Friday, October 30, 2009

Horror Fest IV Day Two: Matango and See No Evil

We kicked off Friday with a double dose of not-goodness by watching a one-two punch of Matango: Attack of the Mushroom People and See No Evil. Both were, shall we say, underwhelming.

If there's anything to be gained from Matango, a movie where nothing happens until the 75 minute mark (and the mushroom monster doesn't appear until nearly the 45 minute mark), it's that the producers of Lost may have borrowed from its playbook. Allow me to explain: at first, Matango looks like a Japanese Gilligan's Island, but once their schooner crashes and they land on Dinosaur Island Mushroom Island, they spend the next hour debating how to survive, they find a crashed vessel from long before, and there are flashbacks.

Eventually you see the smoke monster Matango, and people go crazy eating the mushrooms and then (SPOILER ALERT) becoming mushrooms themselves! The one survivor makes it back to Japan and is in an insane asylum. At the very end it turns out he too is turning into a mushroom person. (WHAT A TWIST!)

The only thing See No Evil has that Matango doesn't is more violence in roughly the same running time, but that's not necessarily a good thing. Oh sure, there are some decent kills, and maybe the gimmick of a hulking brute with a hook and chain that steals peoples' eyeballs could work, but not in this movie.

For some odd reason, See No Evil thinks it would be funny to let the characters you like the least live until the end, and everyone else dies. The twist involving a character you can see coming a mile away had most of us saying "well, duh" when they finally got around to the reveal.

I guess WWE Superstar Kane isn't that bad, but since all he has to do is skulk around and drag people, there's not much room to gaffe it up. The direction is a mess: Gregory Dark, a former video and porn director steals liberally from the Saw camera tricks playbook. Alas, if you've seen one speed ramp, ill placed jump cut, and "attached to character" cam, you've seen pretty much all you're going to.

Oh well, things are headed to an upswing next, as we watch Terry O'Quinn in The Stepfather.

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