I'll Always Know What You Did Last Summer (DVD)
Starring Sally Ann Brooks, K.C. Clyde, Torrey DeVitto, Ben Easter, Star LaPoint, and Don Shanks
Directed by Sylvain White
Distributed by Sony Pictures Home Entertainment
There's nothing more pleasant than having a chance to see annoying people getting hacked to pieces before your very eyes. Horror fans are usually frowned upon by society as a whole for diggin' on the shit that we do, so our little cinematic refuges do a lot to keep us from kicking the asses of annoying snobs. If there's one thing that the I Know What You Did Last Summer franchise has given us, it's PLENTY of annoying characters. You remember them, don't you? No? Here's a reminder -- Jack Black playing a white Rastafarian in part 2! Oh the horrific flashbacks! Die! They must all die! *ahem* Yep, there's no doubt, I STILL Know What You Did Last Summer was one of the most wretched films in slasher history. It looked as if the old hook wielding fisherman was down for the count after that one, but guess what?!
Taking a page from the Urban Legend films, I'll Always Know What You Did Last Summer focuses on a prank gone awry. A group of teens thought it'd be pretty funny to exploit the legend of the killer fisherman at their local Fourth of July bash, so one of them dresses up as the old Hooker and pretends to stalk his friends. Being that this is a horror film, of course you know that this ends in bloodshed and death. YAY! Freaked out by their fun-gone-bad, they make a pact with each other to never reveal the truth. A year passes, and all of a sudden someone sees fit to remind them of their deeds in the most violent of ways.
I'll make no bones about it; I HATED the first two films in this franchise. Well, the first one was OK, but the second? I'm still using that DVD as a coaster. When word came around that a third was in the works, I rolled my eyes, said a prayer, and vowed not to see it. But then a bit of news caught my eye. The Fisherman was back, and this time he was...*insert dramatic music here*...a zombie. Not only that, but Don (Halloween 5) Shanks was now playing him. That's it! They did it! They conjured a reason for me to sit through this latest entry.
Truth be told, I'll Always Know What You Did Last Summer is actually pretty watchable. Without question it's the best in the series, but considering the fact that the two previous movies -- for the most part -- sucked, is that really saying much? I'm not sure. For a direct-to-video sequel, it's fairly impressive. The film itself has an artsy kind of grainy look to it, and the direction is pretty slick. The gore could have used a bit of work, but hey, sadly the I Know flicks were barely R-rated to begin with, so you can kind of look past all that. One thing that is way unforgivable though is the masturbatory editing. It's one of those "Look how many quick cuts I can make" fests that test your coherency. This technique is quickly becoming as tiresome as the whole hot young cast thing. OK, you went to editing school. We get it.
Frantic cuts aside, the real star here is The Fisherman. Shanks turns in one hell of an unstoppable force type performance hearkening back to his days of playing The Shape. The character is all business and totally badass. He will keep you watching this film despite its mediocrity. And then it happens: the big reveal of the zombie fisherman's face. The guys at Optic Nerve did a bang-up job on his make-up, but sadly, you only get to see it for less than ten seconds. Boo! Hiss! We want more! Note to the Filmmakers: If you have a pretty cool looking creature, SHOW IT OFF a bit. Give us our money's worth, and let the people whose hard work created it shine, man.
If there's a fourth film, providing Shanks is back, I'll give it another shot. His portrayal and the look of the character (pardon the really bad pun) have me hooked.
On the supplemental material side of the fence, we also get a rather average package. Not surprising considering this is a film no one asked for. Included is your standard behind-the-scenes featurette in which we finally get a good look at The Fisherman as well as interviews and peeks at some of the films F/X. Other than that, there's a manic commentary with the film's director that is almost exhausting to sit through. This guy has a lot to say, and he's very proud of his work. Considering he managed to breathe at least some life into this deader than a doornail franchise, I'd say that he should be.
But should you give this baby a chance? If you're willing to throw all caution and logic to the wind, I'd say yeah. It's never explained how The Fisherman got his power, how he travels, or why he's back; but honestly, I didn't care. It was semi-entertaining, and for me that's all that mattered. Let me be clear. I'll Always Know What You Did Last Summer is by no means a good film. It's just kind of there. You watch it, it kills time, you have some fun, it ends, and you forget it. That's the long and short of it, folks.
2 1/2 out of 5