Hello to all those faithfully reading and hopefully enjoying this effort to make even the worst horror movie more watcha... aw, screw that - I'm not that good. If a movie makes you cringe because yet another batch of unlikable teens that are pushing 30 are inching toward their deaths, having a party no one does anywhere ever, a paranormal movie is boring you to tears with unending pans of empty rooms, or thanks to CGI technology when people finally bite it, their blood squirts everywhere except on the victim, the ground, the people next to them... you're in good company and this is the right place for you.

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

OREGON TRAGEDY THAT NEVER HAPPENED - THIS TIME





15: An Exploration Of Human Violence aka 15: Inside The Mind Of A Serial Killer (2011)

There must be dozens of movies that delve into the minds of serial killers. Here's a brief rundown. They are sick, depraved psychopaths, usually intelligent, who care nothing about anyone but themselves. The end. But this story claimed to be in Oregon, specifically in Portland and Happy Valley. Portland is one of the largest cities on the upper west coast, Happy Valley is a small city in Clackamas County, which is southeast of Portland, more toward the city of Gresham.

Dayton Leroy Rogers
Now the Northwest has had its share of serial killers. Crime writer Ann Rule would be out of business if we didn't. So I looked up statistics just for Oregon since this is where this story claims to have taken place. This is our shameful contribution to the whackjob population:
  • Randall "Randy" Woodfield aka The I-5 Bandit, who killed a suspected 18 people from 1979 to 1981
  • Robert Silveria aka The Boxcar Serial Killer, who killed a suspected 34+ people in 1995
  • Dayton Rogers aka Steve the gambler, who killed 6 people from 1983 to 1987
  • Adolf Rode aka Cesar Barone, who killed 5 people from 1980 to 1993
  • Gary Ridgeway, aka Green River Killer, who killed a suspected 60 people from 1982 to 1998
  • Randy Kraft aka Score-Card Killer, who killed a suspected 51 people from 1971 to 1983
  • Keith Jesperson aka Happy Face Killer who killed 8 people from 1990 to 1995
I noticed that these are all from 1970 forward so either they didn't have records before that, or no one had been caught before these examples. This also doesn't cover unsolved crimes, crimes after the 90's, and the fact that several of the above also killed people in other states. Sheesh.

So I mainly watched this uninspired offering just to recognize footage of iconic places around Oregon. This is the basic premise (and total fiction): On April 5th 2011 filmmakers Jack Hamill and Brenda Hill were hired to make a documentary about serial killer Edward Payne. Three weeks later Jack Hamil's partially decomposed remains were found in an abandoned field outside a small town in Oregon. An investigation into the crime led police to a farmhouse on the edge of town. 

Randall Brent Woodfield
What they found there would shake the tight knit community to the core. Nearly a dozen young women were found decomposing in the basement. Stacks of documentary tapes were left on the kitchen table. And the hunt for one of America's most notorious serial killer was set to begin. Witness the birth of a monster with this behind the scenes look into the mind of a killer. And apparently they weren't really proud of their own movie 'cause I couldn't find any pictures.



Whether they're trying to base this on one of the real criminals above, I really doubt it. Most dumped their victims, none kept them in their basements. And it takes the filmmaker an inexcusable 116 minutes to go through this movie that attempt to scare you by combining elements of a psychopath's mind with paranormal activity. Sort of. They try to make this as 'real' as possible and all it does is emphasize that if the crew had a peanut of a brain in between them they'd have run screaming after five minutes.

Cesar Barone
The cameraman, Jack, is only doing this because he's out of work. He answers an ad in Craigslist. Mistake number one. The reporter, Brenda also answered an ad. But Jack finds out that she's already been paid. He nervously brings this up and Edward promises to wire him money immediately. Jack keeps trying to call his wife to see if she got the money but she never answers the phone. Mistake number two. He should have scrambled out of there pronto. But no, we have to sit through while Brenda asks questions, and so does Jack. Edward keeps having hissy fits, going so far as to scream and cry while he tells them that they have to discover why he likes hurting people. Jack keeps trying. Mistake number three and they keep coming.

I'll spare you the loooong moments of supposedly spooky stuff and get to the gist of the thing. I knew right away this was not what it seemed when Brenda 'discovers' the bodies in the basement but doesn't get upset or even seem disturbed - she films everything. Duh.

This is because, of course, Brenda is NOT a reporter - she is Edward's girlfriend. Believe it or not, there are many cases of serial killers carrying out regular relationships, some even have families. When Jack finds this out it is way too late. He wakes to find himself bound to a chair and discovers why his wife never answered the phone. 

She is hung from the ceiling by her wrists as Edward tortures both her and Jack - he finally kills her. Jack screams he wants to die too since Edward took everything away from him. And apparently, according to tape #15 (thus the title) Edward is all too accommodating. Blah.

Great shots of Happy Valley and Portland - I wonder if Powell Books (a VERY familiar place for us Oregonians) appreciated being used as a backdrop for several shots in this movie...