Scene 62: Doctor Cardan is still driving around in his stolen cruiser and who the hell knows where he's supposed to be going. I don't think he knows. He's just randomly driving around on the off chance he sees Evil Incarnate out for a nightly stroll, I guess. There are sirens flashing near enough to him for us to think he's being chased, but no. It's a red herring and screen time waster with no relevance to anything and I hate you, movie.
Scene 63: We jump back to Tony's sister. Apparently that 10pm curfew was missed, because she's calling his freinds to see if he's at one of their houses. I think she's speaking to Mrs. Captain, but whoever hasn't seen her brother. After she hangs up the phone rings and its one of the other mothers looking for her children, too.
Perhaps if the older ones had been taught not to hitch rides from strange men in vans while dragging young kids around all over the city and then having him drop them off miles from home with no ride to get back, this wouldn't be such an issue. I'm just suggesting how we could avoid this in future, is all.
The other mother is going to come over, to which Tony's sister is so grateful because she's desperate. Not desperate enough to call the police and report his missing, you understand. But desperate.
Scene 64: Back with pointless children subplot, they find Devlon's house. Captain's son brings up to his sister that they promised their mother that they'd be home early. She responds, unbelievably, with 'yeah, but what can we do'.
Uhm. For one thing, you can NOT get rides to the middle of nowhere with no way to get back, you idiot. I hate you movie. Why do you not end? Oh, god, it's only been 62 minutes.
- Okay. So, the kids knock on the door to find help.
Commentary: We have a nice shot here, again.
The kids come in the door, and we are seeing them from the hallway... where RN-k is hanging up on the wall, still. But the kids can't see him from their vantage point. Only we can. It's effective.
Oh, and the evil-sensing radio is playing again.
The kids wander around, see signs that a party was going on and follow the music upstairs. They knock on the door where FP-P and White Shirt bought it, but of course there isn't an answer. Tony knocks again as he's opening the door...
... Only to find the dead bodies. One of the younger kids comes in behind him and starts to scream, but Tony quickly muzzles him.
Commentary: Okay, I have to admit that this movie just got something interesting. I did not figure for them having children find the murder victims at all!
Unfortunately, the rest of them come in after a minute of not knowing what was going on in the room. They all start screaming and Tony doesn't have that many hands. This draws Devlon right to them on the staircase as they're attempting a quick retreat. They have no choice but to retreat up... into the attic.
Commentary: I also want to give props to the young actress on the left. She really sells her fear and panic throughout her sequences.
Scene 65: Now trapped in the attic, the kids can only cower in a side room as Devlon arrives upstairs. He doesn't go after them though, but to the podium where he replaces his journal to its rightful place. The kids spy. And talk way too loud for someones who are trying to not get slaughtered.
One of the kids panics... or takes the smart move... YMMV, and dashes for the stairs. They all could have done that and maybe gotten away scott free if it wasn't for everybody yelling and screaming, but be that as it might have been, Devlon starts a zombie shuffle after them.
As they head for the stairs down, Tony decides to stop back in the White Shirt and Former Prom-Princess' room to grab the axe from White Shirt's forhead, which is pretty awesome for a young teen.
Commentary: Of course, the moment is dragged out so long that all of the kids would just be bodies lying next to the older ones by the time the axe is actually retrieved. And, I'm not convinced that this isn't stupid instead of just *f-ing running for the gate.
Scene 66: As they finally get to the main floor again, they get to stop and scream some more as they spot the former Red Neck-kerchief guy hanging on the wall.
But remember how the doors close on their own. They do that. And can't be opened. The kids are trapped!
Naturally, breaking a window doesn't occur to them because they have to stumble into the armoire room, so they can also find the torn up Olivia first. Which Captain's daughter promptly does by feeling the need to open it for no real reason. Y'know, instead of running to the window and telling Tony to break it with that handy axe.
This leads to more screeching, which leads to more running. But they find their exit cut off my Devlon ready to do the scratch-n-claw business. Tony tries to face him with his axe. For a minute, anyway. Then he just runs to the window and smashes it out... THANK YOU!... and the kids make a panicked escape back into the yard with Devlon doing his far too slow gait to be a threat thing far behind. Not that that will ever stop a serial killer of course.
Scene 67: Meanwhile, Captain's wife and anony-parents arrive at Tony's and pick up his sister.
