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.

Wednesday, May 22, 2013


The Club (1994) Canada

Note: This is one of those movies that, for some reason, you've seen, hated, but somehow get hooked into watching again. This review combines the original with some extra stuff from 6/29/14. We're supposed to believe that this is a Senior High School Prom held in a castle (Casa Loma in Toronto) - you know, the prom that no one has had anywhere ever. I pretty much had this one pegged within the first five minutes and the rest of my review pad was filled by the first half hour. The second time I watched it I had a chance to see some actual good stuff, and some truly awful mistakes and funny goofs.

At midnight, because in Canada, Senior Proms go all night long, time stops and the only ones left are five students, one murderous teacher, and a strange, enigmatic person with sinister intentions.

Since this is made in Canada, we've got some Canadian-born favorites, including Kim Coates, a character actor I'll watch in almost anything, Zack Ward, who from his young debut as the bully in A Christmas Story to his portrayal as a Russian fighter in a Resident Evil: Apocalypse has always been fun to watch. 

A new one (to me) is the man who played John (who was supposed to be Cory Haim but that, uh, apparently didn't work out) by a man who goes alternately by J.H. Wyman and Joel Wyner. He is mostly a producer and writer and all around talented young (well, young to me) man.

So we quickly and briefly meet our five students who will be in the 'private party' for the rest of the evening: Evan and Amy, the goody two shoes couple, Kyle and Laura, the troubled we-should-have-broken-up-months-ago couple, and loner Darren (who was rockin' some really cool wavy hair). Everyone is in some sort of costume, and earrings seem to be a requirement for both men and women in Canada - at least in this movie.

This castle is HUUUUUGE. And real. It's in Toronto as I said and, well, you can see it's gorgeous. So there's plenty of room for our couples to constantly run, duck and hide in. And be stupid. Don't forget the stupid.

The movie? Past stupid into imbecilic - the trap is that John is a demon of the lowest order in this "Club" (having joined when he killed himself in 1983) and his job is to get the five idiots to "join". You can go two ways - murder or suicide. In fact, during the movie some of the characters find a very cobwebby (Mario Bava would have been proud) library with numerous volumes in the basement that show the picture and birth/death date of each idiot - uh, I mean victim.

Although they don't explain why Mr. Carver (Kim Coates) isn't already in the club - he "kills" John at the start and yet keeps appearing sporadically throughout the movie. How come he doesn't go to the books? And do I really care? Now check out this picture - John leaps from the second floor balcony. The railing is decorated (for the prom) and you can see Evan's head to the right...

See this seocnd photo? Evan decides to follow John - problem is, the decorations have disappeared, it's a different balcony, and 'Evan' is clearly watching on the left as the stuntman climbs over to jump (probably the same guy who jumped for John). So now you know. We're going to be watching these kids run around through the place endlessly facing their personal demons (massive duh) as John and Mr. Carver try to urge them to do one or the other. I was personally rooting for John. 

But watching the action wasn't that bad - you even get a bit of swashbuckling as Evan and John cross swords (okay, rapiers) and there is some fancy effects - which they botch spectacularly. And the movie goes downhill from there. In this photo, 'Evan' apparently really enjoyed this as he leans over the railing, script in hand. A closeup of the stuntman's face shows that not only is he NOT Evan, he's clearly also a lot older...

It was good in spots but lost the main theme - wasn't John there to get all five to either kill or suicide? Then why all the chasing and scaring? It didn't make sense and quickly turned a so-so movie into a really terrible movie. Especially when everything rewinds and it's clear the whole scenario is about to play all over again. Blech.