Saturday, November 15, 2014

goat hanger.

Can you believe it? Wait ages for an alien invasion then two turn up at once.

Three if you count Doctor Who.


Hanger 10 (2014).
Dir: Daniel Simpson.
Cast: Robert Curtis, Abbie Salt, Danny Shayler and a deer.

Now we all remember the Rendlesham Forest incident don't we where back in the deep distant past (December 1980 to be precise) a series of reported sightings of spooky lights and noises culminating with the alleged landing of a spacecraft caused a mild panic in the home counties and the area to be dubbed 'Britain's Roswell'?


Well a group of amateur archeologists; ex territorial army tough nut Gus Van Santa (Curtis who's been in Eastenders dontcha know), his girlfriend Sally Cinnamon (Salt of rapping duo Salt and Peppa fame) and greasy badboy Jake Tweenie (Ging Gang Goolie star 'Hayler' Shayler) do and they've decided to spend the weekend in the woods recording themselves searching for Saxon gold.

As you do.

The local neds remake Predator....Govan style!

It's not all amateur Time Team tho' (the budget doesn't stretch to Tony Robinson for a start) because although Sally is Gus' gal she once had a 'thing' with Jake, making the whole endeavour a wee bit awkward.

Especially as it calls for the cast to emote as well as shout "What the fuck was that?" when one of the crew runs past holding a disco light in the air.

But more of that later.

"By the power of Greyskull!"

Gus, being a secretive type hasn't told the others that the booty hunt will take them not only thru' the aforementioned Rendlesham Forest but also into the government restricted area that the sightings took place.

And if this wasn't enough the whole area is the site of not one but two airbases, one owned by the stiff upper lipped MoD and the other by gung ho Uncle Sam.

That's America by the way, not a hitherto unseen character.

So it does come as a surprise that when wandering around after midnight, Gus is genuinely shocked when they group start encountering a variety of flashing lights and loud parping noises.

Sally and Jake think it's UFO's but gormless Gus is convinced it's 'drones', tho' the only drone-like thing in the movie up until this point is the never changing  tone of his performance.

A giant cowboy branding a tiny horse yesterday.

 But frayed relationships, thinning hair, mysterious lights and an utter lack of originality isn't all our threadbare threesome have to cope with.

There's also the added mysteries of who stole Gus' car, why they're being secretly photographed by a tramp and most importantly who put up the tents to deal with.

As well as trying to find the answer to the age old question why, after 15 long years anyone would think it would be a good idea to remake the Blair Witch Project in a field in England?

Hang on....that'd make a great film title.

Disappointingly not a sequel to Nathan Matsuda's classic Hanger No. 5 (which interestingly also features a group of youngsters searching for gold around a USAF base and a female lead with a peachy arse) or prequel to the James L. Conway UFO conspiracy movie Hanger 18 (which features ex Dynasty babe Pamela Bellwood and Kolchak himself Darren McGavin....can't decide who has the best bum out of those two....answers on a postcard please), Hanger 10 is a by the book, surprise free exercise in by the numbers found footage film making.

Albiet one that does have some fairly impressive visual effects at the climax.

But then do you really want to sit thru' an hour and a half of tired old lost in the woods nonsense (including all the old favourites like 'character goes missing', 'nasty things hanging in trees' and my favourite 'we've been walking around in circles all day!') just for a glimpse of a couple of realistically rendered UFO's?

Pamela Bellwood: Arse (or UFO's) not shown.

I actually feel bad for slagging it off because unlike the similarly staged Extraterrestrial or Willow Creek, Hanger 10 isn't interesting enough to be either annoying or - in the case of Creek awful enough to make you vomit blood - it's competently directed, nicely acted, has some nice effects and at 1hr 27 mins doesn't outstay it's welcome.

It's just that it's, well, just there.

It's as if it exists for the sole purpose of existing.

Which apart from being a wee bit too Meta for me begs the question that if by attempting to take a tired genre back to it's roots ala Blair Witch means you end up with a cheaply Xeroxed copy of the genres template surely it's time to move on and leave the witch in the woods in peace because one more like this and the whole cinematic universe is going to collapse in on itself.

I have a headache now.

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