Dark Harvest 3: Scarecrow
Lionsgate Home DVD
"For 60 years it has waited for the taste of blood ..."
... of a group of kids staying at the family cabin? Sure, why not? When an old witch puts a curse on you and your ancestors, you should expect consistency. Bringing a new low to low-budget, this straight-to-video horror is actually shot straight onto video, so it loses nothing in the translation. Titles are green-screened on like something out of TV Production 101 and the actors practically wink at the camera while serving up such Cheez Whiz as "This will be a weekend none of us will ever forget" deterrents for Oscar consideration, surely, but practically a love offering in a B-movie, where every visible boom mike and continuity problem only heightens the unreality. Rest assured, you'll get your violence (severed limbs gush blood fountains like a Monty Python skit) and you'll get your sex too (some primo boob cam shots that are the best indicator of where the film budget went). Special kudos to the Scarecrow who, literally, acts his way out of a wet burlap bag while never actually grinning maniacally like the DVD cover promises. Betcha can't name another actor whose reaction shots include bleeding from his chest the way water forms on a windshield in a car wash. If you only had a brain, a heart and the nerve, you'd rent this Tennessee Cheapskate Massacre and force some friends to reap what you've sown! Serene Dominic
First run features
At 135 years old, it would be wonderful to say that "The Internationale" the workers rights song this brief documentary focuses on has aged well. For if it had, this half-hour of watching crusty lefties natter on about "empowerment" and "inspiration" wouldn't have seemed like a half-hour of futile workers'-paradise porn. Aiming solely at ineffective and out-of-touch "activists," Pete Seeger narrates as if everyone on the planet is in solidarity with garment factory workers and anti-WTO protesters, completely unaware that most people just don't care. The goals illuminated by The Internationale are noble, but the grating sight of aging hippies and dumpy collegiate activists permanently ensconced in a bubble of archaic socialist ideology makes clear that "The Internationale" hasn't aged well at all. Instead, it's become a soundtrack to irrelevance. Jason Ferguson
The Quick and the Undead
Anchor Bay Entertainment
From the "Hey, you've got your zombie movie in my spaghetti western" files comes this gruesome tale of a virus ravaging humanity for 85 years, turning the entire United States into a ghost town where unemployment is on the decline, but only if you're a zombie bounty hunter. The movie's anti-hero is played by Clint Glenn, who may as well be Clint Eastwood Jr. for all the difference it makes. He's square-jawed and stone-faced just like the man with no name. Naturally he's got a double-crossing Tuco/Eli-Wallach type following him around. Only this time, it's gold in them there zombie veins, as there is a fortune to be gotten from organs and body parts. The best line comes when another remorseless outlaw explains his crazy plan to create his own farm-factory zombies. "Crazy? Crazy is turning around and seeing your 10-year-old daughter and she's got the flesh of her mother in her mouth and you know you've got to kill her 'cause she'll do the same thing to you." Yep, two great slowpoke-moving movie genres that taste great together. Happy entrails to you! Serene DominicSend comments to firstname.lastname@example.org
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