2/16/09

The Grab Bag: The Washingtonians (2007)

Before we get started today I'd just like to thank Mike and Sam over at the Cadaver Lab Podcast. Mike wrote up a very nice article about The Lair as part of their "Friends of the Show" series. I really appreciate them taking the time to do that. After all they run one of my favorite horror podcasts. If anyone is not listening to these guys, then get off your tail and subscribe via their site or on iTunes. Next week's show should be of special interest to Lair-ers about as it will focus on the movies of Lucio Fulci. So check out the Cadaver Lab, and don't forget to
 Love Your Junk!

Hello folks. I hope everyone had a nice weekend and a good Valentine's Day, but today is a whole new holiday. It's Presidents Day, and while the day is primarily known for sales and being a postal holiday, I thought there had to be some better way to celebrate it. Well, what better way could there be than to look at a little flick that celebrates our founding father as a crazed cannibalistic monster? So that's what you're going to get when one family finds out the secret of....
The Washingtonians (2007) starring Johnathon Schaech, Venus Turzo, Myron Natwick, Julia Tortolano, and Saul Rubinek. Directed by Peter Medak.

Mike Franks (Schaech), his wife Pam (Turzo), and easily frightened daughter Amy (Tortolano) arrive at Mike's Grandmother's house to attend her funeral and settle her estate.  They are met by her lawyer Samuel Madison III, and arrangements are made to sign the necessary paperwork after the funeral. The family begins to explore the house, and Amy wanders into the basement where she thinks she sees a man. When Mike investigates, it turns out to be nothing more than an old portrait of George Washington. 

After the funeral, as Mike begins to pick though the old things in the basement, he comes across a parchment stuck into the back of the painting as well as a fork that appears to be made of bone. The note details the author's desire to dine on the flesh of babies, and it is signed "G.W.". Mike shows the letter to Samuel who begins to act very strangely. The family begins to notice that the whole town seems to be keeping a secret, and after a robbery where the fork comes up missing, they leave town. Once they are back home, they assume they are safe, but in the night they begin to have visits from men dressed in revolutionary war uniforms demanding the letter. With no place else to turn, Mike calls history professor Hawkinson (Rubick) and though him learns of the cannibal cult known as The Washingtonians. 

Film Facts

--Director Peter Medak helmed the George C. Scott film The Changeling.

As Presidents Day is also George Washington's birthday, I will devote the last few facts to strange things from our first president's life. 

--As a farmer, he is credited with introducing the Mule to America.

--Washington's favorite foods were Pineapple and Brazil nuts. John Adams believed that cracking nuts with his teeth is how George lost all his.

--And speaking of his teeth, he had only one left when elected to be president. He had two sets of ill fitting dentures one made of cow teeth and the other fashioned of ivory, but not a wooden set as widely believed.


The Bug Speaks

I have seen very few Masters of Horror episodes, and I know there are few really good ones out there. I usually just drop one in when something about it really appeals to me, and I suppose a film where the Father of Our Country is recast as a homicidal cannibal appeals to me. Take that to mean whatever you want about me. 

That being said, I had a pretty good time watching this little flick. If it had been any longer than the 56 minute running time, it would have overstayed it's welcome. As it was I found the directing, acting, and scripting basically adequate. That's really the problem I'm having here. There was nothing in it that really jumped out as good or bad. It just was.I did enjoy seeing character actor Saul Rubinek show up. I have been a fan of his ever since I saw him in True Romance, and anytime he pops up in a film, I am a happy man.

I'm going to cut this review a good bit shorter than usual. Since this is a short feature, there's really not that much to say about it. If you get a chuckle, like I did, out of the concept, then you will probably find it an Okay watch. If you've ever wanted to see bands of marauding cannibal revolutionary war re-enactors , then this is going to hit the spot. If you're looking for something better than average, then look somewhere else. 

Bug Rating

No trailer, but I did find a clip. As luck would have it, it's possibly the best moment in the film and it's Saul's big scene. Check it out.

3 comments:

  1. I love Saul Rubinek in Unforgiven.

    This sounds damn interesting, and that picture of the Bush-bill is horror beyond compare. It has to be better than those two National Treasure monstrosities as far as restoring our Founding Fathers with some dignity. You know, like cannibalism.

    This also sounds a bit like the weird cannibal-cult short-story "The Price of Wiggins Orgy" that Algernon Blackwood wrote.

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  2. I will have to look into that short story, from the title alone it sounds interesting. Making National Treasure films should be a crime that should be punishable like treason.

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  3. You can read "The Price of Wiggnins's Orgy" for free here. (Ah, public domain!) It's worth it--a classic "innocent guy accidentally says a codeword" gets pulled into a secret society. With unpleasant culinary habits.

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