LOONITIC: THE MOVIE

LOONITIC: THE MOVIE
1 Stars
Year Released: 1999
MPAA Rating: Unrated
Running Time: 77 minutes
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Rob Thrasher is an insane inmate who escapes from an institution after killing a couple of goth punk whatchamacallums for throwing a coke bottle at him. Turns out it wasn’t getting brained with the bottle that bothered him, it was the fact that they were littering. Ecologically conscious Rob is now on a mission orchestrated by his former captors to stop pollution in the local forest. He finds chainsaws to be more effective than strongly worded public service announcements in dealing with campers who don’t give a hoot about pollution. All is well in the forest until one of those pesky Indian curses sets Rob’s former victims against him and thwarts his conscientious attempts to keep neatly buried bodies in the ground.
From the first few moments, in which the disorienting camera careens around the halls of the mental institution and pans wildly about, I’m bracing for some pretty incompetent hand-held camera work. Viewers prone to motion sickness shouldn’t worry, however. Your “bad movie” sickness will get to you long before the shaky-cam does.
The pills that Rob “the slasher” Thrasher is given by his sponsors are formulated to give him superhuman strength, invincibility and regenerative powers. At least there is some attempt here to explain the amazing abilities shared by bogeymen like Jason, Michæl Myers, etc. Unfortunately, for this film the logic ends here. Rob comes across his first victims in a field as they talk about legendary campground killers. Now this is a big open field and the group of campers has a clear fifty-yard field of vision in every direction. Rob, though, has the advantage of quick, in-camera jump cuts and he reaches and dispatches the campers with little difficulty.
This is yet another low budget slasher film in which the director is far more enamored with his gore effects than with his script or his actors. Most of the story and dialog is badly improvised. The painfully long segments filled with incomprehensibly muffled conversations between slashings seem like problematic rehearsals that no one is quite taking seriously. The slasher sequences themselves must have been awfully fun to film considering the big grins on the faces of some of the victims as they are killed.
As the film progresses, director Avery throws good plot devices after bad. The secondary Indian curse story-line that has the victims rising up and going after Rob is clearly just an excuse to have everyone get killed all over again. He wraps up with a fight between Rob and a giant toothy demon. Finally we get to see where the budget went. The larger-than-life demon costume obviously consumed the lion’s share of the money; maybe even thirty or forty dollars.
Overall, one might describe Loonitic as forgettable. Luckily, the end-credit sequence revisits each of the film’s major scenes just in case we forgot how crappy it was.



Posted on August 22, 2000 in Reviews by
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