Last year, between the two of us, we watched an average of 317 movies.
This year our goal is to top that by watching at least one a day.
And as an extra special torture, we've decided to write about all of them.

01 April 2008

Death Row, dir. Kevin VanHook (2006)

STEVE says:
We should have watched April Fool's Day. Too predictable? I don't know. We actually did watch it last year on this date and were both kind of surprised to find that it was neither as good nor as fun as we'd remembered from our respective wonder years. Which is just mental because even when I saw it in the theater at age 15, I remember thinking that the only good thing about it was the presence of Amy Steele and the use of Three Dog Night's "Mama Told Me Not To Come" on the soundtrack. But memory is a funny thing. It's like Austin O'Malley says: "Memory is a crazy woman that hoards colored rags and throws away food." I don't know what that means.

Someone actually remade April Fool's Day just this year. Also shite, I'm guessing, though I haven't seen it. The synopsis on IMDb leads one to believe that it's one of those trendy "re-imaginings" that basically take the title and an element or two from the original story, then turn around and go a whole other way, and you're left going, "What the hell?" Like the Day of the Dead remake. Clearly just an attempt to cash in on the tenuous link to George Romero. Makes me sick.

I guess I'd better say something about Death Row. You see Keach's name there on the poster, second to Jake Busey? Yeah. I'm not sure what's more insulting: the fact that Keach is given such huge billing and is in reality only in the movie for like five minutes, or that he's listed second to Jake Busey. Rounding out the star-power here is Danny Trejo. He's only got one scene so his name's not on the poster. Lucky bastard.

Death Row is about a gaggle of wanna-be documentary filmmakers who get trapped in a haunted prison with a bunch of diamond thieves and they start getting knocked off by the ghosts of past prisoners because Busey's grandfather was a guard at the prison before he got locked up for, I don't know, something, and - oh who gives a fuck, anyway? A haunted prison? Really? Have we learned nothing from Renny Harlin?

I'm going to try to go hoard some colored rags, throw away some food and forget this movie ever happened.


NIKKI says:
Something made me think this movie might be a kind of In the Line of Duty-type hard-ass thriller with Stacy Keach as a vitriolic prison guard and Jake Busey his small-time crook in need of some rehab. But fantasies are often just that.

Within minutes I knew we'd made a mistake. Twas the acting gave it away, believe it or not. Awesome as Stacy Keach is, even he can't make a reveal of two lopped-off legs anything but comedic. The kids he was talking to were terrible, and you think, not even a Jenna Dewan or a Jonathan Tucker here? It was to be the lowest of low-grade. No plot became remotely discernible in the film's fist act, making it impossible to know who to follow, who's arc to watch for, or basically anything making us care at all about anyone. Except ourselves.

And then it's worse. The ghosts are stupid, the scares are lame, nothing is scary, and Jake Busey plays the whole thing like he's Beavis and/or Butthead, grunting all the way through the thing. And though the horrifying effect of a guy being pushed through a chicken wire fence was gross, it didn't look at all real. I've cut myself numerous times, and I've never found my skin to splurge around like old Spam.

The rest of the effects were just lame. I spent from about 25 minutes in just longing for the end. I was also hoping Steve wouldn't storm out and toss away Between Pictures altogether. He didn't, but, you know, I wouldn't have blamed him.

<--- April Fools! 1/5

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