long year for me.
This is the fifth installment in the Brotherhood DVD series, only the second that I have seen, and the first that I have reviewed. Having sort of enjoyed David DeCoteau’s satanic boy band flick Ring of Darkness, I decided I would give this one a look, figuring how bad could this movie be? I swear “How bad could this movie be?” is going to be etched on my tombstone.
The movie opens with some high school guy reading a note from the girl he has the hots for to meet her in the girls locker room shower after the prom. We then follow this guy as he wanders around the empty school afterhours for nearly ten intolerable minutes! I clocked it; ten insufferable minutes of this guy wandering about saying and doing absolutely nothing while a mystery person with a knife saying and doing nothing shadows him.
You know you’re in for a crummy time when it appears the director is already working hard to pad out his film in the opening sequence.
The school is named Sunnydale High, by the way. If only Buffy Summers had been around to stake this movie through its heart. At least that would have stopped the incessant sound of a pounding heartbeat DeCoteau permeates the film with, meant to make things suspenseful – I think, but to me it became more like a “Tell-Tale Heart” version of Chinese water torture.
When this guy finally arrives at the girls’ locker room and nobody’s there, instead of thinking he’s been stood up or set up, he strips down and hops in a shower. For the next two minutes we will watch him scrub his perfectly sculptured torso.
David DeCoteau has carved a niche for himself making horror movies with homoerotic overtones. If you are straight like me and rent one of his movies, especially an installment in the Brotherhood franchise, you shouldn’t be shocked or put-off by seeing nearly naked young guys stripped down and frequently wet. But this could have been the girl with the perfect nipple placement from the Friday the 13th remake showering for two minutes and I still would have been checking my watch. No nudity. About as much skin on display as a body wash commercial. Later on two jocks strip down to their underwear and begin making out; their lip locks barely qualify as nibbling; their petting anything but heavy. Straight or gay sex, if you’re going to film a sex scene then deliver the goods. If the concern is turning off the heterosexual audience that might be watching, by the time muscular guys in their boxers are on the floor gently caressing one another any heterosexuals offended or disgusted will have already long since turned the film off after the second extended male shower scene. The same can be said of the lamest ménage-a-trois I have ever witnessed: two guys in their underwear slowly massage a girl in her underwear to the tune of a nauseating love song straight out of the worst Lifetime Network movie ever made. An R-rated exploitation film that refuses to be exploitive is utterly worthless.
Shower dude’s friends are indeed planning to prank him by tricking him into getting naked on camera. Their prank victim becomes a murder victim; they find him stabbed him to death in the locker room and the tape stolen from their hidden camera. The friends all decide that being associated with a homicide will ruin their lives regardless of their innocence and make a pledge to get the hell out of there and never speak of it again.
One year later, those high school graduates are lured back to the school by a mysterious note coercing them into a scavenger hunt for the missing videotape. A skinny person in a ski mask with a switchblade appears infrequently to stabs them to death. Just as the sexual titillation aspects fail to deliver, the horror side also fails to deliver on even the most basic slasher movie level. Generic stabbings, mostly off-camera, negate the point of making a slasher flick.
Not one of these potential victims act like a human being who has ever seen a slasher movie before. None of them act, period. David DeCoteau directs the inaction like a guy who has no comprehension what makes a slasher movie work. Hard to believe given how much how little there is of a plot owes itself to I Know What You Did Last Summer and Sorority Row, not to mention an episode of “Married With Children” in which Tiffani-Amber Thiessen played essentially the same humiliating prank on Bud Bundy.
These dullards wander around the halls doing nothing just like the guy from the opening. They often talk about unrelated subjects. They take long showers. They engage in sexual escapades so chaste they might as well be wearing purity rings. Nothing happening is periodically interrupted by blue-tinted asides visualizing how the murder would have gone down if each character had committed the murder a year earlier, or should I say stand over the victim holding a knife explaining why they might have done it.
Around the 50-minute mark a female character wanders into the science lab full of small caged animals and insects (sounds like a jungle in there going by the soundtrack, kept waiting to hear an elephant trumpet). As she very slowly walks around this classroom looking nervous, DeCoteau uses this opportunity to show us an extensive close-up of every single blasted animal or insect on display. The pay-off for this insufferably long drawn out scene – there is no pay-off! She walks out of the room unmolested. Absolutely nothing happens!
It was at that point I openly rebelled against this useless film and began fast forwarding whenever the action on screen consisted of nothing but people walking around not doing anything, people stripped down to their underwear making sex boring, or nothing was advancing what little there was passing for a plot. Needless to say I got through the rest of it in half the time. Wish I had done so sooner.
Comes up limp on the sexy side, anemic on the horror side, the acting is terrible, the razor thin story is dragged out beyond reason, most of the movie is composed of characters loitering about: what exactly is there about The Brotherhood V: Alumni that I or anyone else is supposed to be entertained by?
Discuss Brotherhood V: The Alumni in our forums!