ARROW IN THE HEAD REVIEWS

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Terror Tract (2000)
Written by: The Arrow
Director: Clint Hutchison
Lance W. Dreesen

Starring:
John Ritter/Bob
Rachel York/Sarah
Carmine D. Giovinazzo/Frank
PLOT-CRUNCH
Desperate real estate agent Bob (Ritter) shows a newlywed couple three homes with whacked out histories attached to them. And when I say whacked, I mean WHACKED Y'ALL!
THE LOWDOWN
Don’t let the shitty box cover and the name “John Ritter” fool ya. This flick is a good "fun times" anthology flick. I wasn’t going to check it out until I heard all this good word of mouth about it. I wasn’t let down.

The first story is very typical. A husband catches his wife nailing some tank-top wearing dude…long story short, they kill the bitter hubby, dump his body but his soul doesn’t seem to be at rest. The wife keeps on dreaming about her vengeful husband and the police seem to be catching on. This story does feel very déjà vu but it's still a good watch. I did have trouble with the fact that all the wife does after the bloody murder is got to bed to catch some shut eye. How can the broad sleep after seeing her husband die? Personally I’d be up for days if I would kill my ex-girlfriend or see her get killed by my mistress (trust me I know…that was a hard time in my life). The story isn’t really scary but its biggest flaw is predictability. I guessed the turn of events every step of the way…no problemo. But overall, the story is always interesting, very moody and gets my “decent times” stamp of approval.

The second story is my favorite. It involves a loving father whose daughter finds a red suit-wearing monkey (Bobo’s the name). The monkey gets attached to the little girl and the dad gets kinda jealous. But he has good reason because the monkey is one evil little critter. And before you know it, people are dying and the monkey turns out to be deadlier than we thought. This is the most complete of the three stories. I was fully involved the whole time (Bryan Cranston’s kickarse performance helped), rooting for that damn monkey to die already! What a stressful ride! To top it off, the ending kicked my arse all over the place. It’s rare that I’m on the good guy’s side. This one gets my “SUPER” fun times stamp.

The third story is also groovy but it has a hard act to follow. It involves a kid who visits a shrink and tells her that he has a psychic link to this serial killer (who wears a granny mask). Is the kid the killer or is there really a nut out there? That is the question. Unfortunately, any hardcore genre fan will figure this answer out early on. Much like the first story, this one is somewhat predictable (less than the first one though) but that doesn’t mean that it’s not an interesting, enjoyable watch. It has a great build-up, the Granny killer cracked me up (here’s Granny!) and Will Estes (Sean) gives a solid show. I just wish that the punch of the story could’ve gone on for longer. When it was all over, I was craving for more. This one gets my “fun times but I wanted more” stamp of approval.

The wrap around story with Mr. Tripper...oops, I mean Ritter is pleasant but kinda of tame. The storyline does let loose in the end and on one hand, it's pretty funny and out there, but on the other hand, it doesn’t really flow with the rest of the wraparound segments. The wrap around story should’ve hinted more strongly at to where it was going. The ending is very wild and sort of comes out of left field. But since it is the movie’s cap off, it’s very easy to forgive the filmmakers for going all out and having some sick fun with it. It’s pretty wicked!

One word comes to mind when I think of this flick: harmless fun. It doesn’t pretend to be “The Exorcist”. It’s a light horror anthology that will give you a few laughs, a few scares and an overall good time. Wanna hop on this track?
GORE
Slit throat, bloody stabbings, gunshot blasts and even some pen stabbings. The syrup flows here. Thank you guys…
ACTING
When I think John Ritter (Bob), I usually think "movie I shouldn’t rent". But after this flick, I will have to admit that the guy is a solid actor (he has a blast here) with a bad “has been” rep. Yes, I am now a fan. Rachel York (Sarah) is gorgeous and hits every emotional nail on the head. Carmine D. Giovinazzo (Frank) is a bit too goofy looking (in close ups) to be taken seriously as a tough guy. Then again, his pumped up physique helped for the part. I loved Bryan Cranston (Ron) and I was rooting for him the whole time….he’s very natural. Will Estes (Sean) does good and his awkward delivery worked for the part. Brenda Strong (Dr. Helen) is good at communicating emotion with her beautiful eyes. She gives a nice, subtle performance. Buff Bagwell (Pound Dispatcher) cracked me up as the buff exterminator…more of him would have been nice.
T & A
Rachel York gives us a side shot of her arse and we almost see her luscious breasts. Yes boyz, we get teased. On the other hand, the ladies will be happy to know that Carmine D. Giovinazzo goes shirtless a lot and the brother works out. Is it me or is female TNA harder to get by these days. It's tough to be a guy in the year 2001, I tell ya.
DIRECTING
All the segments look really slick but the first and last story really kick arse "mood wise". The second story has the best pace and the wraparound segments burst with energy. Where the first story is all about watching the events unravel in a somewhat detached way, the last two stories are heavy on tension and involved me the most. These two directors know a thing or two about tension on film, that’s fer sure. Overall, everything gels together well to bring us a good-looking, easy going flick. Nice work.
SOUNDTRACK
The score fits the flick like a hooker on my face.
BOTTOM LINE
If u dig “Tales From The Crypt” or “Creepshow”, you’ll have fun with this one. It doesn’t re-invent the anthology concept and it does feel familiar at times, but it's a perfect “crack open a beer and chill your mind out” flick. Where else can you see John Ritter go ape shite? Great flick to check out before the hot broads (or dudes) come over for the real party.
BULL'S EYE
Winner of the PEGASUS / PRIZE OF THE AUDIENCE 2001 of the 19th Brussels International Festival of Fantasy Film and the SILVER RAVEN 2001 of the 19th Brussels International Festival of Fantasy Film .

The shoot was plagued by kooky incidents: First, some dude came out of his car with a shotgun looking for the dog that killed his cat. He spotted the dog, got in his again car, ran the dog over and drove away in a hurry. A drunk driver also collided with their production trailer and some nutty neighbors called the police on the production (I don’t know the reason). Gotta love film sets.
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