HORROR DVD/BLU-RAY REVIEWS

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DISMAL
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Reviewed by: Andre Manseau

Directed by: Gary King

Starring:
Lydia Chandler
Tim Morris
Bill Oberst Jr.
Jack Harrison
Capel Kane

Movie:  
star star star star
Extras:  
star star star star
Overall:  
star star star star
What's it about
A chick sucks at biology so she takes an 'extra credit' field trip to (yes, seriously) the Great Dismal Swamp. Of course, her and her stupid fellow students have wandered into cannibal-family-hunter land and they want to eat them.
Is it good movie?
You've seen this sort of flick before, and you've seen it done far better. I know that I can be a wet blanket sometimes, but I don't want to be the guy whose review you read and say 'Well, Manseau said it was good, I'm never trusting him again'. Sorry guys, if a movie isn't very good, it just isn't very good- even by horror standards.

There's some decently okay stuff in this movie. It's shot well, and looks pretty good, featuring some neat time-lapse stuff that polished the flick a bit. Also Bill Oberst plays Dale, the twisted and evil park ranger patriarch of the family and he's the best part of the film. He's the most talented and chews the scenery delightfully, much to my pleasure. The rest of the cast is trying too, and there's definitely evidence of a good director here but it just isn't enough.

Other than that, this movie is a mishmash of borrowed ideas from movies you've seen before, from stuff like Deliverance, Wrong Turn and Texas Chainsaw Massacre, even a bit of House of 1000 Corpses can be found here. You've got your group full of stereotypes and they start getting offed after they're told that there's nothing wrong with a dead alligator that the crew found half dressed.

On one hand, as I mentioned before, the film looks great, has good production design and some awesome practical effects. There are some hot girls to be seen too. On the other hand, the CGI effects are unbearably awful. Really, really bad. The kills can be pretty hit and miss, and that's where the bad CGI comes in. These scenes can be absolutely hilarious to see, like a shotgun blast as well as a neck wound that looks truly brutal.

Ultimately, this movie is a disappointment and I don't recommend it, unless you feel the need to see every 'old-school' slasher movie out there. It has all of the things you'd find on a typical slasher checklist, but many of them leave you feeling flat.
Video / Audio
Video is presented in 1.85:1 anamorphic widescreen and looks great, crisp and clear.

Audio comes sadly in 2.0 surround and isn't overly impressive.
The Extras
Trailers for other Cinema Epoch titles, and that's it.
Last Call
This movie just felt derivative and way too familiar. It reminded me a bit of Hatchet, if Hatchet sucked. There are some bad effects, although some are okay. The movie looks nice, and there's a cast trying hard but it just wasn't enough for me to come close to recommending it.
ARROW IN THE HEAD'S RATING SYSTEM
star star star star I'D BUTCHER MY FAMILY TO SEE THIS AGAIN
star star star HANG ME BUT I DUG IT A LOT
star star AN OK WAY TO KILL TWO HOURS
star JUST SLING AN ARROW IN MY HEAD AND LET ME DIE IN PEACE

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