Year Released: 2002
MPAA Rating: Unrated
Running Time: 86 minutes
Click to Expand Credits:
Man, they should have just made an entire hour-and-a-half film on the fans that are found at conventions like Comic-Con instead of this. The reason I say this is because director/writer/producer Tatiana Bliss and friends make it one of the only bright spots in this tough-to-get-through comedy. Example:
Jason Alves (Nipper Knapp) and his friends are at a convention, waiting for B-movie horror actress Dana Lewis (Liz Lavoie) to make an appearance. Lewis isn’t happy at all with her current repertoire and wishes to do more than play sexy, just-waiting-to-be-slashed cheerleaders. She wants the better roles, dammit! The roles with feeling and all of the mushy crap that doesn’t belong when there’s blood flowing. After all, that’s not what the geeking-like-crazy fans of Freddy, or Jason, or both are going to be lining up for once the matchup between those two is released. Jason and his buds, Mike and Freddy (starting to get it?) are dressed up as Freddy Kruger, Jason Voorhees, and Mike Myers, though mainly in facemasks. Dana makes her appearance and Jason really wants her to take a look at his script, “High Desert Psycho Killer” with the intent for her to star in it. She waves him off with the usual, “send it to my agent” line and that’s that for the time being. The best part of this whole sequence is the fans gathered around the “King Pictures” table, waiting for Dana. These guys are pretty fucking cool! Sure some of them are overweight and what not, but you can really sense their enthusiasm.
Later on, Buddy King (Steve Paymer) fires Dana because she’s getting too old for the parts she’s playing. He sees that a new face is needed and someone’s already in line for Dana’s job, some bimbo-in-the-making named Cherry Red (Holly Beavon). Dana goes to her agent and begs him to reveal where an audition is being held for director Richard Newman (Paul Hannum), who’s looking for a leading lady for his latest picture, a dramatic one that appears to be right up Dana’s alley. The agent gives her the information, but not before he gets a handjob from her. She goes to the audition, dressed in a bikini top (per what her agent said that she should wear), and doesn’t impress Newman in the slightest. Things seem hopeless until she gets a call from her agent, who tells her that she got the lead role in an independent film. The director is Jason and the movie….is “High Desert Psycho Killer”. The evening before the first day on the set, Dana drinks so much liquor that she conks out. When Jason comes to pick her up, he finds that he has to shove the unconscious actress into his car so they can get to the set.
When Dana sees where she ends up, she’s not happy in the least. She wants out and calls her agent to tell him just that, but he can’t do a thing because she signed a contract for the movie and if she doesn’t abide by the contract, Jason can sue.
Now, why is it that the desert seems to always breed strange characters when it comes to movies? I’m certainly not complaining about the idea, but about what kind of people are found here. There’s Bill Alves (Sam Bologna), Jason’s father, who’s “shell-shocked” from Nam and has a blow-up doll,Rosalinda, as a constant companion. Amy and Kyle (Thomas Patrick Kelly and Amy Boosinger) live in a trailer, and are drug manufacturers. They provide a not-so-funny plot point where the production is in trouble due to warped digital tapes and scenes need to be re-shot. There’s yet another militia guy who doesn’t trust the government, but loves his guns. And there are chickens in Dana’s trailer. But they belong there, because that’s the chicken coop.
We’ve got the making-of-a-movie-within-a-movie, a band of misfits, and a predictable storyline that you’ll end up getting once she decides to start performing her role and phones it in right from the beginning, until certain events change her. And the beat goes on with this one. The only time this film reaches some hilarity is during the credits where we find out what happened to everyone involved in the making of “High Desert Psycho Killer”. That’s the only time the film finds itself being slightly witty.
There’s not much fun to be had here, though any film that takes a brief trip into a video store gets slight kudos from me. It ain’t Blockbuster, so it’s even better. But that’s no excuse for an inept script and some shoddy direction, given the dedication that seems to be given by the cast. They try, oh they sure try, but they fail.
Posted on July 27, 2003 in Reviews by Rory L. Aronsky
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