Saturday, June 30, 2007

Hilarious Sidebar:

When I amble through a video store, I sometimes find myself taking a chance on a no-name, low-budget horror film. Don't ask me why. Lord knows I've been burned, bored out of my mind, and even just plain bizarroed right out of the world by some of the flicks I've picked up. But I've also been pleasantly surprised every now and then. Just look at Undead down there in the sidebar. Bizarre? Yes. Highly entertaining? Absolutely. Intended to be? Heh, probably not.

Then again, there was this one movie about...I dunno...kids trapped eternally in a corn field or some such. It looked like it was filmed by someone's camera phone. Seriously. And all the stuff that was supposed to build dramatic tension? Eye-rollingly hokey. Ho-hum. Don't even remember what it was called, it was so bad. One of the few -- I can count them all on one hand without using all the fingers -- movies that I've turned off before it was over. Yeah.

But tonight, I stopped by Ye Olde Video Shoppe to pick up a couple of flicks -- you know, Lady in the Water, Snakes on a Plane, the usual -- and I came across Heebie Jeebies.

How could I pass that up? I mean, spell it with a G instead of a J and it's my nickname, for cryin out loud.

Now, from the back copy, it looked lame. Pitifully so. But I figured it couldn't be worse than the corn field movie (or was it a hay maze? God, I can't even remember!), so I picked it up with the others and another called An American Haunting, which I haven't watched yet.

Okay, so it's not high art. It has its hokey moments. It has the obligatory jump-out-and-scare-yas. But it's also really funny. No, seriously. Funny as in intended to be funny.

That scene with Dev, the heretofore unknown twin brother, was damn near inspired. I laughed my ass off all the way through it, even as I half-ass rooted for the guy. Absolutely spot-on.

And, while I spent the first half hour or so wondering what the hell any of these flashbacks/dreams had to do with anything, it all really did come together in the end. Or just before it. Everything made sense. I still nearly fell out of the chair laughing, but it was the good kind of laughing. The truly amused and highly enjoying myself kind of laughing.

I dunno who came up with this flick, but hats off to them. Obviously very cheaply made -- and the CGI chaos gods...well...needed work -- but someone put a lot of thought into it. The actors gave it their best. And I think Jeff Lee might actually have a future in acting, even if he has to start out in B horror movies and work his way up to comedy. He's not terribly subtle, but not all roles require subtlety.

So no, not a great movie. But a damn good time, for all that. If you can stomach a lot of cheese with your evening's entertainment, might as well pick this one up. Worse comes to worst, you can always compare it to Wendigo, which -- I have on good authority, as I can't seem to find it anywhere around here -- is perhaps the worst movie ever made. If they still gave out Golden Turkeys -- and God bless and keep Ed Wood and his Plan 9 from Outer Space -- I think that clunker would have gotten one.

This one? Not even in the running. And I mean that in the nicest possible way.

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