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FRIGHT FLICK
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Reviewed by: Pat Torfe

Directed by: Israel Luna

Starring:
Chad Allen
Richard D. Curtin
Todd Jenkins
Daphne Khoury

Movie:  
star star star star
Extras:  
star star star
Overall:  
star star star star
What's it about

A film crew are working on a film titled 'Fright Flick 3', a glorified B-movie if you ever saw one. When the leading lady of the film turns up brutally murdered during the film shoot, the members of the cast and crew find themselves at the heart of a real-life whodunit, where everyone's a suspect.

Is it good movie?

From the director of TICKED-OFF TRANNIES WITH KNIVES comes FRIGHT FLICK, which in some ways reminds me of SPLATTER MOVIE, which in turn reminds me of URBAN LEGENDS: FINAL CUT. Where am I going with this? I don't know. All I know is that writer/director Israel Luna presents a sometimes humourous send-up to the world of indie slasher flicks with a few twists added to make things interesting.

Obviously, the thing about FRIGHT FLICK that springs to mind is its 'film within a film' gimmick. Yes, it's been done so many times over by so many other films, but that's only part the fun. Israel Luna takes that plot point and makes it into a quasi-murder mystery by having almost everyone involved with the picture have ulterior motives: the screenwriters are hiding a new script from the director who possibly may have swiped a script in the past, a scheming producer, conniving assistants, an eccentric crew, you get the idea. It sets up the whole 'whodunit' thing nicely when folks start dying.

Now about that satire job. The film doesn't stray too far from the slasher norm (despite the previously-mentioned plot items), with the characters and their happened-upon situations being as clichéd as anything you'd expect out of the genre. This would normally scream to be a run-of-the-mill slasher with no sort of ingenuity. Fortunately, the tone of this film prevents this by instead of trying to scare the viewer, we get the satire card. Case in point: the movie opens with a stereotypical bimbo coming out of a shower to discover her boyfriend being devoid of a few pints of blood. Playing up the 'stop goofing around' gag we've seen in other slashers, she asks her corpse of a boyfriend if he's been eating jelly. Suddenly the lightbulb flickers on and she belts out a scream while simultaneously pushing her ample breasts together. It's very tongue-in-cheek.

However, the tongue-in-cheekiness soon wears out when you realize that the regular acting isn't much better. Yes, the cast is obviously having fun with the whole thing, but it seems that their fun gets in the way of really selling the film. It's like the equivalent of winking at the screen every time you make a humourous or clever one-liner. This doesn't make things easier when the film tries to take a serious tone. And while there have been past films that have used the same concepts as this one, you'd at least think that they'd try to do something a bit different or new. Unfortunately, that's not the case. Instead, it's all very derivative. The opening scene reminds me of a similar scene in URBAN LEGENDS: FINAL CUT. It's not the exact same, but it does involve an airheaded bimbo overacting in a slasher film being filmed within a slasher film. Point is, do you want your audience to be reminded of a film like FINAL CUT?

After having seen what FRIGHT FLICK had to offer, I can say that as a fan of the slasher genre, it's a nice attempt to try the send-up to the genre combined with the underused 'film within a film' motif. That said, the film still feels too derivative in spots with an inconsistent cast and script. It's a fire-and-forget film that you might find some enjoyment out of it, but probably will come from saying that you've seen such-and-such a scene before in another film.

Video / Audio

Video: Screener.

Audio: Screener.

The Extras

No extras, though the retail disc will have a blooper reel, deleted scenes, and a behind-the-scenes documentary with it.

Last Call

You can see where Luna was going with this one, but FRIGHT FLICK just comes off as being far too inconsistent to warrant something memorable or entertaining beyond 'I've seen that somewhere before' talk. See it out of curiosity, but don't be surprised if the film feels like it's trying to do something that ends up falling flat.

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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