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RELEASED: 2005, Cert. 15
RUNNING TIME: Approx. 90 mins
DIRECTOR/SCREENPLAY/MUSIC: Dave Payne
PRODUCERS: Tina Illman, Amanda Klein & Dave Payne
Tina Illman as Gretchen
Derek Richardson as Nelson
Scott Whyte as Trip
Devon Gummersall as Jack
Anelle Kebbel as Cookie
Michael Ironside as Henry
FILM ONLY REVIEW
Mother, father, son and their dog are driving through the desert. Mother is at the wheel, and all is well until a deer runs into the path of the car. The car hits the deer, and the family stops to assess the damage. When father goes to look for their dog who has run off, they both reappear....father with half his face missing, and the dog dragging himself along, having lost his back legs.
The scene then switches to a group of teens driving along the same lonely stretch of desert road, on their way to a party. Gretchen is concerned because Trip is carrying a huge amount of ecstasy pills he has stolen. Also, the atmospherics in the desert are causing their mobile phones to not work, due to no signal, and a very minor earth tremor happens which jolts the car around a bit.
The group stops off at an isolated garage/diner to refresh themselves and fill the car's petrol tank.....and, that is when very strange things start to happen.
Reeker is, from the outset, obviously a very low-budget film. However, it opens well, creating an instantly eerie atmosphere and my attention was grabbed straight away.
The group of teens in this film appears a little nicer and more appealing than in many other offerings of this nature, and I didn't find them anywhere near as irritating as I usually do. However, across the board, the acting from the whole main cast is bordering upon poor and really needs an injection of something positive to sharpen it up. This dubious acting isn't helped by what at times is an inadequate dialogue.
Once the creepy proceedings get underway, I found the concept of what happens to be interesting and reasonably original. It is a little difficult sometimes to pinpoint the crux of various events within the story and how they relate to one another, this being something I feel needs a greater sense of cohesiveness. This 'looseness' causes some confusion within the storyline, and isn't helped by quite a few of the more important scenes being shot in darkness to the point where it isn't always easy to work out what is happening.
One member of the group of teens is blind, which does have some relevance to the plight they find themselves undergoing.....but, I don't feel that the actor (Devon Gummersall as Jack) always managed to properly convey how a blind person would respond to what is happening; for instance, there is a part in the film where he gives the impression of standing and looking around, which obviously is something he'd not be capable of. However, the concept of the character of Jack relying on his other sharpened senses is useful and relevant to the storyline.
As far as the music is concerned, initially it is a bit too loud, but further through the film, it is absent for much of the time. When it does put in a re-appearance, its mood is rather drastic, but acceptably appropriate to what is happening on the screen at any given time.
There are some special effects used which are awful, these being created by deliberately fuzzing up the camera work, and they come across as laughable more than anything else. However, the makeup artist did a good job, as the blood, guts and wounds look very realistic.
On the topic of blood, guts and wounds, it never ceases to amaze me how people who have been ravaged by various sharp implements are still able to walk around as if nothing has happened to them, and in Reeker, the absurdity levels of this is probably higher than in most other films. I think to appreciate what I mean, you have to watch it for yourself.
Although Reeker is only 90 or so minutes long, at points during the film it feels as if it is going on forever as it does contain some tedious stretches, mostly during the parts where a lot is happening, but the events lack a cohesiveness, these scenes largely consisting of people running around in a scattered, bitty way, achieving little or nothing. These boring parts of the film are balanced out up to a point by the better, more interesting aspects though.
As far as I'm concerned, the best parts of Reeker are the beginning and the end - it's what happens in between that needs a bit of an overhaul, and pulling together because as it stands, it is far too disjointed. I was expecting the end of Reeker to be customised, pretty much the same as most other films of this type, but I was pleasantly surprised. This ending comes totally out of the blue, is original, imaginative and very subtle.....I had to sit and think about it for a while as I found it intriguing and unusual.
I believe at least one sequel to Reeker has been made, and although I haven't seen it (or them!), I am currently of the idea that the concept of the film, especially bearing the end in mind, isn't something that could be logically continued. However, I may change my mind if ever I do choose to watch any sequel(s).
Overall and in summary, Reeker is a film with enormous potential, having a great start and an even greater ending, but the middle section needs a lot of work to bring it up to any healthy levels of brilliance. The idea is a good one, together with there being a strong, eerie atmosphere throughout the film. If the confusing parts were ironed out, the script sharpened up and the acting greatly improved upon, the outcome very likely would be an at least borderline brilliant shocker/chiller. As it stands though, the levels of mediocrity contained within drag it down to something hovering around the average mark. Although I'm not sorry I watched Reeker as I did find enough of it sustainably entertaining, I don't think I'll be going back for second helpings. I doubt if it would appeal to horror film connoisseurs, but it is a film that has some good moments and isn't the worst way of using up part of an evening.
