11/26/10

Deadly Doll’s Choice (Live and In Person Version): Cut (2000)

This past Horrorhound Weekend yielded many things. I met a ton of new friends, met the fabulous Jill Scholen, got called “one sick mother” by Malcolm McDowell, and pretty much had one of the best weekends ever. It also allowed me and my blogging cohort Emily from The Deadly Doll’s House of Horror Nonsense to do our monthly swap of films for review in person, and we even got pictures to prove it. Coming from South Carolina (via a purchase at Papa Jazz in Colombia a couple of years back), I brought Ms. Emily the flick Bone Sickness. It had sat unwatched for a couple of years and not even the blurb from Uncle Creepy could convince me to check it out. From the Bronx, She brought to me (clad in the case for bizarre Russian cartoon Ax, Aioaioka!) the Australian slasher comedy Cut starring Molly Ringwald. When I sat down to watch, I expected something of a Scream clone and I wasn‘t wrong, but Cut actually took some turns to distinguish itself from similar movies like Final Stab (2001) and Hack! (2007).

Back in the ‘80’s actress Vanessa Turnbill (Molly Ringwald) was set to star in the slasher film Hot Blooded, but when the actor who played the film’s killer Scar Man went crazy and killed the director (Kylie Minogue); Vanessa was the one that stopped him. As the years went by, the unfinished film became the subject of rumors and many began to believe it was cursed. This doesn’t dissuade film students Raffy (Jessica Napier) and Hester (Sarah Kants) from trying to complete the movie despite the protestations of Professor Lossman (Geoff Revell) who was a production assistant on the ill fated feature. Luring Turnbill back with the allure of publicity for her vanishing career, the crew set out to finish the film, but someone is out to finish them first.

Without being too spoilery, I want to go ahead and get into where Cut scored for me. I expected the film to follow the formula set down in Craven’s film, but when I expected it to zig, it zagged veering the film into the deeply unexpected area of the supernatural slasher. I hesitate to say more than that and still keep the film’s essential twist under wraps, but suffice it to say I was surprised with how the film delivered. Australian director Kimble Rendall made his feature debut with Cut in 200, but since then he’s gotten work as a second unit director on such high profile films as The Matrix Reloaded, I, Robot, and Knowing. He is currently working on the film Bait set for release in 2011. It stars Julian McMahon (Nip/Tuck, Fantastic Four) as one of the survivors of a tsunami trapped in a supermarket and fending off tiger sharks. Needless to say, you can go ahead and sign me up for that one as well. While the film isn’t flashy or all that visually clever, Rendall pulls off a few nice tricks, and the last few frames of the film should garner his eye kudos is nothing else.

As far as acting goes, this is where I was really surprised. Apart from Ms. Ringwald who effectively hams it up as the preening, washed up has been who never really was, the film is packed to the brim with stars of Australian film and television. Jessica Napier is well known from several Aussie TV shows such as McLeod’s Daughters, Wildside, and The Alice, and the deeper you look into the cast the more times the ubiquitous down under soap Neighbors pops up. Kylie Minogue’s cameo appearance is brief, but it will please both fans of the singer and those who wish she’d never sing another note. There was a general quality to the acting that I enjoyed, and it all served screenwriter Dave Warner’s script to life. As an added note, Dave Warner was once is Aussie pub band From the Suburbs which gained a cult following and compliments from Bob Dylan. He has since continued to write both for Australian TV as well as penning a number of crime and Australian Rules football books.

To compliment the solid acting and clever screenwriting, Cut features some really solid effects thanks to special effects work by Katherine Brown (Ghost Rider, Star Wars: Revenge of the Sith) and Paul Katte (The Matrix, Man-Thing). Their creative effects really sold the execution of a number of clever kills that well balanced the film’s comedic tone without resorting to slapstick notions. So over the man miles this DVD has traveled from North to South, it has ended up being an appreciated title which surely will only get better on repeated viewings. I can’t thank Emily enough for getting this title to me, but I wonder if Emily will feel the same about her film. Head on over to The Deadly Doll’s to see if she got down with the Sickness, the Bone Sickness that is.

Bugg Rating

1 comment:

  1. So glad you enjoyed it Zach! The most memorable part for me was Molly Ringwald's bitchiness, but it is a much better than it had to be little treat. And holy hot sauce, tiger sharks in a supermarket??? That made my day!

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