Starring Jewel Shepard, R.A. Mihailoff, Ben Kaplan
Directed by Chip Gubera
Dammit, they’re really going to make me do it, aren’t they? With the overwhelming love and adoration for Chip Gubera’s Slasher.com popping up on horror sites all over this big ol’ internet thing, deep down you had to know that I’d shamble in through the saloon doors, ready for a brawl. So here’s my take on this one, and just remember: an opinion is just that, whether yours stinks like a litterbox left out in the summertime heat. Let’s swipe to the right (or is it left) and see what we can do with this one, shall we?
Using the ever-growing online dating app craze as a template, the film opens with a news story about a serial killer who is using one of these apps to arrange dates, then conveniently slaughters the victim without contrition. So what better for two young lovers to do in the wake of such tragedies? Let’s arrange a blind date weekend at a remote inn way out in Jerkwater, USA (precise location unknown). Jack (Kaplan) and Kristy (Morgan Carter) are the two budding lovebirds, and their initial interaction would assume highly that they’re really into each other, so off they go into the great green somewhere, and are greeted by the motel’s slightly-unhinged owners (the lovely Jewel Shepard as Mamma and the intimidating R.A. Mihailoff as Jesse). It’s clear right off the bat that these two aren’t playing with a full deck, and the opportunity for some serious trouble is right around the bend. From Mamma’s hypersexual ways to Jesse’s penchant for toting a serrated machete, I might be going out on a limb to say that these two will not be up for hoteliers of the year.
Any horror fan with a semi-functional brainpan (I’m actually at less than half-level) can see the writing on the wall – what starts off as an awkward love fest will turn into a gory, brutal fight for survival. There will be plenty of violence, blood and breasticles to go around (and the fact that my laptop did NOT feel the need to spell-check “breasticles” is a bit disturbing). In any event, twists and turns do keep the story fresh, but it’s the performances and execution that murder this film with impunity. Shepard does her best to keep the screen moist and foggy with her steamy portrayal as the mentally-bereft Mamma, and Mihailoff does what he does best: slams his way through his scenes with reckless abandon like he’s swinging a 50 lb sledgehammer, but the fault is with our two lovebirds – acting as if they’ve never read lines before. Let’s not even begin to get into the insanely odd facial expressions from Kaplan – it’s a serious fault that strips his character of any believability whatsoever. Aside from more than a few hokey fight scenes (looks as if they were staged by Vince McMahon), the movie for me never really got up and running, and left its best material in the bathtub with Jewel Shepard (you’ll never look at an eating utensil the same way again.) If you’re looking for a break from searching for that perfect psycho on a dating site, then by all means give this one a watch, but if not, feel free to keep on swiping.