Scene 68: Back to the graveyard where kids run and scream.
Scene 69: Now to Dr. Cardan still tooling around in the Captain's car realizing he has no idea what he's doing and will probably be thrown in jail for a few years and destroyed his entire career because a tool is exactly what he acted like. Dumbass.
He has his own siren going and is just looking from side to side... trying to make it look like there is a point to any of these scenes when we know better.
Scene 70: Meanwhile, back with the Captain, he returns home to find his wife frantic along with Tony's sister and anony-parents.
The Captain's phone is buzzed, and I guess this isn't home, but the police station office. Anyway -- two kids are brought in, but their not anony-parents' kids, so they're hauled away again to be taken to their real home.
Commentary: Yeah, that was a really stupid scene.
Captain tells Anony-parents to go look for their kids. THANK YOU, CAPTAIN!!
Scene 71: (Jeezus, it just won't end) - the kids run. In the cemetery. Run, run, occasional scream, run.
Of course, despite the fact they can run and serial killer zombie can only shuffle, he has the infamous and lazy-script-writer power of off-screen teleporting. He's suddenly right behind them, making a roaring sound (!), but one of the kids -- Raul -- cannot run any further, even with imminent death right on his heels.
It's okay, Tony scoops him up and there is more running.
And the random fire shooting sarcophagus opens again, even though it already did that before. Instead of fire though, a zombie comes out -- apparently to serve Devlon, since he's looking pretty lame all of the sudden. Other random zombies crop up to menace the kids. Random, random, random.
(Actually, the same couple of zombies keep rising from different graves without even trying to hide the fact.)
Scene 72: Back with Doctor Loser driving around.
(Thanks for that.)
Scene 73: Back to the graveyard where something is at least happening. Kids menaced. They run. They scream. They stop at a convenient tomb that can be broken through by another randomly generated zombie. Repeat.
In there Devlon wanders around a bit, too.
Scene 74: Elsewhere, Captain runs into another random group of kids out way too late on their own. He tells them to go home. [Yes, totally worth the scene break.]
Scene 75: Elsewhere still, Doctor Auto Theft is still driving randomly! How much did they pay Stiglitz for this shit?!
Scene 76: The kids find their way back to the main cemetery gate, which closed on its own. As they try to open it, it suddenly mystically grows to way over their heads, cutting of their escape route. The zombies close in. Scream, scream.
Just when it seems that all hope is gone, Doctor Fuel Waste randomly pulls up to the cemetery where the kids are trapped. He rams through the gate and into several of the zombie hoard. Yay.
Alas, not that easy to end this movie. The car suddenly isn't started anymore. And now it won't start. The zombies break through the car windows. They have to abandon it.
Scene 77: More running. More screaming, now with added Doctor Dimwit action punches and a gut kick.
It doesn't stop them from being surrounded. And then, because we have to drag this out further, Doctor DoNothing has a tree dropped on him. Really.
He pleads with the kids to run and leave him. They refuse. So he pulls a cross out of... his pants? A jacket pocket that is far larger on the inside than it is on the outside? The one he didn't bother to use when the zombies were surrounding the car and they were all running back into the cemetery instead of running down the road, where they'd be able to way outdistance the shamblers? That crucifix? Yes, that would the one.
He hands it to Captain's daughter, because Tony has hogged enough screen time. She somehow keeps the zombies surrounding them away even though she's only guarding a small fraction of the radius around them through the powers of Christ, presumably. This also manages to allow the children to lift the tree they couldn't lift only a moment before. It also allows Dr. OnAMission to wax on about how he has to destroy Devlon with the Black Book, even though I don't think the children are particularly interested in listening to him babble.
Tony realizes that he's speaking of the journal in the attic, even though he has no idea who f*-ing Devlon is and you'd think he'd be telling Dr. ExposedChest to get up off his freakin' ass before Captain's daughter gets eaten and they're all slaughtered. But, he doesn't.
He sends the kids back to the abandoned house to find and burn the book. Captain's daughter insists that he take back the cross to help him as he limps about.
Scene 78: (81 minutes... so close now) Run, scream, run, scream, Dr. HolyCrusader brandishes cross which keeps zombies who can't see it behind him away anyway, just as well as the few he can put it in the advancing faces of.
Kids make it to the house. Zombies close in on it. Who the hell knows where Devlon went to... again.