At the time of writing, Reeker can be purchased from Amazon as follows:-
New: from £1.73 to £11.00
Used: from 1p to £13.18
Collectible: only two copies currently available @ £5.99 and £8.42 (both appear to be used)
Some DVDs on Amazon are available for free delivery within the UK, but where this doesn't apply, a £1.26 charge should be added to the above figures.
Thanks for reading!
~~ Also published on Ciao under my CelticSoulSister user name ~~
A group of five teenagers are sharing a ride to a party in the desert. On the way, Trip admits that he has a huge stash of ecstasy tablets on him and the driver, Gretchen, who is anti-drugs, tells him he must find another ride - just as well because the dealer Trip stole them from is following him with revenge on his mind. Gretchen agrees to drive him back to a diner where he can arrange another lift...but on arrival, they find the diner is deserted and there is no phone or TV signal. Even worse, strange things start to happen - there is a weird smell in the air and very strange people appear and then disappear. What is causing the smell, and who are all the strangers? Will the dealer catch up with Trip? And will any of them survive the experience?
As with many horror movies that involve teenagers, few of the characters are very likeable, although there is an attempt to give them more background than most films of this type. Gretchen can probably be described as the 'main' character, in that she has the most screen time. Played by Tina Illman, she is the sensible one of the group, although she comes across as being slightly sanctimonious at times. Illman does a reasonable job in the role - at least she is convincing enough for the film. My only real criticism is that she has an accent, which is explained away as being Australian or South African, but she sounded more European to me - it doesn't really matter, but it did niggle a bit and took my attention away from the proceedings.
Derek Richardson plays another of the group. I recognised him from Hostel, where he played one of the more likeable characters, and I liked him again in this film - he doesn't really do anything out of the ordinary, but he was certainly less of a pain than the other characters. He manages to get together with Cookie, played by Arielle Kebbel - she is giggly and silly and is easily the most annoying character. Judging from her appearance in one of the extras, she is like that in real life too. The other two members of the group, Trip and Jack, are played by Scott Whyte and Devon Gummersall - the latter is probably the better of the two because he convincingly plays a blind guy. Scott Whyte is suitably obnoxious as Trip though and his good looks will appeal to a lot of people.
At first glance, this appears to be a reasonably well-made road trip/slasher film of the the type that has been done so often. And to be honest, right through until the end, my opinion really didn't change very much. It's all been done before, sometimes a lot worse, rarely much better. Then everything changes at the end and a lot of things suddenly make sense. That is, if you follow the ending. The first time I watched it, I was completely confused and didn't understand any of it. I then rewound and watched it again and was actually quite impressed. It is an attempt to take a normal horror up to the next level, and to a certain extent, director Dave Payne, was successful. Unfortunately, I suspect that the majority of people won't follow it, at least not the first time around, which nullifies the whole point. It's all very well trying to be clever, but if it isn't expressed in a way that most people can't understand the first time around, then it is a bit of a waste of time.
The film was made in 2005, so the special effects are generally very good. There is a scene early on in the film when someone's head is cut in half, which is quite well done, and there's a wonderful toilet scene where one of the teenagers is attacked by something coming up out of the toilet. I wasn't so impressed by a couple of the more ghostly characters though - they just didn't feel all that realistic and didn't seem to fit in with the overall quality of the rest of the film. It is still a fairly gory film though, so those who don't have the stomach for horror films will want to stay clear. There is a rating of 15 and that is probably just right - teenagers will probably enjoy it more than most adults, until it comes to the ending.
There are a couple of extras with the DVD. I quite enjoyed watching the making of documentary, which is largely made up of cast interviews. It isn't anything out of the ordinary though, and the annoying Arielle Kebbel is given too much screen time. It does partially explain the ending, so if you didn't get it, the documentary might be worth watching. Just don't watch it before the film! Then there is a trailer and introduction to the film, cast interviews and a photo gallery. Finally, if you're into audio commentaries, there is one with the cast and crew.
Right up to the last ten minutes, I found this film watchable, but mundane, and way too similar to any number of similar horrors involving groups of teenagers. Once I had grasped the ending, it did rise up in my estimation - I just wish I had understood it the first time around and I think that the fact I didn't is down to a weakness on the part of the director (or maybe I'm just stupid). I'm certainly glad I didn't watch it in a cinema, because I would have been furious at having paid to see a film I didn't understand. Recommended if you really like this genre; if you are ambivalent, there are better horrors out there - Hitchhiker, for example.
The DVD is available from play.com for £4.99.
