Tuesday, March 24, 2015

MUCK (2015)

MUCK (2015) 
Label: Anchor Bay Entertainment 
Region Code: A
Rating: Unrated
Duration: 98 Minutes
Audio: Dolby TrueHD 5.1
Video: HD Widescreen (1.85:1) 
Director: Steve Wolsh
Cast: Kane Hodder, Jaclyn Swedberg, Lauren Francesca, Bryce Draper, Lachlan Buchanan 

A group of five friends emerge from the marshes of Cape Cod of a dark night, bruised and battered, the three women are nearly naked and they have just survived a harrowing night of... no idea, because this is the middle installment of a trilogy of films, of which the prequel and sequel have yet to be made. So we are thrown right into the middle of something and left to figure out just what as the movie trudges along with a steady stream of boobies, choppy editing and old school practical effects. 

The group take refuge is a very nice vacation home on the edge of the swamp, we are unsure what they have been fleeing from but it must not have been that frightening for the first thing they do is start looking for some alcohol to consume while  the trashier of the tree young ladies heads up stairs for a shower cause she just can't wait to whip out those titties.

There are two men in the group, one has had his leg punctured and is immobile, so the more able of them decides to hoof into town to call for help. He arrives at a bar and doesn't seem to be in too much of a hurry to find help, he takes a moment to wash up in the bathroom before buying a young woman a drink and then calling the cops...err nope. Doofus calls his cousin who is at another bar with his best friend and a piece of ass seems to have picked-up. With nothing better to do the three pile into a car and make for the area of West Craven to rescue the group of alarmingly dim-witted twenty-somethings. So many indie horror films have name-dropping homages to horror directors, naming characters and towns after the masters of horror that influences them but dropping West Craven in there might be one of the worst of the bunch, with a character going so far as to say that West Craven use to be an interesting areas but not so much these days, sweet Jesus

Muck has been advertised as a throwback horror film, much like Hatchet (2006) was, with old school practical effects and stunt work, without the use of any digital effects which I applaud. Some of the kills and action are pretty good but the limited story, amateur acting and the gimmickry of it being a middle film far and away overpowers any of the more enjoyable merits of the movie.

The antagonists in the film seem to be a cult of some sort, bald-headed muscular men covered head to toe is some pasty white tribal paint or mud with scars and some sort of rune being visible, they stalk the kids without any sort of known motive and there might be a creature involved though it s never revealed, surely in the prequel and sequel there will be more revealed. Notably Kane Hodder (Friday the 13th Part VII: The New Blood) appears as one of the cult members, or creepers as they are referred to in the film. 

Now when I was twelve this would have been a blast, a steady parade of scantily clad cuties showing off their wares for ninety-minutes was about two-thirds of the reason I watched all those '80s horror movies to begin with, and if that's what you are looking for you probably won't be disappointed. The other highly marketed ploy with this film is the casting of Playboy Playmate of the Year 2012 Jaclyn Swedberg, who is certainly attractive and not even the worst actor of the bunch, but that's sort of like choosing which turd in a yard full of dog shit smells the worst. Okay, that's a overly harsh, the acting here is not awful by any means when compared to other indie films and some of the corny lines are delivered with some verve, particularly from the wisecracking Lachlan Buchanan (Pretty Little Liars) as Troit and Puja Mohindra as Chandi who work well against each other. 

The film was shot on the 4K Red Epic camera and it looks quite nice, plenty of nicely lit and detailed cinematography with some interesting framing, didn't care much for the color grading or the crack-addict editing style which was all over the place with way to many slow-motion sequences. It was hard to follow the action with the chopping quick cut editing

While it may be advertised as a throwback of sorts to a bloodier era Muck is far too dependant on filling the screen with nude and nearly nude women which I am sure might sell a few films but won't give this one much of a life. The prequel Muck: Feast of Saint Patrick.(2016) has already been funded through Kickstarter and will also feature Playboy Playmates of the Year 2013, Raquel Pomplun, and 2014, Kennedy Summers. Not sure director Steve Wolsh could do anything to bring me back to the series after this dreadful entry, from the sounds of it it just seems like more of the same with twice the amount of Playboy cuties. At best I would hope for some sort of Lovecraftian creature to emerge but then again, I don't really care at this point.