Shrieker (1998)

shrieker_1Shrieker (1998)
AKA Shriek

Starring Tanya Dempsey, Jamie Gannon, Parry Shen, Alison Cuffe, Thomas R. Martin, Chris Boyd, Jenya Lano, Jason-Shane Scott, Brannon Gould, Rick Buono

Directed by David DeCoteau

Expectations: Low.

On the general scale:
onestar

On the B-movie scale:
twostar


Right upfront I’d like to say that despite the ratings I’ve given to Shrieker, it is enough of an enjoyable movie to make for a fun B-Movie watch. The parts that work do so fairly well… it’s just that everything else is really annoying. And because annoying characters and lame, meaningless dialogue eats up far less of a film’s budget than creature FX, the annoying stuff makes up a lot more of the runtime, making the film feel like something of a fun chore. Bet you’re just chompin’ at the bit to watch the film yourself, huh? 🙂

Shrieker opens with perhaps its best scene, where a couple of doctors at a hospital are killed by the Shrieker. Why the hospital has hallways lit like an abandoned warehouse, I don’t know, but I do know that it made the scene far more confounding (and therefore interesting). B-Movies should never pass up an opportunity to make the film more interesting, although I’m sure this (and perhaps most “interesting” things like this in B-Movies) arise out of budgetary concerns more than anything else. Anyway, the doctors get killed and we soon find ourselves 50 or so years in the future as a group of college kids have decided that housing on campus is too expensive, and squatting in this abandoned hospital is far more attractive.

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Final Stab (2001)

Final Stab (2001)
AKA Final Scream, Du bist tot!, Scream 4 (Bootleg Title), Scream 4: Final Chapter (Bootleg Title)

Starring Jamie Gannon, Melissa Reneé Martin, Erinn Hayes, Laila Reece Landon, Bradley Stryker, Chris Boyd, Forrest Cochran, Michael Lutz, Brannon Gould, Donnie Eichar, Scott Hudson, Britt Soderberg

Directed by David DeCoteau

Expectations: Low. Scream clone? No thanks.

On the general scale:

On the B-Movie scale:


Along the path to reviewing all of Full Moon’s films, I’ll also be reviewing some related stuff that’s not exactly a Full Moon film. This is one of those, but it was supposedly executively produced by Charles Band (uncredited) and it’s directed by David DeCoteau, one of Full Moon’s most prolific directors back in the ’80s and ’90s. He has continued to work with Charles Band off and on after that period, but mostly he’s off on his own making low-budget horror flicks starring as many hot young people as he can find. This is one of those movies, and from the poster and alternate titles you might gather that it’s a Scream clone. It does share some of the self-aware character types of the Scream series, as well as the simple idea of a knife-wielding killer (who’s definitely one of these teens) running around in a Halloween mask, but actually its plot is more like a self-aware April Fool’s Day. Oh, and technically these people aren’t teens, they’re college students, but y’know… same difference in a horror movie.

Final Stab is about a murder mystery weekend in which people are actually getting killed. The thing is, unlike April Fool’s Day, we’re in on the joke almost immediately. This awareness on the part of the characters and the audience allows for some interesting situations, but ultimately it does take a lot of the tension out of the film. This knowledge subverts the general horror trope of running from the killer though, as each character knows the killer to be fake, they all greet him with a “Hey, man, how’s it going in that suit?” or some approximation of this kind of small talk.

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