Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Lake Dead (2007)

A while back, I reviewed "The Graves", and said that it was easily the worst of the After Dark "Films to Die For." I still hold onto that statement, though it's had some serious competition along the way. That's right, films like the torture film "The Final", the family with a secret tale "Slaughter" and Matthew Leutwyler's extremely misguided creature feature "Unearthed" have all tested my patience. You can also take George Bessudo's Backwoods horror movie "Lake Dead"-please, take it!-as an example of a bad "Horrorfest" movie.

The plot deals with three sisters and their friends decide to take a road trip to gain inheritance after their grandfather's death. Thing is, it turns out grandpa and his family had some dark secrets. Secrets revolving around Kane (Trevor Torseth) and Abel (Christian Stokes) Lake, their mother Gloria (Pat McNeely), and their brother Chuck (James C. Burns), who happens to be the Sheriff, and is having a sexual relationship with momma.

Take one part "Wrong Turn", one part "The Texas Chainsaw Massacre" remake, a pinch of "Just Before Dawn" and a huge bowl of badness, and "Lake Dead" is what you get. Except for Pat McNeely as Gloria Lake, everyone here can't act convincingly. Burns tries way too hard as Chuck, and it's hard to care too much about any of the victims or sisters, since they are all vacant, annoying slasher movie stereotypes without any purpose other than to be raped, murdered or serve as poor plot devices. Oh, and then there's Kane and Abel (how cleaver) Lake. The actors playing them aren't bad per say, but the characters don't look threatening at all. In fact, they look a lot like the Geico Cavemen. I'm amazed the characters didn't start complaining about how undignified it is that Hollywood presents inbred rednecks as murderous, simple minded rapists.

Speaking of rape, there's an ugly undertone of misogyny running throughout the movie. Except for Gloria Lake, all of the women here are dumb, weak beings who can barely fight for themselves, always need a man to help them, and are put through torture and rape constantly. There's not even a "Final Girl" moment in the movie. The whole thing is more than a bit bothersome, and ended up giving me a bad taste in my mouth.

There's very little (a few decent kills, McNeely's performance) to recommend about "Lake Dead", unless you've never seen a backwoods horror movie or have some unpleasant views towards the female sex. Avoid.

Rating: 1.5/10

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