Thursday, February 5, 2009

All The Boys Love Mandy Lane

It's not every day horror movies provoke me. Sure, horror movies may suck, or be unnecessarily disgusting, heck, their directors might even be enormous assholes that with their all-encompassing ignorance and arrogance, but still, it's forgivable, it can still be nice, gory fun.

The movie that has the doubtful privilege of actually making me roar with rage this week is All The Boys Love Mandy Lane. It appears to be rather standard slasher fare. Mandy Lane, virgin survivor girl du jour and her cast of largely forgettable horny, pot-smoking, walking targets, go out to a ranch to get drunk and, to prove their utter and undeniably manhood, or absolute subtle female charm, get in Ms. Lanes pants. It's the circus we all like to see people go to have sex, people die, dispatched in rather clever and inventive ways.

Actually, the entertainment one manages to wringe out of the movie is actually quite adequate. Low on horror, a good chunk of gore, the killer seems a notch above the rest of them due to his morbidly black humor and imaginative ingrate icings, people are dangerously stupid, but it keeps it all together.

Then, along comes the ending.

I've seen my share of poor slasher film endings, the annoying, the obvious remake hook, even those who makes everything in the movie so far completely pointless, I'm looking at you The Reeker, but luckily, few movies fully explode in on themselves and create a black hole, absorbing all previously attained fun, replacing it with some cold hunger for entertainment.

I have a policy to not spoil, but you know what I wrote a paragraph or two above? That one about the murderer being somewhat interesting? Well, I hope you didn't get to attached to that part of the film, 'cause that's murdered brutally towards the end, leaving us with a plot twist that just doesn't make sense.

Ok, that's probably a bit unfair, it's actually pretty clever, and I hadn't seen it comming. You know why I didn't see it comming though? Because it comes out of fucking nowhere. We're talking Giant Space Flea Outta Nowhere-level outta nowhere. I consider myself pretty savvy, but I didn't see a single clue for this. NOT. ONE. CLUE. Not a single camera angle, not one line of dialouge. Heck, I had more belief in the epleptic tree "Mandy Lane is a man," than this.

You know, one might argue that a good plot twist shouldn't be seen comming, but there are limits. A good plot twist will have you look back on the movie and go "ah, yes, so THAT'S why." not glare dumbfoundedly back and say "wow, that really came outta nowhere." And if it only that was the only example. The fact is, the movie runs around between various semi-twists like a lobotomized golden retriver after a bacon strip, seemingly not caring to stick to an actuall plotline aside from the uber-basic "Horny teens, psycho kill they ass."

The above mentioned whimsical screenwriting only serves to reinforce the mental image of a pack of amateur scriptwriters off their ritalin writing random parts of the script, unable to agree on even the most basic plot elements except there are, sadly, no aliens or song/dance numbers.

I've heard this movie is supposed to be a new, fresh take on the teen slasher genre. It's not. Both the director of this movie and a certain mr. Shyamalan seems to think that all there is to innovation is to pull a random plot twist up in the last moment, a plot twist that rather often destroys what the movie has built up thus far. Behind the mask: Rise of Leslie Vernon is a fresh take on the slasher genre through deconstruction and toying with the rules, The Strangers is toying with our expectations to really tug our nerves, that's how you do it, with wit, inventive screenwriting and flat-out nervewrecking atmosphere, not by last-minute asspulls.

Hmph, that's pretty much all I have to say about that for now.

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