Running time: 90 minutes
Directed and written by Dave Payne
Released 30 June 2006 (UK)
Devon Gummersall as Jack
Derek Richardson as Nelson
Tina Illman as Gretchen
Scott Whyte as Trip
Arielle Kebbel as Cookie
Michael Ironside as Henry
Eric Mabius as Radford
Marcia Strassman as Rose
David Hadinger as The Reeker
The movie opens with a woman driving along a desert road with her son in the passenger seat beside her, and her husband sleeping in the rear seat with the dog. They are playing an I SPY game, and when the child says I SPY SOMETHING BEGINNING WITH A 'D', the woman turns her attention back to the road and simultaneously hits a deer. She manages to stop the car on the side of the road, and everyone gets out. After checking that the car is okay, the husband goes in search of the dog, who has suddenly disappeared and is crying behind a clump of trees. The husband then disappears, and the woman, after getting her son back into the car, spies the dog returning (his hind legs are missing)... soon after, her husband appears, and half his face is missing. The woman starts screaming, and falls to the ground.
Next... where the story really does begin... five students travelling together to a party in the desert pause at a rest stop in order to refresh themselves. Once this done, they resume their trip. However, it comes to the attention of the driver and owner of the vehicle that one of the guys is carrying a large quantity of illegal drugs on him. At this point, she pulls onto the side of the road, and demands that he get out and call someone on his cell phone to pick him up. Of course, there is no signal. As the driver thinks of what she is going to do, there is some sort of explosion or earthquake that rattles the vehicle they are in. Everyone pauses in their talk, and it is assumed that it is an earthquake. Feeling annoyed and put-upon, the driver tells the guy to get in and decides to make a U-turn and go back to the rest stop where he can use the phone in the restaurant to call someone. What none are aware of, is that the drug-toting guy actually stole the drugs he is carrying on him, and that the owner is after him. As they head back in the direction they came from, they notice a vehicle on its side on the other side of the road, and the driver wants to stop to see if she can help, but then the sound of police sirens catches her attention and she continues driving, afraid that the police might find the drugs her passenger is carrying.
Anyways... returning to the rest stop, the drug-toting guy gets out, the driver puts the vehicle in reverse, and the engine dies. Everyone gets out at this point, and the vehicle is inspected. What they find is a cut fuel line... which is handily repaired by the drug-toting-guy-come-mechanic, but they now need fuel. Oddly enough the fuel station is closed, and when they go into the restaurant, there is no one there, however, cigarettes still smoulder in ashtrays, music is playing, and there is still food on the tables.
Stranded, the phones not working, they go outside and turn on the car radio to see if they can catch a news broadcast... after tweaking the radio a bit with a makeshift aerial put on the roof, they catch a scratchy and barely audible report stating there has been some kind of accident and the roads are closed.
Unable to find a single drop of petrol in the service station area, they settle down to wait until the roads open and someone finds them.
However, as they are waiting to be saved, a strange, evil force, starts picking them off one by one, and they are soon fighting for their lives.
I wasn't expecting much when I rented this movie... there was very little feedback on it, and the entire story on the back of the DVD case came down to a single paragraph... but what the heck. I was in the mood for a horror movie, and so REEKER was my choice.
The opening scene with the woman and her family immediately surprised me, and, truly delighted that this wasn't going to be one of those low budget horror flicks that stick to a formula, I settled back prepared to enjoy this movie... thinking I was in for a movie treat. But low and behold, after the excitement of the opening scene, the film turns to the college students... and this is a bit of a bore as you get to know (or not) the characters. At this point, I'm thinking... ummmm.... college kids, party in the desert, road trip... been there, seen that... don't really want to go there again... but I patiently refrain from pushing the EJECT button on my DVD player, and am glad I didn't.
What follows is an interesting and baffling storyline... and I have to tell you now, the saving grace for this movie is the fact that you spend the entire length of the movie wondering what the hell is going on! I always figure these things out straight at the beginning, but this time I couldn't quite figure it out, nor could my husband.
Firstly, the entity/creature killing the students, appears to be in a gaseous form with a very strong smell that appears to be toxic... but then, in order to kill the students, the gaseous form seems to have to take on a more solid (although still somewhat fluid) appearance. The entity/creature is wearing some sort of mask, and at some point when it is pulled off, you can see that it appears to be a man's decaying corpse... a sort of grim reaper come-chameleon predator.... odd... intriguing. Anyways... this entity/creature seems to feed on the memories of its victims, as you can sort of see the flashback of these memories before the victims die.
At this point, I can't really go on, because, as I stated earlier, the ONLY thing that makes this movie worth watching, is the fact that it keeps you wondering. I realized the moment I finished watching the movie, that had I known more about it, I would have hated it. As it is, the movie kept me entertained till the end, and when the credits came up, I was pleased I'd rented it. My husband and I both agreed that it wasn't a bad movie... not great... but not bad.
