FALL DOWN DEAD
Reviewed by: Zombie Boy
What's it about
A maniac dubbed The Picasso Killer is hacking up women while thumbing his nose at the police, but he may have bitten off more than he can chew when he sets his sights on scrappy Christie Wallace.
Is it good movie?
Christie is a nice, small-town southern girl taking care of her daughter and dreaming of opening her own business as she serves coffee at a little diner. But that all changes one pre-Christmas night when she stumbles upon a victim of the Picasso Killer, and then literally backs into the murderous fiend himself. One look at Christie and TPK knows he must have her. He chases her down to an office building, where the security guard lets her in and locks the place down. It then becomes a cat and mouse game as the town undergoes a series of blackouts, and TPK strikes down the various workaholics straggling in the building after hours. Can Christie both fend off TPK while simultaneously falling in love with one of the cops sent to her rescue?
The movie starts off wrong right from the get-go. A beautiful brunette being stalked by a homicidal Udo Kier in a parking garage at night should be an exquisite giallo moment, but here it is played for very unintentional laughs. He jumps out of the shadows wearing a silly hat proclaiming “You are mine!” and chases her down to her car, where he managed to rip out her ignition wires even though the car was locked. The director even made it a point to show her unlock the thing with her remote. And then later on he is easily batted away like a pesky fly by Christie, played by the scenery-chewing Dominique Swain, but somehow manages to be everywhere at once, like smoke, inside the building, as he effortlessly slices and dices some business people, the security guard, and a cop. All while spitting out such classic lines as, “Stop shooting at me!” and “Don’t run away!”
And then there is Swain. Jesus Christ, she spends the whole movie running around with her weird, stubby arms, screeching like a rusty hinge. I desperately wanted her to get dead less than halfway through the film, but she is the one damned person that TPK can’t seem to get the jump on. The direction is decent, the stunts are well pulled-off, and the whole affair looks professional enough, but screenwriter Roy Swallows deserves a Razzie Award for this chuckleheaded script. The villain is less than one-dimensional, the heroine is a ridiculous harpy, the cops are either inept or Twilight-type brooding, and there is not a single line of dialogue in the whole film that is the least bit believable. I lasted about 45-minutes, but then I had to start fast-forwarding through the thing, just to keep from swallowing my tongue in boredom.
Video / Audio
Video: Widescreen (1.78:1), enhanced for 16x9 televisions. The colors are slightly muted, but I think that was to make the red blood pop a little more in the gore scenes. Overall the photography and the transfer are pretty decent.
Audio: Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround, so you won’t miss a second of Dominique Swain’s ear-splitting caterwauling. There are also optional Spanish and English SDH subtitles.
This is a pretty bare-bones release, which is not a huge surprise to me. There is only the film's trailer, plus some forced trailers before the disc menu.
Udo Kier and David Carradine being on the cast list might make you want to watch this movie, but learn from my pain and don’t be suckered in. The worst Friday the 13th film exhibits more logic and builds more tension than this lightweight effort. Unless you are stuck in space with your two wise-cracking robot buddies, you can successfully pass on this movie with no interruption to the quality of your life. It took five years for this movie to see a DVD release in the US, even though it was entirely shot in North Carolina, if that tells you anything.