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Overall Rating

Awesome: 25%
Worth A Look66.67%
Average: 8.33%
Pretty Bad: 0%
Total Crap: 0%

1 review, 6 user ratings

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Hazing, The
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by Scott Weinberg

"I don't care if a movie has a production budget of 46 bucks. Fun is fun."
4 stars

You have to wade through a whole lot of dire direct-to-video horror fare before you come across a low-budget fright flick that surprises you with some actual wit and craftiness, one that offers enough bona-fide entertainment value to help you overlook the no-budget trappings. Obviously I'd consider "The Hazing" one such movie; why would I bother with this kind of set-up otherwise?

Director Rolfe Kanefsky has helmed 14 features since 1999, and what the guy lacks in financial backing he surely makes up for in affection for the horror genre. Rolfe's debut effort was the surprisingly funny horror spoof called There's Nothing Out There, and the guy's bounced back and forth between fright flicks and jiggle chicks for most of his career. His most recent offering is The Hazing (a.k.a. Dead Scared) and it features many of the same assets as his first movie: it's a little bit creepy, it's often quite funny, and it's an example of how to deliver a relatively worthwhile horror flick on very limited means.

Before I get into the plot synopsis, let's take a quick detour and shed a little light on a Scream Queen actress I pretty much adore. Her name is Tiffany Shepis, and if you're a Troma Buff or a fan of movies entitled Scarecrow, Bloody Murder 2 and Death Factory, then you already know all about Tiff. She started out as just a seriously curvaceous brunette babe, but (based on what I've seen in the past 82 minutes) the gal has actually grown into a solid actress! Who knew that a career full of Toxic Avengers and Bloody Murders could lead to this?

I'm not saying Tiffany needs to start writing an Oscar speech, but she's an underrated Queen 'O Low-Budget Camp who's always welcome in my DVD player. (Let's face it: most actors in movies of this ilk sound like they're reading their lines off of wet cardboard.)

Having noted that Ms. Shepis was in the cast, I looked a bit further and noticed a few also-familiar names. Brad Dourif as the evil witch doctor guy? Cool! Brad's always good in this stuff! Nectar Rose? Heck, the hottie quotient of The Hazing just doubled! And...Brooke Burke?? From, like, the E! Channel? Well, obviously that gal has some truly ample...assets - but Brooke's only in the flick for like 3.8 minutes, so cool your jets, fellas.

Sort of a cross between an amiable campus comedy and an old-fashioned haunted house tale, The Hazing offers precisely Zero in the originality department. But the goofy little flick never pretends to be startlingly unique, and the characters often poke fun at their genre-specific formula. Horror freaks will appreciate the frequent homages to The Evil Dead series, and yes, I do know the difference between "homage" and "ripoff".

The plot has a lot to do with an evil old book, an ill-fated scavenger hunt, and a creepy old house in which a bunch of dorky guys and two stunningly hot mamas wander around before getting killed and/or possessed in rather gruesome fashion. The body count is fairly high, the gore is playfully plentiful, the dialogue is often surprisingly witty...and I believe I already mentioned what Ms. Shepis and Ms. Rose bring to the party. (Seriously, they're both really good in this movie! Sure, this dazzling duo spends the entire flick in sexily skin-tight Halloween costumes, but they're also pretty damn funny to boot. And comedy isn't easy, 'specially when you're mixing it in with gory horror...)

It's clear that Mr. Kanefsky is shooting for a self-referential vibe, not at all unlike what you'll find in the Scream trilogy. This line of humor hits at a surprisingly adept average; those who insatiably devour B-level horror movies will undoubtedly find a handful of chuckles in between all the screaming mayhem.

"The Hazing" is, to borrow a word I've used perhaps 32 times already, quite the pleasant little surprise. It's a confident and well-mounted B-level comedo-horror cocktail, full of witty barbs, gorgeous babes - and just a little bit of brains amidst all the blood. (Have a peek: )

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originally posted: 08/08/04 16:05:06
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User Comments

5/14/06 Nicholas Lawrence Osbourne Tiffany Shepis gets five stars for the body and booty 3 stars
5/28/05 Gary Not perfect but very very enjoyable. Director's commentary adds a lot 5 stars
4/04/05 Ric A fast and fun horror/comedy with likeable leads in Parry Shen and Nectar Rose. 4 stars
1/15/05 Big Mike Shepis has got her self a BOOMIN' BOOTY - Like she does'nt know - please call NYPD 010 Pct 4 stars
9/19/04 rAy This movie is great. Think Evil Dead 2/a little bit of everything else. 5 stars
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  14-Sep-2004 (R)
  DVD: 14-Sep-2004



Directed by
  Rolfe Kanefsky

Written by
  Rolfe Kanefsky

  Tiffany Shepis
  Nectar Rose
  Parry Shen
  Philip Andrew
  Brad Dourif
  Brooke Burke

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