Title: Laid to Rest
Release Date: 2009
Score: 3 & 1/2 out of 4
This here film is the kind of movie that Rob Zombie wishes he could make. A funny, white trash gore explosion with likable characters, memorable scenes, and a fucking awesome metal/industrial soundtrack. Mr. Zombie should watch this movie and take some notes. Or better yet, he should just stop making movies, cause this low-budget digital video made by nobodies knocks anything he's ever made out of the water.
Not that producing a better film than Rob Zombie is any hard task mind you, I merely make the comparison because of the presence of white trash characters and extreme metal and industrial music. Industrial noize d00d Deadbox provides a kicking score, especially for the opening credits. Now, while Rob Zombie likes to exploit white trash and put them on display as a freakshow of sorts and made complete caricatures, in Laid to Rest they are presented basically how they tend to really be: not too bright, Christian, and like living way the fuck out in the middle of nowhere.
Before I get ahead of myself concerning the characters and the plot, let me congratulate Robert Hall for doing a decent job writing/directing this film. He is best known for kick ass special effects, and that is one thing that is top notch in this movie. The gore is extremely realistic and fantastically executed. Dismemberments, eviscerations, decapitations... even a complete head melting; and all of them as real as the surgery channel. BUT, the biggest kudos go to developing a plot that had me entertained and held in suspense throughout the film and characters that were relatable and likable, a rare commodity in today's horror flicks.
(That said Robert, you should be ashamed of yourself for taking part in the blasphemy that is the remake of George Romero's paranoia classic The Crazies. Shaaaame!!! Breck Eisner and Scott Kosar are both complete tools and talentless assfucks who'll ruin the film no matter how good your effects are!)
Anyway, so we have a girl who wakes up in a coffin with amnesia. She busts her way out and has to get out of a creepy funeral home, in which she encounters our almost-impervious-to-everything slasher, nicknamed Crome Skull. He wears a silver mask to hide his identity and has a small camera attached to his shoulder. Apparently, his "thing" is to POV film him killing his victims and then mail the tapes to the police. He's shot at least three times, stabbed with various things more than I can remember, but of course, he's all pumped up and evil so these things don't bother him. Even though he is thoroughly, irrevocably dead at the end of the film I have no doubt for a "Return of Chrome Skull" if the DVD sales are good enough. In fact I anticipate it with glee!
The character that really steals the show, however, is occasional soap star Sean Whalen, who plays the character of Steve Dave. Ok, its just Steve, but he is a serious Steve Dave. Nerdy, cowardly, yet downright lovable, Whalen's character is like a Steve Buschemi who is able to occasionally not come across as creepy. Also, he delivers one of the best lines I have heard in cinema for at least a couple years: "Uhm, no... I do not have what you would call a typical land line, per se..."
If you like a good Slasher flick (and who doesn't?!) then this will surely satisfy. It has a minimum of our protagonists doing dumb shit, which is nice, while it has plenty of dumb assholes getting gutted in many imaginative ways, an abattoir filled with corpses in various states of dismemberment, a serial killer with a car he has programmed from his phone, and a few choice running gags (tire sealant, for instance).
I have to take off a half point for continuity errors, characters being dumb in some instances, dialogue being not exactly exemplar, and the use of a computer from 1996 in 2009. Aside from this though, its pretty great for what it is.
Personally, if you have money to buy DVDs in this shithole economy, I recommend this for purchase. If anything, just to spite that piece of shit Rob Zombie.