Tuesday, May 11, 2010

A study in contrasts

Anyone who has ever been in the Electronics department of Wal-Mart or Target has seen the cheap, double/quad-feature DVD and Blu-Ray packs you only seem to find at the discount stores. Most of the time, the movies in any given pack are of comparable quality, but on occasion one throws you a major curve. I find surprises occur most often with the horror packs, such as the Blu-Ray horror pack I picked up a few days ago.

Mortuary - Mortuary is bad, but I would say hilariously so. For starters, the movie opens with a family moving cross-country because a single mother randomly decides her new life's calling is to be a mortician. When they arrive, the mortuary is in disrepair, and locals are leery of the place due to the murder of the previous owners by their son. Not ominous at all, right? The first 30 or so minutes are a little painful to watch, but Mortuary takes a turn for the funny when creepy things start happening and the zombies show up. Oh, did I mention the zombies are the result of a fungus? A fungus created using hideously cheap looking computer graphics. A fungus that spreads through the inky black projectile vomit of the infected. I think you get the idea. When they resurrect MST3K decades from now, I expect Mortuary to be on the shortlist.

Salvage - In stark contrast to Mortuary, Salvage is genuinely good. Maybe even fantastic. The movie kicks off with the brutal murder of Claire by a man called Duke. Claire wakes up at her job and carries on with her life as if the murder was a dream. Until she starts picking up on oddities in the world around her and is eventually killed in the exact same manner as before, only to once again wake up at work as if nothing happened. Now painfully aware of the fact that all is not right with the world, Claire's attempts to discover the truth lead to a well-played reveal that actually caught me by surprise. The performances are generally solid, the pacing is excellent, and though made for cheap ($25,000 according to Wikipedia), Salvage never seems cheaply made. Some of the dialogue could have used a bit more work, but I wish more horror movies aspired to the overall level of quality demonstrated here.

Salvage alone is worth the $10 price tag; the unintentional comedy included in the package is a bonus.

No comments:

Post a Comment