Party Crasher (2000)
Director: Mark Mason
Mark Mason/Older Henry Primo
Buddy Boyd/Rick Primo
On his birthday, teen Henry is drugged (by some jerk off in a KISS t-shirt), wobbles out naked and is laughed at (due to the size of his pecker…I’m not kidding) by all his friends. Henry feeling a tad offended, goes on a murder spree and wakes up remembering nothing...so he’s slapped in a loony bin. Fifteen years later, our good old boy is chubby, wears a Hannibal Lecter wannabe mask and has developed ESP. His parents bring him home to live in a room maxed with security. Henry has one thing on his mind and that’s revenge.
Low budget effort shot on 16 millimeter that obviously comes from the heart but in the long run doesn’t deliver what it promises.
The opening scene is the best one. We get nods to Halloween and a massacre that livens the party. But once the prologue is over, the film rolls downhill. Henry is brought back home fifteen years later and for about an hour the film lags. I felt like I was watching "The Bubble Boy". It’s all about Henry in his room. Yes, we get the occasional ESP hallucination, some humor (all about Big Macs), the "Henry walks in the park and wrestles dog" bit but that’s far from enough to entertain me fully. Especially since this film is advertised as a slasher pic. I felt like I was watching a TV movie of the week with a geek as the star.
The last plot point felt absurd to me. No way in hell would they let out a mass murderer so he can attend his class reunion, I don’t care how many dogs he kills. I was willing to let that plot point slide in return for some suspense, some bloody fun but the film didn’t satisfy me there either. We get a "Carrie" like event that sends us to a rushed ending. What was the hour buildup for? What happened to the ESP subplot or the sister subplot? Interesting ideas brought up but never dealt with. Mason should’ve slapped them in there instead of keeping them for the sequel.
The acting is also a thorn in this movie’s side. Apart from a few exceptions (see acting) it blows like a hooker on prom night. How can you care about a character when he/she is so badly interpreted? How can you get into a movie when it's obvious everyone is faking it? You can’t and you won’t. The acting is one thing, I won’t even go near the bad fashion these dudes 'n dudettes proudly display…I won't go there, I won't go there, I won't go there (my new mantra).
In the end, the film has a great opening, a good central character (Henry), some blood, no scares, no suspense and lots of badly dressed non- actors. I admire the effort and it would be too easy to say that the movie is weak because of its budget, so I'll say: The movie is weak because of the script and the performances. The party is over.
The opening sequence has lots of stabbings and a little bit of choking. We also get a torn out heart bit. Decent.
I really liked young Henry (Randy Ackerman), he had that special something…too bad he’s only in the prologue. Stan Grunewald (Jimmy) and Fred Askew (Dale) are awesome and have great chemistry, I dug em a lot. Mark Mason (Older Henry Primo) does good as the masked loon, too bad his character wasn’t given enough time to act out more. Laura Sellers (Becky) is very boring to look at (not because of her looks but because of her bland acting). Tom Wescot (Jim) does his best "Mickey Rourke" impression and it almost works all the time. Annette Rosenheck (Dr Green) is acting on Valium Zzzzz. Buddy Boyd (Rick Primo) just plain sucks, he has the worst delivery and no depth whatsoever, he hurts the movie a lot since he plays Henry’s dad. Asya West (Lucy Primo) holds her own and manages to give a credible performance amidst all the bad actors…go girl! Jeff Howard (Kenny) does well, too bad his character is a snore. Delores Merrit (Sgt. Farr) should consider learning her lines next time. Jimmie Woodbury (Nurse Patchett) is very natural and I must give special commendation to Tiffany Robinson (Julie) for being such a hottie, love the uniform…call me! NOTE: All the kids and most of the female side characters in this film suck the big cheese.
T & A
A stripper bears her breasts and shows her buttocks. I appreciated the scene, it gives the movie a certain "Je Ne Sais Quoi".
Mason delivers on the visual front. Some nice shots, some slow motion, drug induced trip out scenes. My fav shot is in the beginning of the film where Henry stabs this girl but all we see is their shadows due to the lighting. Very groovy. Mason fails in creating tension and has problems with the pace. Give the guy a tighter script and a bigger budget and I’m sure he could kick arse.
The score changes mood often. Most of it is adequate in its generic way but I must admit despising the "hard rock" guitar twang. Kind of cheesy and very 80’s.
The film just doesn’t deliver the goods. No scares, not enough carnage (this is supposed to be a slasher pic), too much "drama" and an unsatisfying ending. The side characters are not developed enough for us to care and when they are, they’re mostly played by putrid thespians. I will give respect where respect is due. This dude wanted to do a movie and he went out there and did it. The opening sequence rocks, the character of Henry has promise but the rest is weak. I hope they put more vodka in the punch bowl for the next party.
Party Crasher was shot over a 20 month period in 1994-95.
Initial cast meetings and taped auditions were held in the banquet room of a Shoney’s restaurant.
For more about this film check out: http://www.partycrasher2.com