Wednesday, August 18, 2021

the tedious footsaw massacre.


On this day in 1973 The Texas Chain Saw Massacre took place fright fans but that would be way too great a film to celebrate so instead I give you - no please just take it....

Staunton Hill (2009). 

Dir: G. Cameron Romero. 

Cast: Kathy Lamkin, Cristen Coppen, David Rountree (not that one, well maybe), Kiko Ellsworth, Christine Carlo, Paula Rhodes, BJ Hendricks and Charlie Bodin.

It's 1969 (OK?) somewhere in a part of America that has loads of trees and stuff and where group of faceless and fairly interchangeable friends - hunky behatted Cole (co-writer and drummer with Blur Rountree, best known for appearing in the Britney Spears Oops, I Did It Again video), the token politically minded black dude Boone (shiny browed co-producer Ellsworth) and his granite jawed missis Raina (star of Nora's Hair Salon, Carlo), teeny tiny Trish (actress, composer, writer tho' obviously no judge of quality Rhodes) and the terrifyingly toothsome Jordan (Coppen, I can't be arsed looking her up) - are busy hitch-hiking their way to Washington D.C. for a rally of some sort or another. 

By the year we can assume that it's either to protest against the war in Vietnam or to demand equal rights for someone, seeing as that's all folk did in the sixties obviously. 

Saying that tho' the writer doesn't care enough to give a specific reason so why should I be bothered to think of one? 

Not having any luck finding a ride (tho' you'd need a bus to carry all of them) they decide to stop at a roadside garage cum store for no other reason than to give the writer the chance to have a pock-faced Hick use the word 'nigger' (shocking) and to introduce car driving cut-out Quintin (Bodin, all pube beard and ticks) so he can offer them a lift. 

So far so clichéd. 



Boiled onions!

Well would you believe it, halfway down the road Quintin's truck breaks down, leaving our party stranded in the woods with a storm brewing and no shelter. 

But wait, didn't they pass what looks like a deserted farm a few miles back? 

Maybe they could stay there till morning. 

I mean what's the worse thing that could happen? 

Heading off thru' the trees and over a hill (the sound of thunder and local traffic rumbling in the background) our merry band of cipher's take refuge in a big barn and bed down for the night. 

 I feel that I have to interject right now to point out that it's taken about 35 minutes of the movie to get this far. 

Yup, a third of it's running time is over and absolutely fuck all has happened. 

No character development, no suspense, no hope of a quick and painless end to the viewers suffering, nothing. 

Waking the next morning (which is more than my arse had done by now) the friends come across (and I so wish I'd been literally) hulking, moonfaced inbred Buddy (another co-producer and living potato BJ Hendricks) violently fucking a cabbage. 

Actually the last bit is a lie but I'm trying to brighten up the review in a way the writers didn't bother with the film. 


"I love you...could it be magic?"

Buddy's (like all big boned movie mentalists) response to Cole's friendly greeting is to hit him in the face with a spade. 

Cue some slow fighting and staged wrestling till the farms owners - wheelchair bound alcoholic Geraldine Staunton (Weston) and her lard loving daughter Louise (Lamkin, playing exactly the same role that she did in the Texas Chainsaw remake) arrive in time to break it up, apologize and invite their guests to stay for a big meaty breakfast. 

Cut to lots of long, lingering close ups of Buddy actually cooking the said brekkie followed by even more shots of the cast eating it, intercut with close-ups of Quintin calling the chef a retard. 

Realizing that the movie has almost finished yet no-one has died yet (except me, inside) our cardboard crew decide to head out to the fields in an attempt to fix the families van in the hope of borrowing it to travel to the next town or something tho' Trish, desperate for a wee stays behind to look for a toilet. 



Wandering aimlessly (and whining annoyingly) around the farm she first stumbles across Buddy having a(nother) sly Barclay's whilst looking at pictures of Tiny Tears dolls (which isn't as funny as it sounds, I mean the cast are so uniformly unattractive that given the choice I'd probably choose to crack one off over your wee sisters doll - or your wee sister if I'm honest - than anyone on offer here) before taking a wrong turn and ending up in a scary (re: filthy) operating theatre built onto the back of a shed. 

Taking it all in her stride (tho' unfortunately not in her mouth) Trish tiptoes around opening every door and cupboard in the hope of finding a loo (or a bucket - she's been needing a piss for what seems like days) just as Buddy, brandishing a hammer, turns up and beats her to death before cutting her throat and skinning her. 

Which is nice.

Saying that, I'm no medical expert but I'm sure that if you needed a slash (of the wee kind, not your throat) so badly then at least a little bit would come out at the moment of death? 

But let's not complain, at least we finally get a killing. 

So it's a pity that it's so boringly directed really, which, if I'm honest wouldn't be that bad if we actually gave a toss about any of the characters. 


"Hole in mah neck!"

It's not long (thank fuck) before the surviving friends find themselves being hunted down by bad boy Buddy and his family and discover the true horror behind the seemingly random acts of slaughter. 

Which (as far as I can gather seeing as my finger was permanently attached to the fast forward button) seems to involve them running an illegal severed foot farming operation led by Quintin (the ex medical student brother of Buddy) out of the converted coal shed behind the house. 

Because of course. 


Not that one.

Those regular readers of this fine blog will know that this is the point where I usually wax lyrical about the movie in questions production, cast etc. in a cutting yet oh so amusing fashion adding clever observations and sometimes scandalous lies for the enjoyment of those childish enough to find references to 'mooth shite-in' and the overuse of the comedy catchphrase 'laugh now' the height of cinematic criticism but frankly when it comes to Staunton Hill the only thing that comes to mind are three little words over and over again. 
Utter fucking bollocks. 
Look, I'll show you what I mean: 
Direction: Utter fucking bollocks.
Acting: Utter fucking bollocks.
Script: Utter fucking bollocks.
And so on and so forth. 
It's as if the movie has somehow fallen thru' a crack in space/time from some bizarro world where good plotting and character development have no place, it's as if someone decided to remake the Frederick Friedel classic Axe but without any of that films suspense and tension (for any American's reading this is what we Britfags call irony by the way). 
I can imagine Cameron and his buds sitting around drunk after reading the script and saying "Hmm, you know what, this script seems a lot like The Texas Chainsaw can we make it different and unique?".  
"Well, that film's got Leatherface in it, so named because he has a mask made from human skin..."
 "Gee you're right! Every major horror movie villain has a trademark look; Freddie with his hat and finger knives, Michael Myers with his Quick Fit overalls and William Shatner mask and Jason with his hockey mask and machete!" 
"Let's give the folk watching a real fright...let's make our killer fat and ginger..." 
"And almost myopic from constant masturbation!"  
"But what can we call him....His name needs to strike fear into the hearts of cinema goers everywhere..." 
Scratching his head Cameron glances over at his record collection catching glipse of the Chesney Hawkes hit 'The One and Only".  
"I got it! how about Buddy?"


Cameron Romero, hang your head in shame, I'm surprised George didn't get a paternity test done as soon as he saw this because if this is was kind of shite a child of mine ended up producing then I'd check my missis wasn't playing around with Chris Chibnall behind my back. 
It's the only explanation I can think of. 
Good day to you.

No comments: