Director: Kimball Rendell
A group of teenage film students decide to finish a supposedly cursed slasher flick. But as soon as they begin to shoot the damned thing, a killer wearing a neato mask and armed with huge garden sheers shows up to paint the lens red. That’s a wrap?
After hearing such mixed reviews about this little ditty, I had to see for myself if this flick could cut it. I cracked open a beer, kicked the “adult entertainer” out of my house, put my feet up and prepared to be amused. Was I? Well, let’s just say that I should’ve had the broad stay over for a couple more hours.
CUT has a groovy premise but it quickly crumbles under its own weight. The opening sequence with its “Scream” winks had me smiling, the hot Arrow approved blonde (Jessica Napier) had me foaming and some of the kills had me going: yeah!!! But you see, CUT tries so hard to be different that it winds up being the same old thing but only dumber.
First off, the words “character development” don’t exist in this flick. Most of the characters involved are hardly touched upon and easily interchangeable. So what is the difference between this guy and that guy? Well, this one broods and the other one is goofy. That’s about as deep as it gets. The film does try to thicken things up by injecting two half-ass subplots: 1- mystery angle concerning Raffi (Napier) and the original slayings. Word to the wise, if you’re going to slap in a “question” don’t make the answer so easy. 2- A lesbian thang that never goes further than a kiss. Come on! What’s with all of this teasing! If you’re going to start it, then either finish it off or at least address it further on!
The film also quickly loses all the wit that it had in its first 10 minutes and shifts into standard mode for the killer’s main carnage. On a positive note, the madman itself doesn’t fuck around. No overlong stalk sequences here. He gets to the killing fast and gets the job done (very Friday The 13th-ish). But the quick teen wipeout also winds up being a huge no-no. It’s basically the bulk of the film; witnessing the killer go from transparent teen “slash” to transparent teen “slash”. What happened to the plot? The charm? The damn characters? I’m all for mayhem but can I get to know these people a bit?
After the slay fest is over, the flick decides to go witty on us again (or so it thinks) and has the killer’s identity revealed. The whole time the movie kind of hints that the killer might be one of the crew (by having them give creepy looks), but it ultimately decides to go against the current “trend” and try something new. I admire that but did it have to be so damn silly? Once the killer is unmasked the film’s tone changes drastically. The killer starts to talk, loses his “fear factor” (think a very relaxed version of “Freddy Krueger”) and lots of crappy supernatural mumbo jumbo is tossed in (It worked in Wes Craven’s "New Nightmare" but not here). We’re then treated to a large amount of dumb chase scenes, dumb kills (that guy that survives the spike in his neck was too much) and an open door for a sequel.
Any good things in here? Sure there’s a few: I dug the killer vs the actor playing the killer duel. I also enjoyed most of the “Jason” wannabe murders, the “Michael Myers”-like outfit, the hot broads (too much clothes though) and the film’s quick pace (it clocks in at under an hour and a half). But in the end, CUT was a big letdown. It pretends to be hip and different but it couldn’t fool me. You can’t have more generic and monotone than this flick. That’s a print!
The gore is strong with this one: Severed tongue, severed finger, a groovy beheading, some cleaver attacks, a spike through the neck, a human torch and a wood splitter incident that unfortunately ends off-screen. This killer went to “Voorhees” school fer sure.
Molly Ringwald (Vanessa) plays such a bitch for half the flick that when she attempts to inject humanity into her character at the one hour mark, it simply doesn’t work. I just wanted her to die already! Should’ve gotten Rob Lowe. Jessica Napier (Raffi) is my ideal woman on a physical level. She does what she can with her paper-thin part and comes out of it okay. Sarah Kants (Hester) is hot and plays a lesbian…that’s it. Sam Lewis (Damien) broods…that’s it. Simon Bossell (Bobbie) projects some kind of personality into his part and I enjoyed what I saw of him. Kylie Minogue (Hilary) does okay but unfortunately she has the “Drew Barrymore” part. She acts better than she sings (I hate that Loco-Motive song…urgh). Geoff Revell (Lossman) chews the scenery like an actor on rabies. Ease down, buddy! This isn’t the stage! Overacting anyone? NOTE: Most of the male characters are so annoying in this movie that I won't even bother talking about them. I will say this though: the dude with the baseball cap; remember him. Damn I couldn’t wait for him to bite the knife!
T & A
Look, if you’re gonna go back to the stone age and emulate 80’s slashers, then why not slap in some goodies for us hetero-sexual males!?!? That lesbian peck was far from enough! Nathing here for either guys or girls.
The flick has a lot of energy (loved the net surfing scene), looks slick and has lots of style. But unfortunately, all the zany camera tricks in the world can’t cover up the decaying script. I dug the water fountain shot though. Give this director a good script and he can go places.
A couple of grungy tunes (a lot of those in horror flicks these days) and an adequate score.
Look, I’m happy that the “Aussies” are getting into the slasher game. I always dig a foreign vibe on an “American” formula. It’s obvious that the people involved here have a deep affinity for the genre (we get enough Wes Craven, Friday The 13th references for us to know) and are filled with good intentions, but it takes more than love to make a good slasher flick (a good script always helps). I did find some fun in the killings and the set-up is great but ultimately CUT let me down. Maybe if it would’ve been made in the 80’s, I might've appreciated it more but here it just doesn’t go deep enough. Burn the reels…
Director quote: Kylie Minogue was offered the lead at first, but she declined because she feels she is not at the level yet. Not strong enough to carry a movie. This is funny especially since she was an actress on "Neighbours" before singing.
Director quote on sequel: Talk is happening at the moment. If there's a sequel it could be set in America, as this one finishes in America, a bigger name cast is also a possibility (I suggested recruiting the entire Brat Pack and killing them all off one by one-ha! ha!). The plan is for a trilogy.