Reviewed by The Foywonder
Starring Jillian Murray, Clare Grant, Bill Moseley, Tony Todd, Amanda Wyss, Shane Stevens
Directed by Brian Pulido
I was a fan of Brian Pulido’s Chaos Comics work back in my younger comic book days. I loved Evil Ernie (at first) and enjoyed the Lady Death character until they fully transformed her into a hellish version of Xena, Warrior Princess. Heck, I even bought a few of those terrible WWE comic books they put out. I eventually lost interest with Chaos when it finally became impossible to ignore how terrible the writing had fully become. From entertaining fluff to pointless drivel.
Pulido’s feature filmmaking debut, The Graves, fancies itself entertaining fluff, but, alas, I am afraid pointless drivel is all it amounts to. Pulido has given us creative junk food for the soul about angry teenage zombies, big-breasted female hell warriors, and other assorted Hot Topic-worthy dark lunacy so when he finally makes a movie, is it wrong of me to be disappointed that the best he could come up with turns out to be third-rate wannabe Rob Zombie rubbish with Bill Moseley wearing a pig nose chasing two hot girls around the Arizona desert?
Sisters Abby and Megan Graves (Jillian Murray and Clare Grant, respectively) are looking for one last adventure before Megan moves to New York City for her new job. Actresses Murray and Grant breathe enough plucky gusto into the Graves sisters to make you wish they were starring in a better film where their performances didn’t go to waste.
Before heading out into the Arizona desert in search of the world’s largest thermometer, the sisters shoot some video at a rock concert and hang out in a comic shop where they take turns putting over their love of Chaos Comics. Really?
The Graves girls ride off into the desert to check out the touristy thermometer, but bad directions lead them into a far more dangerous tourist trap, Skull City, home to a family of demonic psychopaths. Or is there another reason for their madness? Either way, the sign into Skull City should have read ABANDON ALL INTEREST YE WHO ENTER HERE.
The After Dark Horrorfest has been lowering the quality bar with each passing year. With The Graves the “8 Films to Die For” may have finally hit rock bottom. If you listened to the Dinner For Fiends we recorded after the second annual Horrorfest, you may recall I famously ragged on the awfulness of Lake Dead, repeatedly reiterating my disbelief that such a film was actually given any sort of a theatrical release. I realize now I spoke about two years too soon. The Graves looks precisely like the cheap horror drek Lionsgate used to release to DVD on a monthly basis as of three years ago, and I dare say Lake Dead was a more polished production, too.
Walking. Stalking. Slow speed foot chases. Psycho redneck speechifying. None of it amounts to much of anything, and getting to the payoff proves not worth the ride. Never a good sign when the opening credits are the best part of a movie. Not even the sight of Bill Moseley in a pig nose mask or witnessing Tony Todd overacting like he’s never overacted before or marveling at a character dying seconds after being stabbed in the thigh can salvage The Graves even on the level of enjoyably bad cinema. Sometimes bad is just bad.
1 out of 5
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