ARROW IN THE HEAD REVIEWS

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Long Time Dead (2002)
Written by: The Arrow
Director: Marcus Adams

Starring:
Alec Newman/Liam
Lucas Haas/Webster
Joe Absolum/Rob
Lara Belmont/Stella
PLOT-CRUNCH
Instead of playing with themselves as they should, a group of teen ravers interrupt their foray into techno and ecstasy to go play with a self-made Ouija Board (ok…). The Ouija releases an evil fire spirit upon them and yes, one by one our clueless heroes begin to drop like OD’s.
THE LOWDOWN
The UK- made "Long Time Dead" has done its US horror homework, that’s for sure. It borrows from "Witchboard" and "Wishmaster", while at the same time tossing every old hat trick and recent teen horror trend at us. You bet the score crescendos like Christina Aguilera having an orgasm during the stalk sequences and rest assured that there’s not only the now token “kid with a digital cam glued to his freaking hand” in this playpen, but also the now requisite "whodunit" going on. If the word formulaic comes to mind, you’re on the right track.

But this tweaker’s worst flaw was definitely its “duh” script which tossed all kinds of teen characters our way, but never took the time to properly introduce most of them at a satisfactory depth. Result? I didn’t give booya about anybody. I was like: “There’s goes another hot babe” or “Rest in pieces token hunk #3” or "Wow, Lare Belmont’s lips look yummy!” These were victims, not characters. The script also went lazy on my ass by not even remotely trying to avoid the usual easy genre pitfalls. Yes, you guessed it; most of these monkeys always made the most inane moves, insulting my slight intelligence in the process. I don’t know about you guys, but if I even have the slightest hunch that a peeved spirit is after my skin, there’s no way in hell that I’m going down to that dark apartment to tackle a freaking burnt fuse. I'd rather hit the Middle East, where it's safer. What’s wrong with these people?

Another major qualm I had was that much like a virgin with a three-inch dildo, the film just played things too damn safe. For example, it is suggested that these kids are high on ecstasy (the sex drug) but none of them act high, look high or even display any sex drive. The flick also put a condom on during its death scenes; most of which were suggested, instead of graphically shown. In a film of this nature...that’s a "no-no" on my slab. I wanted to see these peeps die atrociously! I mean, isn’t that supposed to be the reward for enduring these dimwitted twits throughout? I guess getting that rating down so all the kiddies could go see the movie was the main motivation here instead of delivering the real goods.

Lastly, there’s the “bah” ending which much like a six-month old Big Mac, didn’t go down too well. I’m still farting that cap-off out of my system as we speak. Was that due to the sloppy writing, the ho-hum execution or the moronic CGI cat eyes? It was all of that daddy-o...and then some! Once the culprit is revealed, the film took a “tacky” path and I couldn’t take it seriously anymore. The slight grip the film had on me up to that point was released for the last act and yes, I groaned incessantly while viewing it.

Having spat all that venom, I won’t deny that I still got a couple of sweet wet kisses from this loose dame. Director Marcus Adams thankfully managed to serve up a couple of tasty, tense and inventive stalk sequences that kept me on my toes. The mucho polished snazzy images, the slick editing and the gnarly techno music in the house also encouraged me to stay engaged on some level. There’s nothing like sharp visual style to sweeten up a sour drink. Tag to that, the well-handled whodunit that surprisingly kept me guessing, a quick pace that made sitting through it all quite effortless and an absorbing back-story about a bunch of Satan lovers that gave the narrative a couple of much needed twists, and you get a dumb and hollow genre snack that in spite of all its shortcomings, still succeeded in being entertaining on some level.

As the end credits rolled, my verdict on "Long Time Dead" was that it was trite and silly fluff on one end, but a sometimes amusing and mostly painless watch on the other. It’s too bad the script wasn’t up to par with the potent visuals though, this one could’ve been a keeper instead of a "wham-bam, what’s your name again, get out of my house beeyatch" type of movie. DIE TEENS DIE AND SHOVE THAT BOARD UP YOUR…”BLEEP”!
GORE
Sadly, most of the kills are suggested than shown. We do get lots of after the fact blood and nasty flesh burns though.
ACTING
Alec Newman (Liam) has the best written character of the lot and he’s up to the task. Lucas Haas (Webster) plays Lucas Haas but scared…no part here. Joe Absolum (Rob) takes the little meat his part has and does what he can. Lara Belmont (Stella) is way hot and that’s that. Marsha Thomason (Lucy) displays a solid delivery, but again, her part is way too thin to leave an impression. Mel Raido (Joe) acts with his long hair and his cigarettes.
T & A
You would think that a film featuring a rave scene would show at least a drop of steamy or smutty stuff but...no dice. Apart from a couple of chicks with tight skirts, not much is happening. What is this world coming to?
DIRECTING
Marcus Adams’ directing skills are one of the film’s strongest points with groovy spirit POV shots, lots of flashiness, a talent for building dreadful atmosphere and a skillful use of slow motion. Adams also managed to squeeze some suspense out of this puppy and taking into account the toilet-paper script, that’s quite an accomplishment.
SOUNDTRACK
We get some fly techno tunes, one punk rock song and an eerie score.
BOTTOM LINE
The morale of this movie is: if you’re high on E at a rave with a bunch of hot chicks around you…DON’T GO PLAY WITH A OUIJA BOARD! Do what you’re supposed to do: have a sexual jamboree! "Long Time Dead" is an easy time waster that looks sweet and sounds groovy. If you’re looking for an ounce of smarts or horror that goes further than the usual genre conventions though, you’re definitely peeping under the wrong skirt. I watched it, had some slight smiles with it and forgot all about it five seconds later.
BULL'S EYE
Marcus Adams was a member of the band Meat Beat Manifesto, and directed most of their music videos.

Marcus Adams also directed a 30-minute short of the same title.
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