Zombies menace. The kids pass the book around trying to get it to the fireplace. None of them die horribly while doing so. Repeat.
Devlon arrives. The actress that I like (Usi Velasco) has the book and appears to be about to get the hero spotlight. I'm pleased. But then we see Devlon up close and I'm almost forced to laugh hysterically:
Admittedly, that could just be exhaustion. This movie just keeps dragging on and on with SO MUCH screeching.
Just as Usi is ready to toss it to the flames though, Devlon psychokinetically calls it to him, dragging the screaming Usi with it.
Scene 79: Before he can crush her for the book though, Dr. Felon arrives and distracts him with the crosses. Before getting his ass beat.
Everyone yells at Usi to burn the book, but she's either gone into a catatonic shock, or she's under mind control because she is frozen in place with the book held tightly in her hands. Dr. Cardan tries to take on Devlon again. It don't work.
One sided fight, one sided fight. Devlon does the fingernail rake to Cardan's face. And beats him down into a corner.
Usi finally comes out of her stupor and throws the book into the fireplace. It burns. This causes everything to burst into flames: Devlon, the zombies, the zombies graves, random bits of lawn.
Scene 80: Back with Captain. Being driven around aimlessly by the officer whose rank I can't remember.
A call comes over the radio that there are children at the abandoned house, which appears to be a landmark that requires no further description. Who is reporting this is anyone's guess since they don't have cell phones and the house was ABANDONED. Whatever. Just end.
Scene 81: They arrive at the abandoned house, where all seems quiet. Again, we have a static camera that just sits there several feet away and records.
We have to wait for Officer [Insert Rank] to report into headquarters that the children have been found. Yay.
Scene 82: Later that morning, after sunrise, a crowd of spectators and reporters and police and ambulance have surrounded the house as the children are bundled into cars to be taken home, where they will be deeply damaged for the rest of their now-destroyed lives. Yay.
In the attic, Dr. Beaten shuffles to the podium and puts the still smoldering remains of the Book back in its place. For of course, it isn't over. The good doctor has been possessed or transformed or whatever. And, somehow I'm sure, will not be located by the police swarming all over the house to recover the bodies of the dead.
The Good: Edna Bolkan, Usi Velasco and Eduardo Capetillo all do splendid work.
There are some really nice shots that are interesting.
Some of the gore work is decently good.
I like the part where the Doctor gets his ass kicked rather easily by Devlon.
The Bad: The pacing. God, the pacing.
The 'throw everything in but the kitchen sink' approach gives us so little understanding of what is actually going on and the point or goal of it all.
There are some really static shots for much too long that are boring as hell.
The lighting is a wreck for the most part.
Many of the characters... most of the characters... dull as dishwater, when they were being screechy and repetitive and screechy-repeated.
Part of the pacing problem was that scenes started too soon (i.e. we were following our characters through every footstep on the way from point A to Point C for no gain) or were left to drag on too long. EDITING?!?
Those effing scenes of Stiglitz wandering around in his stolen car over and over and over.
Cutting from scenes where something was happening to scenes where NOTHING was... over and over!
Other Thoughts: For much of the picture, the Captain and his family, the partiers and the Doctor's stories don't gel well at all. It all finally comes together more or less at the end, but wow, it takes forever to get there. This movie didn't need to go beyond the 75 minute mark.
The musical soundtrack is borrowing so heavily from other well known sources that it becomes distracting. And this from somebody that doesn't generally pay conscious attention to that. It's not as bad as The Children, but it was pretty blatant in far too many scenes.
Some of the gore work starts out decently good, but then the camera lingers and the effect falls apart before your eyes. Bummer. And, foolish.
The constant detours to introduce new characters was pretty annoying. I wouldn't say it was necessarily bad on its own, but when adding to the severe pacing issues and the non-interesting characters we were already trying to keep track of... well... this script needed work.
The ending almost worked for me... but it wasn't explained enough. WHY? HOW? If only they'd cut a lot of useless, pointless scenes and added some expository explanations. Again, script needed work before filming began.
The Score: I don't like this movie. I don't have fun watching it. My scoring was going to be lower than you'll see, but things do pick up at the end a bit and I liked that it shocked me by having the children find the bodies. That was pretty harsh.
2.0 out of 5 stars
Next Up: This time it will be the movie, "A Shot in the Dark" (1935) which I've never seen so we'll explore it together. You bring cake, I've got coffee.