Reel Evil (2012)

Oh, good!  The only thing the sewer of modern cinema is lacking more than remakes of 80s flicks is more “found footage” features. If that alone doesn’t tickle your colon, then get this: the film footage is from a documentary crew… filming behind the scenes footage… for a <take a deep breath and get ready for this> feature film. Now if that isn’t a titillating trifecta of turdiness than I don’t know what is.

Honestly, this movie wasn’t nearly as bad as I thought it would be… after watching the first hour. Seriously, I noted the time the first “spooky” thing happened (or remotely interesting scene, unless you count the tit pinwheel we’re treated to when one of the filmmakers is banging a secretary) and it was at 47 minutes in.

Our characters are lovable enough. We have the head of the three-person film crew, Kennedy (Jessica Morris). She’s hot, smart, and apparently the only one of the three equipped with any balls. Most of the footage is seen through the lens of James (Jeff Adler), who is the mostly reasonable one who occasional blurts out nonsensical shit like, “Oh man, that looks so sketch!” Then there’s Cory (Kaiwi Lyman), aka Secretary Screwer, who is pretty much a skittish Spicoli. Seriously, this dude’s afraid of his own dick.

The set for the movie our documentary divas are working on is an old mental hospital. After taking one of their 4,000 walks they decide to strategically place cameras around the abandoned (except for conveniently placed set lights) halls and morgue. Because ALL mental hospitals have their very own morgue, right? After all, being dead doesn’t necessarily make a person sane.

Once you get through an hour of walking, arguing and chasing after that rascally Kennedy who’s always running off, this movie actually gets decent. Unlike shit like V/H/S and Blair Witch, apparently the footage was filmed digitally so there aren’t any seizure-inducing static scenes. (Don’t yell at me about my jab at V/H/S, I had an epileptic fit long before I could form an opinion about it.) And, also unlike The Blair Witch Bowel Movement, Reel Evil has legitimate shit-your-pants scary scenes.

Oh, the whole time it was a game of Hide and Seek and that douchebag was “it.” Awesome.

But I have a hard time digesting this supposed discovered documentary for these reasons:

#1 – Who the fuck edited it? There are, by my count (and I can’t count, hence why I write) five cameras capturing the carnage here. And if someone took the time to edit it, then

#2 – Why the fuck didn’t they cut out all the damn walking and arguing? That shit was tiresome and made me feel like I was mall walking during a power outage with my ex in-laws. Even the closing credits were drawn out ridiculously long. This movie could’ve (and should’ve) been ten minutes long. Then it would have been epic.

#3 – I’ll overlook the whole “still filming while running for your life” bit, but not being able to get up if your camera breaks? Weak.

There are some moments of unintentional comic relief.. Our documentary crew placed a camera at the end of a haunted  hallway, and a few times we’re treated to the lost crew as well as the director, “Dirk the Dick”, disappearing into one doorway and coming out another as they frantically try to find their way out. It looked like a special episode of Scooby Doo.

Zoinks! 

In my pre-review research (yes, I actually research this shit so I have an educated ass to speak out of) I watched the VideoZone – and no, the irony of watching a behind the scenes documentary about a movie about the making of a behind the scenes documentary was not lost on me. Every cast and crew member interviewed spoke of spooks on the set… which is awfully convenient for a horror movie you’re trying to promote.

The film was made in six days of shooting (five of them dedicated to the arguing scenes) at the empty Linda Vista Community Hospital, which does have a reputation for being haunted. An episode of the paranormal hunting series Ghost Adventures was filmed there, as well as many other movie and television programs such as Outbreak, 1000 Ways to Die, and the ever-terrifying Charm School with Ricki Lake.

Despite its obvious flaws, I found Reel Evil to be an overall enjoyable film. Of course, have you seen the rest of the shit they make me watch??? <shudder> The special effects were well executed, the characters were decent, and there was a potty emergency in the middle of lost-in-the-depths-of-a-haunted-asylum scene. What more could a crappy critic ask for?

As is turdy tradition, I must give away the award for the best quote of the film. And the Poopy Proclamation Prize goes to: <drum roll please> Kennedy!! The winning line: “What did you expect it to look like, a horror movie?”

 

GRADE: B-


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