ARROW IN THE HEAD REVIEWS

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Cherry Falls (2000)
Written by: The Arrow
Director: Geoffrey Wright

Starring:
Brittany Murphy/Jody
Michael Biehn/Brent
Gabriel Mann/Kenny
Jay Mohr/Leonard
PLOT-CRUNCH
In the small town of Cherry Falls (great name) a psycho killer is slaughtering virgin teens. When the local high school kids find out the killer’s MO, they decide to throw a gangbang to save their lives. High school was never this fun!!!
THE LOWDOWN
This is a first!!! A slasher flick where the slutty ones survive and the goody goody bite it!!! Yippee!!! I’ve been waiting a long time for this puppy. The bad news is: after its one on one battle with the big bad censors, the end product is softer than what I expected. The good news is: even without the extreme gore and abundant teen flesh that the movie was supposed to have, it still comes through like a lap dance on a Monday morning.

If Twin Peaks and Scream were to have sex, Cherry Falls would be its adorable bastard child. I loved the small town vibe with its odd characters and its skeletons in the closet. Something off's in this town. Even the sexuality is a tad out there. Is it me or were the mom and Jody’s boyfriend flirting? And why was the mom always pecking her daughter on the mouth? And didn't the dad seem to get a little "too close for comfort" to his own daughter at one point? There’s a taboo sexual energy floating about in this flick. Toe sucking never looked this appealing!

I also loved the mystery (wassup with the Sheriff?), the hip dialogue (my fav is when one dude calls another dude a butt pirate) and adored the tense filled stalk sequences (I spilled my beer all over my crotch when the first chase scene popped up). This movie also has a great sense of humor (loved the slut’s monologue to the virgins) and a bad ass mean streak (this killer doesn’t f**k around). One second you're laughing and the next you’re on the edge of your seat…way groovy.

It’s also refreshing to see a slasher flick that doesn’t follow the "Scream" mold to the letter. Yes, many elements are familiar but the overall product feels different. First off, the killer here is scary (Ghostface wuz kind of tame looking). He/she is even scarier when his/her identity is revealed. This person is f**cking whacked out! What a great performance. I also appreciated that unlike all the Scream imitators, this killer doesn’t go on a monologue spree to explain his/her motive. Here we’re treated to somber flashbacks and one hell of a tense moment. The killer’s motive itself is a credible one and once all the pieces of the puzzle are out on the table, it makes for an even more messed up movie. The last twenty minutes of this flick had me grinning with delight from ear to ear. Fun shite!

The teens all look and feel real (except for Ken…see ACTING). The way the kids react to the death of one of their classmates echoes reality. Lots of us are desensitized little shits and it actually made me think to what I would say if I learned that one of my own compadres was hacked to bits (I’d probably crack an off-color joke too). The film addresses relevant and serious issues (peer pressure and loss of virginity are two more) but always has its tongue planted deep in…you pick where.

The film’s major flaw has to be the whodunit. Anybody that graduated "SLASHER MOVIES 101" won’t have too hard of a time figuring out who the murderer is. They didn’t cover it up too well. I also didn’t like the way the killer died. Way too easy for such a mean mutha.

But even with its flaws, I still fell hard for Cherry Falls. It entertained me big time, gave me my Michael Biehn fix of the month and had me smiling from frame one. It doesn’t reinvent the wheel but it delivers familiar elements in a funny, twisted and non-mainstream way. Wanna see a killer crash a teen sex party? You bet you do. Pop this!
GORE
Most of the actual slicing and dicing is done off screen (censors) but the savage nature of the killings make them work. This killer puts Freddy Krueger to shame. You will see red.
ACTING
Brittany Murphy (Jody) actually looks and acts like a normal teenage girl. She out puppy eyes Neve Campbell and has charisma to boot. I dug her lots. It’s always a pleasure to see Michael Biehn (Brent) in a good movie, I love the man and hope he keeps on taking good roles like this one, Biehn is on the money here. Was the director high when he cast Gabriel Mann (Kenny)? Not only does he look like a thirty-year-old smack addict but he also can’t act for shite. Sorry dude, nice try though. Jay Mohr (Leonard) does very well with his small role. Give this guy more stuff! Candy Clark (Mandy) gives an odd but very interesting performance. Michael Weston (Ben) has all the best lines and delivers them with lots of pep. Look for that skinny, goofy looking dude from Road Trip (DJ Qualls)! He’s in here! I LOVE THAT GUY!
T & A
All of the orgy scene nudity has been axed (damn). We get a quick glimpse at a tit but it’s not in a fun scene.
DIRECTING
Style up the wazzoo! There’s a weird aura filling this flick. I loved the way Wright transitioned from scene 2 scene. I loved the way he played with colors (lots of cherry red here). He uses sound brilliantly and offers enough visual eye candy to please any style luving nut. I’ll go as far as to say that some of the visuals have a hint of artsy-fartsy in them. Let the crucifixion begin.
SOUNDTRACK
Some acoustic, but the prominent sound here is a slick techno score (that’s rare for a slasher). Take out the glow sticks!
BOTTOM LINE
It’s a shame that the flick was cut cause you see this one wanting to push the envelope with all it’s got. I for one am dying for the DVD to come out! Maybe then I will get to see the film the way it was supposed to be seen. Cherry Falls is still a very enjoyable ride and it had this slasher fan foaming at the mouth. It sucks that it went straight to tape (and cable before that). Hollywood must be on dope for ignoring a gem like Cherry Falls but slapping crud like Urban Legends and ISKWYDLS on the big screen. My biggest wet dream is that one day the censors bend over and some big hung dude strolls on up and pops their cherry! Then they’ll know how it feels to be a horror fan. I’m sick of not getting to see genre films the way that the director wanted us to see them. If you’re gonna f**k me, please have the courtesy of taking me out to dinner first…the censors are a bad date all together.
BULL'S EYE
In the original cut, Annette’s death was pretty nasty. She had her throat pushed on a broken window. The MPAA didn’t dig that and they had to re-shoot her death in a different way. Now she gets her head banged by a door (and that too was toned down…no more blood gushing).

The orgy massacre was also dried up. Only off-screen murders left.

They had to submit this movie 5 times to the MPAA before they got the R rating.
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