Monday, 28 April 2014

River of Darkness (2011)




For the past decade or so, the world's largest pro-wrestling company have been trying to break into the film industry via their own production company 'WWE Studios'.  They've released 20-30 films, which - based on the trailers - appear to be pretty run of the mill, derivative examples of their various types, be it action, thriller, horror or comedy.

But at least those movies look like movies.  Which is more than be said for this production, which 'stars' wrestlers from the second-largest pro-wrestling company in the US, TNA.  The lighting is the worst I can remember seeing for a long time; flat and far too bright, it makes every scene look fake, even the stuff shot on location.  I mean, the lighting in Pathogen was better than this, and that was made by a 12 year old.

While the lighting is the stand-out offender against movie making here, it does face spirited competition from the script and the acting, both of which lie a long way south of 'competent'.  You might expect the pro-wrestlers to be pretty hammy actors, but they really aren't conspicuously worse than anyone else in the film.  'Bad' is something most of the case aspires to.

Plot?  Oh yeah.  Thirty years ago three backwoods bayou boys were falsely accused of a crime and drowned by the vengeful townsfolk.  Now they're out of purgatory and murdering everyone they can get their hands on.  While the sheriff investigates the murders, and three college students play ghost-hunters, some locals decide to offer a sacrifice to get the undead killers to back off.  It's all pretty standard supernatural-slasher stuff: a dash of Freddy Krueger, a smidgen of Jason Voorhees, and a whole lot of stupid.

I'd have forgiven the film many of its sins if the wrestlers had starting hitting wrestlings moves on each other, a la Blade 3, but no such luck.  Given that 'funky fight scenes' would seem to be the principal reason to hire pro-wrestlers, I'm not sure what the people behind this drek were thinking.  Maybe they were just fans.

If you simply must watch a bunch of people get murdered, you'd be much better off watching one of the Friday the 13ths instead.  I recommend 4 & 7.

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