Wednesday, July 1, 2015

Gratuitous Gore Gag Week: Laid to Rest

Well with a charming title like Laid to Rest clearly we are in for a light-hearted romp and love’s gain and lost, or we have a graphic slasher movie with maybe a plot twist. Strap on your Hazmat suits as we wade through this brilliant piece of work. 

Hmm so this isn't a rom-com then?

 Laid to Rest is directed and written by (Robert Hall of Lightning Bug and ChromeSkull: Laid to Rest 2) Our opening credits have choppy intros of girls of various ages screaming as being attacked and our villain cleaning and prepping his tools that allot his dastardly deeds. All under the score of a bass guitar and mixing board. Apparently the modern horror film requires some kickin’ bass. The sadist seems to record his kills so he must be going after dumb white chicks. You know the ones that are very prevalent in these films? I think there is a cloning facility or breeding farm for these women. Our female lead (Bobbi Sue Luther of Come as You Are, Deuce Bigalow: European Gigolo and the infamous Enterprise Season 4 episode as a Orion slave girl) awakens in a casket. Frankly in my opinion that would have been the better intro right there. Wobbly, confused and flustered she flips the casket which locks must have been made out of wheat thins it popped open so quickly, she stumbles around the mortuary looking for an exit. So traumatic was her previous experience she needs to see 911 before she calls it. 

After realizing she is in a morgue, she gets spooked momentarily by B movie horror man himself (Richard Lynch of Puppet Masters III: Toulon’s Revenge, Necronomicon: Book of the Dead, Werewolf) who offers to get her out but is immediately gacked but a sharp object that makes him upchuck fake blood he must have been storing in his cheeks like a squirrel with nuts. The killer snatches the keys for the door only to be clocked with said door by the girl. She briskly jogs to safety in slow motion and at the 7:37 min mark we have our title pop up. Just strikes me as odd to name a movie after a Lamb of God song but hey not judging. On what can only be a disused road, she encounters Tucker (Kevin Gage of Heat Strangeland and Blow) who pulls up in his SUV offering her a lift. Yeah, that is quite the gentleman to go out of his way of a buxom girl. After conveying her story to Tucker he takes her home to his wife Cindy (Lena Headey of Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles and 300) to see if she can make sense of the girl. The girl claims no memory of anything except being stuck in a box and waking up around dead people and waffles through her lines with well practice verse. My walking stick isn’t as wooden as her acting. 

Eww, he didn't wash his gloves.

After conversing with the girl, the two tell her that she can stay the night, get a shower, sleep and they will get the sheriff in the morning with the help of Cindy’s brother Johnny. For some reason Tucker and Cindy does not have a phone in their Podunk farm house, which would put me at ease with strangers too. Showering and sorry guys not a lot of flashing there, the girl notices an injury on the back of her head. Cindy comes in the bathroom to find the girl in the fetal position scared out of her mind. The two settle down for the night and Tucker hears the girl with jitters. Tucker cleans up her head wound and they try to figure out a name for her for the time being. A doll comes to her mind named Princess Gemstone so Princess it is. Thank God she didn’t remember her troll doll.

Tucker goes back into his bedroom to find the door jammed and his wife missing. Princess and Tucker run outside to find Cindy in the killer with the chrome plated skull mask quietly demands Princess in exchange for Cindy. I guess Tucker took too long to make his case because Chrome Skull (God I can feel my I.Q. lessening just typing that name) pins Cindy’s head to the side of the house and attack Tucker. Tucker breaks off a piece of his walking cane into Chrome Skull’s shoulder, thus allowing Princess and Tucker time to escape. I will give our serial nut props for having a shoulder rigged camera mount on his best duds. Slash with one arm; catch the action with the other. Brother Johnny (Johnathon Schaech of That Thing You Do, The Forsaken) and girlfriend Jamie (Jana Kramer of Click and Prom Night remake) show up to the house and Johnny is convinced Tucker is screwing around on Cindy. They both spot a car that is not Cindy’s or Tucker’s and Johnny leaves his girlfriend (unprotected) to investigate. Jinkies, does anyone else smell another murder? Heading back to Jamie, Johnny and she have a tender heart to heart and then he gets a blade driven in his face and sliced off. That is either an amazing edge or Chrome Skull has a serious build and no qualms about gore. Jamie blows eardrums with her Jamie Lee Curtis impression and attempts to flee only to get her stomach split open and her intestinal tract spills out along with God only knows how much caro syrup and food dye. Tucker and Princess go about a mile or two down the road to the neighbor Steve’s house. 

Princess babbles to Steven (Sean Whalen of Employee of the Month and Halloween 2 remake) what’s going on and they need to get the cops toot sweet. Steven apparently only gets porn er um I mean he has only a modem to contact folks. Yeah not even a landline or cell tower for these people. Slasher Bait!!! Steven and Tucker burn the two minute oil and try to figure out the killer and if anyone knows about him. The FBI most wanted list (which we are not allowed to see much) reveals this lunatic has been sending videos of his 31 kills to the cops taunting them. The three of them head to the Sheriff’s station and causally notice the Sheriff’s car so they head into the station. Camera swivels spoils everything by revealing blood splattered on the hood. The trio looks for the Sheriff in this dimly lit environment, and spots a hand radio blaring on. The sheriff’s voice tells them he is locked in a supply closet.   And in true Friday the 13th fashion they find the deputy hoisted and strung up against the bars with his face mutilated and low and behold the sheriff isn’t in the closet but dead in one of the cells. Shiny boy pops out to slash Princess only to be stopped by Tucker. Steven freaks and falls behind Princess and Tucker with auto locking door from the inside? Disregarding physics and logic Princess opens the door for Steven and he gets his leg slashed trying to get away from Chrome who is apparently slower paced than a Romero zombie.

The Sheriff was close to finding out about Chrome Skull so he eliminates the mortician. Princess takes off with Chrome’s car and makes her way to the mini-mart via GPS. Chrome has two vehicles apparently; one being a hearse for toting bodies links with the GPS NAV and follows Princess. They tussle and he is out of tape to record the kill, demands she go and gets another tape or he will go sick house on the two party boys and clerk.  Will Princess evade Chrome Skull?  Will we ever discover his true identity?  Will Princess ever remember her own frickin' name and life?

So what have we learned here?  

All this film told me is you had a clever premise but went wackadoo with the gore. You have a serial with the knowledge of field medic surgery; video and sound editing that could mess with the minds of law enforcement without leaving a trace of evidence? A man dispatching young women from ages 19 to 30 with less remorse than a farmer to the rabbit pen for stew.   Why turn this into Hatchet? Buckets of Blood wasn't this bloody.  Carrie didn't have this much blood.  Hell, the House of Wax remake had less gore gags and that was puke worthy beyond Hilton's performance.   This would have made a great thriller but nooOOoooO…we've got appease the gore fanatics.

Truck seats fold down... Just think it over.