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Monday, July 2, 2012

Severe Injuries (2003) Horror Comedy

Severe Injuries (2003) - Melvin Hubble (Charlie Fleming) is a very unsuccessful serial killer, in overalls and a welders mask and toting a machete, in the first scene we see him chasing down a woman in the woods. Like in all classic slasher films she falls as he closes in ready to dismember her. Wait though she grabs a stick and attacks, the best defense is a good offense, she is successful in beating him silly and getting away. Melvin downtrodden from his failure has to tell his Dad (Bill Watt) of his failure and wonders aloud if he is suited for mass murder. It is the way of the family explains his father, a family tree full of lunatics but no relatives that were good at becoming mass murderers.  He humorously goes through several of the ancestors and even explains how he failed in his attempt at mass murder. When Melvin hands him the fork his Dad uses to accidentally electrocute himself on the toaster his father is so proud. His son killing him, things are looking up for the family. Now it is up to Melvin to carry on the family tradition of wanting to kill kill kill. You know from these opening scenes that this is a comedy based on slasher films.
It is not a film that will take itself serious and that light hearted direction is what makes this film fun to watch.  Off to the Ro Ro Ro (your boat) sorority for a weekend of partying and maybe murder. Its a Friday night and the girls at this college want to party, Suzie (Robyn Griggs), Tina (Stacey Bartlebaugh-Gmys) and Amber (Jenna Bull-Trombold) invite their guys over for a party. They will even include the older sorority sister Lauren (Amy Lynn Best) in their plans. This weekend they are trying to make their feminist literature Professor (Debbie Rochon is an amusing cameo) proud by following the lead of Lysistrata. Basically not allowing the men in their live to have sex for the weekend. The guys, Ed (Francis Veltri), Steve (Bill Hahner) and Brad (Michael Athey) as well as Ed's brother Neal (Bill Homan) can't be happy to learn that the party is going to turn into a night of popcorn and chick flicks. Of course that's not the only problem for the guys, and the girls for that matter. Stalking them all is Melvin and he is determined to finally be the killer his father always hoped for.
  It is important to point out now before I start talking about what I like and dislike that this is not a good film. It feels more like a bunch of friends getting together to have some fun spoofing slasher films.  I have a dilemma on one hand I really enjoy sort of poor horror if there is personality to it. On the other hand if I recommend a film that fits just my tastes and everyone hates it I lose credibility as the reviewer. So this film will probably have a low score but I thought it was kicks.  The sound quality is poor and the framing is not particularly interesting. The script is a bit juvenile with cartoonish characters and silly comedy.
That said I get a certain enjoyment from this type of film that no normal person should. I like it all, the father talking to Melvin about his less than stellar lunatic family, to Melvin's ridiculous stalking of people on the way to Ro Ro Ro, or the worst thing of all the house mother man dressed in drag playing the old lady. Seeing the "Moron's guide to the Clifford notes of Lysistrata I laughed. My daughter Joy watching with me just rolls her eyes and leaves the room but me I can't wait for the next bit. The twist of the two killers where every time Lauren seems to be making progress with Neal he needs to sneak off for a fresh attempt at a kill is great. Or the bit where one of the girls talks about the sorority's promises during the non-sexual paddling. You see my problem, most of this stuff is cute but not great. There are some intelligent exchanges between Lauren and Holly (Lilith Stabs) but most of the female characters are drawn to be ditsy young college girls. The guys as hormonal clods have just a poor development and really only Neal is even remotely intellectually astute, and he is a killer maniac. I guess if there is one thing that comes out of this film to take away it is the three rules of watching a chick flick with your girl. Even still writer Mike Watt needed to get the rules more defined than they were.
  The competing killers are funny and the idea is a solid one. Melvin probably the first sympathetic serial killer in film finally succeeds in his dreams of mass murder. Once he gets that first kill he really gets rolling too. In the end the house was really much more full of people than first thought as easily 6 additional bodies are shown in the climax even though those characters never existed. When the final girl Lauren finds her way to Holly's room she struggles for survival. Luckily for her her roommate rides her boyfriend in a cowgirl suit and with loaded six shooters. The final two scenes with the indomitable Lloyd Kaufman and Brinke Steven's (in her last shower scene ever?) were a cute addition. So you see I am torn, I really had fun with this film and have a soft spot for really independent no budget horror films. A lot of the ideas although cute are juvenile humor so most people will hate them. The lighting is almost non existent and the sound is poor but the crew seems to be having a good time. Still I think 70 percent of people who view this film will absolutely hate it.
Rating (3.7) 5.0 and up are recommended, some more recommended than others.

1 comment:

  1. I haven't seen this but with horror it's hard to know if it's going to be a crappy movie that's crappy or a crappy horror film that's actually pretty good and entertaining.

    Good review! Swing by my page.