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.

Friday, March 28, 2014


Stalled (2013) UK

I am slightly claustrophobic. And yet, I keep getting suggestions from friends for movies that take place in very small areas. Like the one where the kids get caught in a sauna because their friend forgot they were in there. That was based on a true story too, except that nobody died in real life. I refused to see the movie where the guy gets stuck between two rocks and cuts his own arm off. 

However, I did see the movie with the three friends who were not so friendly stuck on a chair lift at a closed ski resort. I also watched, even though it took two attempts, the movie about the three friends, again, not so friendly, stuck in an ATM booth.

So when I saw this movie was a zombie movie, and the whole thing takes place in a bathroom stall, I passed it over like 30 or 40 times I swear. But, I was still struggling with the movie Manster and so, in desperation, I watched this instead.

I was surprised. I did not fall asleep or throw up. The man who wrote the screenplay, Dan Palmer, also is the star of the movie. Why do people do that? I mean, unless this is a low budget film, when you have written the thing yourself, I think you're a little too close to the movie to do a good job acting in it. This is the same thing that happened in the previous movie reviewed, Dead Before Dawn.

This is the story of a man known only as W.C. For reasons revealed later, he sneaks into the women's bathroom. He is obviously one of the janitors for an office building. It is apparently Christmas Eve and there is a party going on, but he was not invited. When he hears someone coming, he ducks into the last stall next to the wall and locks the door. 

It is two women from the party. They make jokes about their coworkers, and him, and because it is a party and they are very drunk and because this is a trend in movies nowadays, for no reason whatsoever they start making out. One woman notices that the other has a bite on her shoulder. She explains that she was making out with the pizza delivery guy and he got all what she calls 'rapey'. The two continue to make out until suddenly, the one with the bite attacks the other woman and rips out her neck. Our zombie apocalypse has now begun. And W.C. is still in the woman's bathroom stall. Because that's the movie.

W.C. is a real sad sack of a man. Here he is, on Christmas Eve, in a woman's bathroom, hiding from people because he was not invited to their party - as well as something else we learn later. Well, he's in the party now. The bathroom door opens and we see more zombies wandering in. I started to wonder just how many people they could stuff into this small bathroom and still have room for the camera and sound equipment. But then I just shrugged because I really didn't give a damn.

So if W.C. was not invited, why is he there? We see he has his toolbox which might be useful in fighting the zombies. Unfortunately, it's sitting on the sink. The zombies, whether they hear him or smell him I'm not sure, probably both, start to crawl under the door. One woman gets in far enough that he has no choice but to shove her head in the toilet bowl, and repeatedly slam the seat against the back of her head, eventually caving it in. He then has to move her head, in order to vomit. Oh goody, gore and vomit.

So, since he is making more noise, and making more blood, the zombies are even more eager to try to find a way into his stall. And that's pretty much the movie. But wait, there's a subplot. Why was W.C. there? The answer is in his toolbox. It is full of cash. It seems that this company, in typical company style, has chosen Christmas Eve to fire him. So, he decides to get a little even, by stealing the money the office had been donating in order to give to, uh, whoever British people give money to at Christmas. When I found out, I had my only real laugh - you'll see why.

So even if W.C. somehow manages to get to his toolbox, it will do him absolutely no good. He wonders if he should just let the zombies take him. Suddenly there's a human voice, several stalls away. She identifies herself as a woman who is considered by the others in the office as a real hottie. A lot of the movie is now spent with the two of them interacting with each other, trying to keep their hopes up, and find a way out of the bathroom without dying.

W.C., being a janitor, realizes that there is a crawlspace behind the wall behind the stall. He tells the hottie that he will break through the wall, reach her stall, and rescue them both. She tells him no, she does not want to be rescued. Wanting out of there, and at the same time wanting her, he ignores her, and somehow gets both his toolbox back and into the crawlspace and moves over to where her stall is. He then smashes a hole in the wall.

We now see why the hottie did not want to be rescued. She's not the hottie. She is actually an obese woman. The whole office had been making fun of her so she had gone into the bathroom to cry. The hottie had set her up to be humiliated by saying a cute guy in IT wanted to make out with her. Nice. She knows that no matter how big a hole he makes in the wall, she still cannot fit into the crawlspace. We never see her face, as she refuses to turn around while she talks to W.C. He still tries to convince her to come with him.

When it becomes obvious to her that he will not give up, she decides to make the ultimate sacrifice. She opens her stall door and allows the zombies to take her. Shocked and saddened, W.C. moves through the crawlspace, sees that the whole office is full of the dead and the undead, and prepares to take the elevator.

The doors open - it's the hottie. She's been bitten but is still alive. Knowing now that she's the one who made the girl in the bathroom cry, he tells the hottie the IT guy wants to see her and directs her up to where the zombies are.

We then see that he has returned the money to the collection - this collection seen here in the picture. Screw Unicef or Red Cross! Ha! He then takes the elevator down to the lobby. No one is in sight. He goes outside into the night. Again, there is no one in sight. Apparently in the UK, they still have plenty of phone booths. He goes to the nearest one, closes the door, and calls his mother. 

After cautioning her to lock the doors and close all the windows, he tells her he is coming over for Christmas. As he hangs up, he happens to look around him. There are dozens (or at least as many people as they could afford) of zombies coming toward the phone booth. He says, "I need a toilet."

If they think I'm going to watch another movie with a man trapped in a phone booth instead of a bathroom stall, they're brain-dead. And for me, and hopefully for the world, this movie is over.

I was thoroughly prepared to hate this movie - but I didn't. Perhaps it was the bleakness of a man who has nothing and is now facing a horrific death in a woman's bathroom stall of all places. Maybe it was because of the 'season'. Maybe it was that death wouldn't have changed things for him very much. 

I found the human aspect, especially when he found out he had a fellow 'survivor' in another stall kind of touching. It was a bit short on emotion but still had its moments and wasn't the loser film I was expecting. He's not a hero, he's not brave, he's not even noble. He's just human. Maybe that was the most appealing part of it.

Oh and there's an after-credit scene if you wanna see what happens to Miss Hottie...