34 of 37 people found the following review helpful
The Gore the Merrier! Don't forget the Extras...,
This review is from: Laid to Rest (Unrated Director's Cut) (DVD)
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Okay, let's face it: If you're thinking about watching a horror movie in the slasher subcategory, you're not searching for a think-piece on the dangers of unresolved Oedipal complexes. You're not looking for a movie to challenge your way of thinking. You watch these movies for lots of killing, bad acting, and the plot, well...is there ever really a plot?
It'd be easy to say that Laid to Rest is another dime-a-dozen slasher movie, another entry into a misogynist genre that's been overdone since the late 1980's...but that would ignore the vast efforts put into it by the director, his wife, the cast, and the crew.
The Director: Robert Hall, owner of the special effects company Almost Human, made this film for two reasons. He wanted to make his first horror movie, and his wife needed her first starring role.
The Lead: Bobbi Sue Luther, to me, is known for her role in Star Trek: Enterprise as a green-skinned Orion Slave Girl. She's been in countless men's magazines, and even became the face of St. Pauli Girl beer in 2007. She also co-produced this movie.
The movie starts off with a heavy metal riff, and we see an MTV-video style montage of young nubile women getting sliced up in various ways. We see events from the aspect of "The Girl", a young woman who wakes up in a coffin with no memory of who she is or how she got there. Over the course of this horrifying night she forms an alliance with two men, Tucker and Stephen, who do their best to protect her from our unrelenting antagonist, a killer known as Chrome Skull.
I was expecting a slaughter-fest, and I was not disappointed. Chrome Skull got to use a variety of weapons: a steel rod, a shotgun, tire sealant, and of course, his trademark brass knuckle knives. The most vicious kill in the film, by far, is the one against Lena Headey's character Cindy. I was COMPLETELY unprepared for her facial reaction...the knife twists in her temple, her mouth opens and her eyes dart about. As the knife comes out, her right eye is completely bloodshot. I'm used to special effects that cut away and take the cheap way out, but this put it right in my FACE. Bravo!
I got a case of the giggles whenever Chrome Skull came on screen - he looked like Timothy Olyphant from Hitman with a shoulder camera he borrowed from The Predator. That probably wasn't Robert Hall's intention, but it made Chrome Skull a memorable character for me, whether scary or not.
Some things irritated me during this movie, such as the editor's quick-cuts. I'd see a full segment of Chrome Skull killing someone, but if I blinked, I'd miss the 13 clips pasted together of him getting stabbed in the eye at the mortuary (yes, I counted). The dialogue from most of the characters was pretty bad, but then again, I wasn't expecting a David Mamet film.
The ending was a pleasant surprise, giving me some answers but begging more questions. Usually I keep my brain turned off during a slasher film but this one made me switch it on at the end. How diabolical of you, Robert Hall!
DVD Treatment: At the beginning of Laid to Rest, there are a few movie ads:
(1) Lightning Bug (Robert Hall's directorial debut)
(2) The Alphabet Killer (Directed by Rob Schmidt, who directed Wrong Turn)
(3) Crowley (Known as "Chemical Wedding" outside of the U.S.)
(4) Tokyo Zombie
How about them Extras? Well, there's a lot to be found here:
(1) Commentary track with Bobbi Sue Luther and her husband Robert Hall - Robert never tries to hide the fact that he's making a slasher film and doesn't try to build it up to be more than it is. The commentary focuses on him and his wife being able to make a movie with a core group of friends and a non-existent budget. I enjoyed hearing their stories about the use of "Smash! Plastic", the difficulties of a few interior window scenes, and the kindness of Cookie Moreland, among others. The bit about filming in houses with black mold was kind of creepy, though.
(2) The Making of Laid to Rest - We get a brief interview of each character in the movie, and several crew members. Everyone shares their serious and goofy sides while discussing the film. Thomas Dekker even got to compose some music!
(3) Torture Porn - the SFX of Laid to Rest - No, this isn't a segment about Eli Roth: the makeup effects supervisor is named Erik Porn. He showcases the creation of Chrome Skull, the bodies in the film, various head molds for special effects, and more.
(4) Deleted Scenes - I loved the intro with Nick Principe doing Roy Batty's speech from Blade Runner, but this could have gone in the bloopers section. There are only a couple of scenes here - nothing to write home about.
(5) Bloopers - A typical blooper reel, everyone looks like they're enjoying themselves and not getting frustrated.
(6) Trailer - The trailer that piqued my interest in this movie!
You might think independent horror movies are a waste of time, but remember: a filmmaker named Sam Raimi started out shooting low budget horror movies like The Evil Dead, and he's now making multi-million dollar movies about some teenager in Queens who got bit by a spider or something.
Laid to Rest gets 3 stars, but the efforts of everyone involved pushes it to 4.
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Showing 1-2 of 2 posts in this discussion
Initial post: Aug 4, 2009 9:08:59 PM PDT
Kathleen R. Sadtler says:
I thought this was an awesome movie. It defiantly had a lot of blood and gore. I also enjoyed it because my brother was involved in making the movie. He was a grip. So I guess you can say I am kind of biased..
Posted on Jul 22, 2011 12:25:03 PM PDT
lena heady gets killed, now i know that without seeing the movie. thanks!!!!!!!!!!!!!
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