Sunday, August 29, 2010

'HorrorVision' is not worth looking at

HorrorVision (2001)
Starring: Jake Leonard, James Black, Maggie Rose Fleck, Brinke Stevens, and Chuck Williams
Director: Danny Draven
Producers: J.R. Bookwalter and Charles Band
Rating: Three of Ten Stars

After his girl friend (Fleck) and business partner (Stevens) mysteriously vanish after viewing the HorrorVision website, Dez (Leonard) finds himself locked drawn into a battle against a mysterious entity that has been born from the collective negativity on the vast expanse of internet and other digital media.

"HorrorVision" is yet another Full Moon movie with a great idea at its core, but which is killed by a combination of lousy execution and bad acting. While it's more inventive than some of the other Full Moon/Tempe Entertainment, it's still far below the best of what Charles Band brought us in the 1990s, and not even up to the level of J.R. Bookwalter in the 1990s. (Which reminds me... one of these days, I really need to get around to watching "Kingdom of Vampires.")

This movie might more properly be featured at Movies You Should Die Before You See, but the idea of all the negativity, vitriol, and hatred being put forward on the internet coalescing into a self-aware being bent on humanity's destruction is worth a ratings point all by itself. The Obi-Wan Kenobi-like character (amusingly named Bradbury, twice as amusing ten years later now that Ray Bradbury has expressed a dislike for the internet and the web) who teaches Dez about the emerging threat and how to fight also helps life my opinion of the film, especially since he is being portrayed by the best actor in the film, James Black. Not that I can be too hard on any of the actors featured... I think they all probably did the best with the awful lines they were called upon to deliver, and star Jake Leonard probably also did his best with his hollow, badly conceived and even worse developed character of Dez. (We never get to understand Dez... we're told he wants to be a scriptwriter whose talent has been sapped away by his involvement with creating made-to-order pornography, but we're really made to believe that he has any talent except for being a moron.)

However, what really ruins this movie is the excessive padding--you'll rarely see more pointless driving scenes set to third-rate metal music than you will in this movie; the fact that it features techno-horror monsters that required special effects beyond the film's meager budget to fully bring to life--although I give director Danny Dravin and his crew a tip o' the hat for almost pulling it off... the bizarre creature that materializes in the desert was very well done, considering; and the fact that this is yet another imcomplete Full Moon film that is completely lacking a third act.

Yes. Dez is stranded in the desert, the world is descending into cyber-induced destruction, and our hero is still pretty clueless as to how to effectively fight back. And that's where the movie ends. After a run-time that's barely over 70 minutes--including long credit sequences and lots of padding--the film ends with no major plot threads resolved and only one subplot done with. It's annoying and unforgiveable that the hope of a sequel loomed so large in the minds of Band and Bookwalter that they'd foist such a half-finished effort on the public. (Of course, with Charles Band, it's not a mistake but an unfortunate pattern that continues to this day. Look for the "Where's the Ending?" tag on this blog to see just how many films he's produced that have this particular obnoxious flaw.

The good news is that you can see just about everything that's cool about "Horrorvision" in the preview below. After watching it, there is no need to seek out the movie, unless you're a guy with a blog devoted to reviewing Charles Band productions.

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Thanks for sharing your opinion. I love seeing what fellow fans have to say!