I’m a big fan of William Wesley’s first feature
“Scarecrows”. Taking into account that the man hasn’t directed
“jack all” since then (1988), I was expecting a lot out of this one.
Did it live up to my expectations?
"Route 666" starts off with
an original premise and a groovy shootout sequence but unfortunately it
never reaches its full potential. You would think that a film featuring
dead convicts offing people with construction equipment would
generate some kind of tension. WRONG! I didn’t feel shit. I do applaud
Wesley for shooting all of the stalk sequences in the day though. Quite a
ballsy move (and cost-effective in terms of lighting) but his knack of
shaking the camera like an epileptic on cocaine every time the ghosts came
into play, murdered any potential for suspense and just gave me
a splitting headache instead.
Script-wise, the flick had me
half the time. The corrupt lawmen are pretty amusing. One drinks like an
Irish man on a binge, two other ones like to play “doctor” in the
backseat of the van instead of doing their jobs and there’s even an
unnecessary fistfight that surfaces between two agents for no other reason
than to give us a kool fisticuffs sequence. MY KIND OF AGENTS! The dialogue is
pretty hip (maybe a bit too hip) with references to that alcoholic tramp
Farrah Fawcett and “The X-Files”. Also, 80 percent of the jargon
that comes out of Steven “motor mouth” Williams’ trap is pretty damn
funny. The dude cracked my ass up!
On a negative note, did we
really need that token “Indian” sequence? All he did was ramble on, be
vague and slow the movie down. And what wuz up with all of the subplots? It
almost felt like a failed attempt at a horror version of “Pulp
Fiction”. Should’ve kept it simpler. And why weren’t the Feds
slightly impressed or scared for that matter when it came to the “chain
gang” ghosts? If I ‘d been there, I would’ve hightailed my ass out
of there. Fuck sightseeing at a cemetery. I’m O-U-T, OUT!
In the end,
"Route 666" is filled with plot holes
(Williams survives two attacks handcuffed to a car…come on!), isn’t
scary for shit, is sometimes very silly (that whole father angle and the
way the film’s main villain buys it) but it's still somewhat
entertaining. I was never really bored while watching the flick; I liked
the basic idea, enjoyed some of the action sequences, loved Steven
Williams, appreciated the “different” looking un-dead and laughed a
few times (sometimes for the wrong reasons). You can do better than this B-slice of pie but you can also do way
worse (think "Children Of The Living
Dead"). Hop on this road????