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Had enough character development in your horror flicks? Tired of all that cumbersome suspense and atmosphere? Is inventive gore simply too taxing on your brain? If you answered “yes” to any the above questions, then you might appreciate Chaos, a horror-exploitation flick so witless and unimaginative, it lowers the bar even for snuff films.

The no-budget production opens with a scroll of text announcing its intent “to educate, and, perhaps, save lives” — but to call this a cautionary tale would be like calling Girls Gone Wild a feminist documentary. Two clueless teen girls try to score some ecstasy at a rave deep in the woods, and end up getting raped and possibly mutilated by a motley crew of small-time psychos. Meanwhile, the parents of one of the girls settle in for a romantic night at home, wearing silk robes, playing pinochle and worrying about their precious daughter.

Perhaps realizing how bad their efforts were, the filmmakers have tried to pass off their ineptitude as some kind of raw, matter-of-fact style. The movie features no score, the edits are sloppy and confusing, and there’s so much dead air you might think there’s something wrong with the theater’s sound system. Much has been made of the movie’s similarity to Wes Craven’s debut shocker Last House on the Left, but it’s more like what a couple of community college students might come up with after watching 20 minutes of the Texas Chainsaw Massacre remake while stoned.

The cast is all over the map; occasionally you can catch them glancing off-camera for direction. Each is bad in his or her own unique way — from the too low-key villain Chaos (Kevin Gage) to the muttering, clueless lackey Swan (Sylvester Stallone’s son Sage, in a role even more shameful than some of those his father played). But the best “work” has to come from the guys playing two ridiculously unsympathetic cops. In a movie full of unintentionally laughable lines, they get the best one: “It’s 2002 — stuff happens all the time.”


Showing at the Roseville Theater (28325 Utica Rd., Roseville; 586-445-7810) and the Emagine Theatre Novi (44425 W. 12 Mile Rd., Novi; 248- 468-2990).

Michael Hastings writes about film for Metro Times. Send comments to [email protected].

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