Sunday, October 1, 2017

simple simon.

It's the first of October which is as good an excuse as any to do that horror movie a day thing that blogs have to try and up their readership.

Plus it means I can repost all those really old reviews from 2006 that no-one has ever (will ever) read and add new pictures seeing as Photobucket seems to have deleted all the old ones.

And what better way to start than by revisiting....

Simon Says (2006)
Director: William Dear.
Starring: Sir Crispin of Glover, Margo Harshman, Greg Cipes, Carrie Finklea, Kelly Vitz, Artie Baxter and Blake Lively.

Deciding it would be cool to spend their summer vacation panning for gold (no, really), five high school 'buds', comprising of the annoying, pointed faced Kate (Harshman), annoying pug-nosed 'jock' Zack (Cipes), annoying blonde slut Vickie (Finklea), annoying 'stoner' Riff (Baxter) and annoying rich chick Ashley (Vitz) decide to head out to the woods for a camping holiday.

Taking a wrong turn (but alas not taking it up the casino) they stop at a nearby cemetery to ask directions from the local (twin brother) gravediggers and end up getting told the tale of (another set of) scary twins Stanley and Simon, one of which murdered his brother, family and 'a person for every year he was alive'.

Which is nice if not totally useless in helping them get to their destination.

Unless of course their destination is TERROR.

Know your cast: (l-r) Annoying, annoying,
annoying, annoying and annoying. Oh and Crispin Glover.

Anyway 'Hmmm' thinks the audience, 'twin brothers...could they be the killers?'.

Well that might be the case and if it is it's a pity then that the director chose to show pics of the real 'killer twins' in the opening credits leaving us with no doubt that it's the magnificent Mr. Glover playing the mentalist.

Anyway, after a comment about 'filling holes' the brothers send the group on their way reminding them to stop in at the local shop (for local people) for supplies first.

Which is thoughtful.

Arriving at the run down miner's tool shop cum garage cum convenience store they're startled when the owner pops up from behind the counter shouting "Don't steal mah beer it's bad!".

Ladies and gentlemen our hero (and the sole reason for watching) has arrived.

It;s Crispin playing Simon and who by this point we know is dead so I reckon it's safe to say that this is really Crispin playingStanley in 'disguise'.

A disguise that consists of a pair of filthy waders and a large hat.


Luckily bad boy Riff scares Simon away by shouting "Retard!" at him and the teens go about their business.

Overly excited by his show of manliness  Riff heads off for a wee where he comes across (wouldn't we all?) the suave and sophisticated Stanley who promptly apologies for his brother before refusing to sell them fags ("smoking kills!") and drooling over Kate's hand whilst calling her 'dream girl'.

He does point them in the direction of the most secluded part of the woods tho' so it isn't all bad.

Just the acting.

I dream of pointy.

It's not long then (it is a short film) before the friends have set up camp, changed into skimpy bikini's and bright shorts and gotten down to the business of 'partying on' as the youngsters say.

But there tensions are in the air, slutster Vickie wants hunky Zack for herself, harsh Kate wants a cleaner barbecue, Riff wants to get 'stoned' and squeaky Ashley wants to go jogging.

So our merry band split up.

Bad idea.

Vickie offers to go help Zac 'get wood' for the fire whilst Ashley runs off listening to shitey MOR soft rock on her stereo (she deserves to die for her music taste alone) leaving Riff and Kate to chat about drug misuse and hygiene whilst cooking before taking the hint he finally drives off to buy cleaning products.

And booze.

Yes I know what teenagers forget to take booze on a camping weekend?

Insert penis here.

After all this talk of choppers and wood, Vickie and Zack indulge in some 'film sex' (you know fully clothed and pulling faces) only to be interrupted by athletic (but still annoying) Ashley jogging by. She stops at camp only to shout "Zack was shagging Vickie!" to Kate before disappearing behind a bush.

Now this is where the fun starts, you see unbeknown to them, the group of friends are being a man dressed as a tree and it can only be a matter of time before they're forced to play a deadly game of 'chase me now!' with the slightly schizo Stanley involving giant mechanical pick axe launchers, cannons that fire spiked logs and worst of all, moldy sandwiches.

And if that wasn't enough we still have the sight of soon-to-be famous Blake Lively trussed up in a shed like a pig in a market to look forward to.

When I heard that William Dear, acclaimed director of Bigfoot and The Hendersons and Teen Agent was making his first foray into horror I couldn't help but get excited, especially when you know The Glover-man himself is involved (and signed up for two sequels!).

I just knew this was going to be a classic.

Then I watched it.

Lurching from a Friday The 13th homage (with a huge dash of the Chuck Connor's 1979 'classic' Tourist Trap thrown in) to moments of uneasy comedy via genuinely ingenious death scenes (including death by joint, death by hanging/swung at a WV camper van, death by spiky log etc.), Simon Says is as schizophrenic as it's main character with a tone that veers wildly from funny to creepy to cringe worthy and back from one scene to another (and sometimes in the middle of scenes) to a point where the director appears to be working from an idea's list rather than a completed script.

Oh and decided to outfit the villain entirely from an Aldi Special Buys fishing catalogue.

Crispin's farted...
and it's an eggy one.
Take for example the 'deserted' forest the teens are camping in, after stressing the point of how isolated it is ad infinitum, Stanley suddenly happens across a team of paint ballers and a group of combat clad kick boxers and their dog all within minutes of starting his stalking shenanigans.

Seriously it's busier than our local A and E on a match day.

Or your mums bedroom when your dad's away fishing.

As a plus point it does mean we get to see Mr. Glover kill a few more folk in a variety of interesting ways plus squash a Terrier with his combat boots, but you do wonder if it's such a popular place why no-one has notices the countless families, hitch hikers and pets that have gone missing over the years since Stanley was let out of jail for murdering his family.

Then there's Stanley's weapon of choice, a large pick axe cannon.

All well and good but at one point it appears to be firing over a hundred axes per second in all it's CGI's a wonder there's any trees left.

Plus wouldn't he have to wander the forest picking them all up again? that'd take forever.

This films equivalent of a making of book.

Worth watching for Crispin Glover wearing a large pair of trousers made from the contents of a lawn mower bucket and squashing a dog, Simon Says ultimately disappoints (unlike its star), the 'shock' ending is quite nice tho' even if it is signposted within the first 3 minutes of the film.

One for fans of twin based, grass trousered Crispin Glover horror movies only.

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