Speck (2002)

Speck_1Starring Doug Cole, Beverly Sotelo, Stacy Cunningham, Flynn Beck, Kaycee Shank, Sunny Lombardo, Cinderella Gatcheco, Dawn Hawley, Erin Shayla Cullen, Debra Mayer, Larry Dirk

Directed by Keith Walley

Expectations: I don’t know. Not much.

halfstar


Speck is of the rare breed of low-budget horror films that go the arthouse route. This is always shaky ground, because unless the filmmakers are very competent, “artful strokes” very quickly devolve into boredom and pretense. In the case of Speck, this is definitely the case. To be fair, Speck is made with some amount of skill, but its arthouse leanings never translated to any kind of meaning for the audience. I had lots of thoughts about the film while watching it, but instead of looking for insight into its murderous lead character, I found myself wondering more about the filmmaker behind it and why anyone would want to make this movie.

Speck seeks to dramatize a true story. On July 13, 1966, Richard Speck entered a Chicago home and one-by-one murdered eight student nurses who were living there. This brief description also serves as a plot synopsis for the film, as Speck is very much focused on this night and not much else. The film shows us the world from Richard Speck’s point of view, and it’s colored with hateful narration that informs us of his views on humanity and how we’re basically all worthless maggots. His victims are nothing more than women in a room in Speck — we know nothing more about them than Speck does — and their status as student nurses is only conveyed to us through some on-screen text as the film opens.

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Birth Rite (2003)

 

movie_250143

Starring Natalie Sutherland, Danny Wolske, Laura Nativo, Brinke Stevens, Larry Dirk, Julie Strain, Ronnie Gene Blevins, Kyle Lupo, Skye Stafford, Jennifer L. Johnson, Karen A. Smith, Chuck Kapinskis

Directed by Devin Hamilton

Expectations: Moderately high. I loved the trailer for this.

On the general scale:
twostar

On the B-movie scale:
threestar


I usually don’t find it hard to write about movies these days, but once in a while a movie stumps me. I sit in front of the computer, desperately doing anything other than write. I do this in an attempt to make it seem like I could be writing, but I’m just choosing not to. The whole time I know exactly what I’m doing: putting off the inevitable stare at the white screen of Notepad as I think of how to start writing about yet another movie.

It’s not that I didn’t like Birth Rite. I actually really enjoyed it. But it’s just one of those movies that’s not going to be all that fun to write about. I mean, it doesn’t have any suburban witches and warlocks practicing the dark arts in their garage, nor does it have magical amulets or creepy betrothals between a grown man and a six-year-old girl. Oh wait! It has all of those! Birth Rite was fun as shit!

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