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2 reviews, 1 rating

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Director's Cut (2003)
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by Scott Weinberg

"If you can name at least fifty slasher flicks, here's one you'll likely dig"
3 stars

One toes a touchy line when dealing directly with indie filmmakers; I mean, what if some producer sends me his movie for review - and I just HATE it? Of course I can't be dishonest when I write the review, yet it's important to realize how little these filmmakers have to work with. In other words, the grass-roots flicks often deserve a benefit of the doubt that the Hollywood Goliaths don't. But if a movie's no good, it's simply no good. I started getting worried about 30 minutes into Director's Cut - because I really didn't want to tell the artists that I'm about to bash their flick. Fortunately I was patient, because after a rather slow start, Director's Cut ends up pretty damn entertaining as a whole.

We start off on a great foot: a family of four is tied up at the dinner table as simply horrible acts are committed to Mom & Pop. It's a pretty compelling prologue - and enjoyably gory to boot.

Next up is the requisite character development (two California Blondies & their irritating boyfriends are about to hit Hollywood to find stardom) and plot exposition (the opening murder sequence may or may not have a lot to do with the director the bubble-head gals are about to meet with), much of which seems to drag on the film's detriment.

But when our endearingly annoying quartet chances upon a gross oddball hitchhiker, things pick up fairly well. Seems that screenwriters Eric Stacey and Brennon Jones have a sort of 'parallel plot' trick up their sleeve, as it's implied that the disgusting transient has some connection with the ladies' final quarry.

During the lengthy moments of chit-chat we're offered a few knowing winks at horror films, reality television and the blatant shallowness of many aspiring starlets. And when the gang finally shows up for their meeting with the mysterious indie director Cole ("Die Zombie Die" & "Night of the Fucking Dead") Wilder, Director's Cut switches into a horror/industry parody that should absolutely excite fans of the genre flicks. There are a handful of killer gore scenes, while the humor gets broader and more effective as Act III kicks in.

The cast is uniformly raw yet likeable, with the standout being the squeak-voiced Molly Michelle as an astonishingly ditzy fameseeker. The actors are covered by the fact that they're unpolished newcomers...playing unpolished newcomers. There may not be any Oscar winners in this batch, but in a movie like this anything above "awful" is a good performance. And nobody here is near "awful". Lead Kathleen Taylor seems well aware that she's in both a horror flick and a satire, and she delivers solid work.

All in all, here's one I'd absolutely recommend to the horror freaks. Those unfamiliar with the endless streams of Z-grade slasher flicks will miss much of what Director's Cut has to offer, but old-school Gorehounds will absolutely appreciate the goods. (3.5 stars out of 5)

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originally posted: 07/28/03 16:45:18
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User Comments

7/31/03 federico dordei Katrina was awesome!!! and hoooot!!! 4 stars
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  01-Aug-2003 (R)



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