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ARROW IN THE HEAD REVIEWS

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RSVP (2002)
Written by: The Arrow
Director: Mark Anthony Galluzzo

Starring:
Glen Quinn/Hal
Rick Otto/Nick
Brandi Andres/Jordan
Jason Mewes/Terry
6 10
PLOT-CRUNCH
Nick (Otto) is throwing a party at his uncle’s lavish mansion and his humble goal is to kill all of his guests, i.e. friends, get away with it and become famous for his crime. Ambitious little bugger!
THE LOWDOWN
"RSVP" doesn’t waste any time in letting us know that it wants to "pull a Hitchcock". It swiftly mentions Hitchcock’s "Rope" (which was inspired by the true life Leopold and Loeb case) and then attempts to do something similar within its own world. What follows is an entertaining murderous shin-dig.

This is what I like to call a talky thriller. For better and for worse, the dialogue was prominent and mostly of the “hit and sometimes miss” psycho babble variety. We get a lot of intellectual sparring about philosophy, death, fame, the art of killing and the nature of the perfect murder. Did it sometimes get a tad preachy and self-indulgent? Yes. Did it sometimes blab too much at the expense of the momentum of a scene? Yes. But on the shiny side of the kitchen knife, what was said was actually mucho interesting (loved the matador dissection) and the fine actors made it all happen through their solid deliveries.

Although the Hitchcock nods were plenty (right down to a 4-minute continuous take a la "Rope"), "American Psycho" is the film that kept popping into my mind more than any other. The offbeat humor, the sicko plot turns, the brutal killings and the nature of the suspense recalled the AP feel. Then, there was the lead loon himself. Purposely or not, there’s no denying the eerie similarities between Patrick Bateman and Nick (Otto). The yuppie look, the arrogance, the charisma, even the murder techniques (nail gun baby, nail gun!) screamed BATEMAN. Being a huge AP fan, seeing the Bateman sauce laid on thick slapped a smile on my face. This flick was actually closer to the spirit of the original "American Psycho" than the official American Psycho sequel. Go figure. Tag to all that, an amazing cast (Otto and Quinn rocked!), ballsy directing moves, an awesome setting (Vegas exteriors and an impressive Mansion set) and eye candy galore in the guise of the fine ladies at this party, and you get an event worth crashing, kegger in hand.

On the hungover side of the beer can, I didn’t warm up to some of the comedic elements found here, namely the psycho killer spurting one liners out loud to himself after every kill-- just didn’t do it for me. Then there was the self explanatory “Scream"-like end monologue that just went on and on and on. Damn, did the man ramble, he must have been a nagging wife in his past life. Last but definitely not least, the film’s final block abandoned the cleverness that proceeded it and went straight for the typical slasher conventions. I can live with that, but why was the end chase scene so incredibly long? Why didn’t the “helpless female” at least try to fight back? And what the fudge was up with that silly last twist that brought the film to its conclusion? The light final frames slightly tarnished what was, to that point, a fairly smart and nasty movie.

But on the whole, "RSVP" hit the spot. It was highly amusing, wildly directed and smarter than the norm. I can also appreciate when a film proudly puts peeps smoking up, guzzling down, trying to get laid while making asses of themselves left and right, on display. I felt right at home. Bring something sharp as a party favor and stab away!!
GORE
Apart from some light blood here and there, all of the kills were off-screen. I actually believe that having the movie be goreless made it a more powerful experience. My imagination gapped what wasn’t shown and it worked in the flick’s favor.
ACTING
Brooding Glen Quinn (Hal) commanded the screen as the psychology teacher with an obsession with death. Now that’s presence! We lost a big talent via his passing. Rick Otto (Nick) went to Patrick Bateman School and got an A+. Loved him! Brandi Andres (Jordan) was very hot and credible. She hit all the right notes. Jonathan Banks (Walter) is always a plus in any movie and this one was no exception. Grace Zabriskie (Mary) showed up long enough to remind me of just how much I miss her in "Twin Peaks". Jason Mewes (Terry) did his “I’m horny and love weed” shtick. Although not as funny as he is in the Kevin Smith movies, he was still kool to watch. Daniel Joseph (Skyles) sported the charm and the intensity needed. Majandra Delfino (Callie) had a vulnerability that really appealed to me-- she’s also hotter than “Stove Top”. Nora Zehetner (Leigh) was sex appeal on two legs. Damn...she can act too!
T & A
There’s some teasing, but nobody takes anything off. What kind of party is this??? COME ON!!
DIRECTING
Galluzzo goes ballistic with the quick cuts, the wilder-than-Spring-Break-tramps cam moves, the slick shots, the fade to whites and the blurry vision. He also knew how to generate tension like a Pope. Good job!
SOUNDTRACK
We get a varied score that covered classical, country-like guitar twang, rock, techno and the list goes on… The many ditties in this box put me in a rocking good mood.
DVD FEATURES
IMAGE: The 16x9 Widescreen image was clean and sharp.

SOUND: The 5.1 Dolby Digital sound was at the right levels in every aspect. No complaints here.

EXTRAS:

Production Commentary: Writer/Director Mark Anthony Galluzzo and actors Reno Wilson and Daniel Joseph all come in to deliver an insightful and engaging commentary that disclosed lots of behind the scenes trivia having to do with every aspect of the film. Future filmmakers take note!

Deleted Scenes: This includes 10 deleted scenes with optional director commentary. What I found interesting was the revealing of a totally deleted subplot that had Hal (Quinn) as a blatant serial killer. Should’ve kept that in. Listen to it with the commentary on.

Behind the scenes: This amusing feature had a video camera wandering the set capturing the building of the mansion and comments by the cast and crew. Jason Mewes does most of the filming, running around and interviewing everybody he meets in a sometimes hilarious fashion.
BOTTOM LINE
"RSVP" was an energetic, deviant and mostly clever hybrid of "Rope", "American Psycho" and 'Ten Little Indians". Although sporting a disappointing finale, the strong cast, gripping plot turns, awesome sets and kinetic directing style in this animal house made it for a gnarly watch. Also, can you really go wrong with Jason Mewes talking about pussy, bitches and weed for a buck and half? Didn’t think so. Snoothy Bootchy mofos!
BULL'S EYE
Sexy Majandra Delfino is better known for her stint on TV's "Roswell".

Glen Quinn died of a drug overdose on December 3, 2002. RIP. He was a fine actor.

Actor Jason Mewes is still fighting his drug demons in rehab as we speak.
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