RIGHT TO DIE
Reviewed by: Ryan Doom
What's it about
A wife is severly burned in a car wreck, but isn't ready to let her adulterous husband get off scott free.
Is it good movie?
Now anytime the two words Corbin and Bernsen appear attached to a horror flick, I can’t help but pay special attention. Many fond memories – perhaps I should say vague memories – exist of his performances. Perhaps it was Major League. Perhaps L.A. Law. Perhaps, most likely, it comes from his tour de force in The Dentist, a classic B movie if you’ve never partaken. Regardless, when I received a screener for Right to Die, another entry into the Masters of Horror series, it peaked my interest. Out of the ten or so episodes I’ve seen thus far, most have been quite good. And thankfully, director Rob Schmidt (Wrong Turn) continues the tradition. He also continues the tackling of topical issues. Much like John Carpenter’s entry Pro-Life, Right to Die has a rather obvious theme too: the right for someone to die, ala Terry Shiavo.
The story revolves around an adulterous husband named Cliff (Martin Donovan) and his wife Abbey (Julia Anderson), who both survive a nasty car crash that leaves Abbey literally burned alive. While Cliff walked away, she’s left a bloody, crispy tender. The trouble is she just won’t die. Each time she does, things get down right odd for ol’ Cliff. Abbey’s still pissed and not ready to go gently into that that night. She’s out to cause some good old fashion havoc with some good/disturbing sex scenes and making Bernsen magnetic. Oh, did I mention Cliff’s a dentist?
Right to Die works like a ghost story, and a damn good ghost story at that. This is not only scary and gruesome, but it possesses a great B movie feel that few films get right. As for the Bernsen factor, he plays Cliff’s slimy lawyer friend. He’s works here, but I would have liked to see him a bit more unleashed as the secondary villain. Donovan seemed to truly relish the role of Cliff, appearing to love every scene. He’s a great lead who I’d like to see more from.
In the end, there’s not a lot of rhyme or reason behind all the madness, but sometimes, who the hell cares? Sometimes madness is best left unknown. I don’t recall ever seeing a burned body quite like this film. The peeled skin. The white eyes. The charred flesh. Frankly, I’m surprised filmmakers haven’t used this prop more as it’s a great effect. Burned bodies are hard to take. Also, it’s great to see a ghost tale opposite that of anything Hollywood has churned out with lame ghosts who just want to set things right. This isn’t top notch stuff, but it has the right mixture of cheese, gore, and horror to make it master worthy.
Video / Audio
My screener copy didn't list these, but it was widescreen and in Dolby. Sounds and looks great.
No review of these, as the screener comes sans anything fun.
Audio Commentary: Director Rob Schmidt
Burnt Offerings: Making of Right to Die
Right to Die Script
Right to Die has a playful tone despite the dark themes and the obvious gore. It's a great B movie that's worth the price of rental.