Tuesday, June 2, 2009

No Man's Land: Rise Of The Reeker

Another day, another sequel. A few years back there was a horror movie called "Reeker" which involved a group of friends on their way to a rave getting stuck at a run-down gas station and stalked by a strange entity who always comes accompanied by an atrocious stench. It was actually the script that stank so bad - as it happens, that mild car accident that occured early on in the film was much more serious than originally thought and the friends are all in a state of limbo. There is no creature called the Reeker - it was literally the stench of death coming after those who didn't survive the car wreck. That's right, most of them were DEAD ALL ALONG. God, I'm sick of that ending.

For some reason, a studio let director Dave Payne take a second shot at the concept in "No Man's Land: Rise Of The Reeker". And guess what? It's not too bad. Somebody must have told Payne that almost ten years on from "The Sixth Sense" that the whole they-were-dead-the-whole-time twist is not so terribly surprising anymore. Instead, he immediately creates a legend, if you will, that explains the creation of The Reeker (usually the soul of someone who was very evil while they were alive i.e. a serial killer). He then introduces a motley crew of characters including a sheriff and his son, a waitress, a doctor and a couple of casino thieves who, after a big shoot-out and explosion, find themselves caught in a bizarre state of limbo. But this time around, the characters slowly manage to figure out that they are indeed caught between the living and the dead and are being targeted by some sort of soul collector - he's come to get the ones who are supposed to be dead. So instead of trying to surprise the audience with an overused twist ending, things zip along nicely until the end, which wraps everything up neatly. There's the inevitible set-up for a sequel, but it's in keeping with the mythology set up at the beginning of the movie.

So there you have it. "No Man's Land: Rise Of The Reeker" isn't a great horror movie - it wasn't remotely scary or suspenseful. But it contained a couple of original ideas, likeable characters, and a few gory moments. Which at least makes it a cut above a lot of the stinky competition.

1 comment:

  1. Gawd, you've just about convinced me to watch this one. Not scary or suspenseful? Zips along nicely? Original ideas? Likeable characters?
    What's come over you, man? The chicken pox must've eaten into your brain.