I have to say that the plot holds on to a thread in this movie... and what makes it interesting is the fact (which you realize at the very end) that a very small scene has been omitted... this scene comes up at the end, and then it hits you that the whole mystery is wrapped up in that tiny 2 minute scene. Truly NOT a solid movie, because those who catch on at the beginning will be in for an extremely boring 90 minutes.
As for the acting... gosh... what can I say... it was mediocre at best, the actors giving no real credence to the parts they are playing. There is no essence to any of the characters, only simple-minded blabbering that was no doubt due in part to the very weak script. All of the characters were empty, lacking any sort of emotion... they didn't appear particularly surprised by the explosion/earthquake at the beginning, they remained uninterested when they returned to the deserted rest stop, never alluding to the strangeness of it, nor did any of the actors appear truly afraid of the entity stalking them. The actors were more interested in reading the lines than acting them out... pathetic really.
What kept my interest, really, was the entity/creature... it was the entity that held this movie together, and the only truly interesting scenes were those the entity appeared in. Whenever it was missing from a scene, my attention seemed to wander. I think my fascination with the entity was the fact that it just seemed so familiar, but I could never quite put my finger on it. I mean, sure, it resembles a reaper, but then it's also in a gaseous form, like predator was in the first movie when it went into chameleon mode.
All in all, this is a badly acted movie with a weak plot that was just as badly directed and edited, but it is interesting... so long as you don't know who or what the creature is. If you have an inkling as to what the creature is, then pass this one by because you will definitely find the movie excruciatingly long.
Proving my point when it comes to the directing and editing of this movie, here are a few highly noticeable goofs caught on tape:
The crew and equipment is reflected in the truck, in many pan-around shots.
After Trip fixes the car, the boom pole is reflected in the truck's back window.
It is apparent that Trip's arm is hidden under his shirt, after it is torn off.
When Gretchen is on the bed, she turns around, and a shard of glass in the window frame flaps in the wind.
After Nelson jumps through the window and we see the piece of glass embedded in his neck, the prosthetic which is used to attach the fake glass to his neck is clearly visible.
Reeker is a horror/mystery film about a group of people who hardly know each other travel together to a rave in the desert when things take a turn for the worse. After finding their way back to a motel they stopped at, they are surprised to see that everyone has vanished, with no signs of how or why. The only person they find is a middle aged man in a Winnebago looking for his wife. And to top it off they are being stalked by a ghostly masked figure who smells revolting and trying to kill them all.
Reeker is a very entertaining film, I can't remember a time where I was bored or I wanted it to end. Within the first few minutes you get to see what kind of film this is going to be, gory with great effects, and you get both of these done very well with people getting killed in rather imaginative ways.
The music is standard horror fare, but it's the setting and the cast that elevate this film above standard teen horror. The cast work well together and the addiction of veteran actor Michael Ironside only adds to the credibility. The location in which most of this is played out is creepy and disturbing, somewhere you definitely won't be wanting to stay the night! And the monster is suitably scary, especially when you see what it looks like, very impressive for a low budget film.
The plot (and twist) are similar to a film with John Cusack in it called Identity. A group of strangers holed up in a motel, with people getting knocked off and they have to discover who is behind it. And as with that film, you can kinda see the twist coming, but this isn't a major flaw and doesn't take away from the good points this film has.
You get the usual things as extras, a 'Making Of' featurette, cast and crew biographies and various trailers, Ok but nothing ground-breaking. It's also quite cheap as well so yet another reason to buy it!
Overall a very solid entertaining horror flick which I would recommend to any horror fan!
The setting is the Californian desert and five party goers are stranded. Then they notice a strange smell. The smell turns to a stink and then a reek. It's all a bit like The Fog but the creeping festering cloud has a pong with it this time.
There are other spooky things around too and of course, they have no reception on their mobile phones, so that rather obvious solution to their problems is blow out of the water before you can even think of it.
The setting here is good, in fact its very convincing and the cast isn't bad at making the story seem almost real, but its all a bit overdone. This isn't the fault of the cast because they seem to make the best of a bad script.
At the end of this film I still didn't know exactly who, or what caused the stink, so I found the whole film quite puzzling. I'm not sure here if I missed something, or if we never really uncover the truth. This film reminded me of another one I had seen a little while ago, called 'Dead End' (Starring Ray Wise of Twin Peaks Fame).
Lots of blood and gore and really good car ride and the camera work is excellent. A bit too gory for me but a really careful production that sticks to the 'rules' of the genre, although whether that's a good, or a bad thing is debatable. The whole thing is woven around that awful stink in the air but no matter how good the acting and directing is, there's no way that the full impact of it can be real. Wrinkling of noses and gagging just didn't convince me of the strength of it.
I'm still puzzled about this film but I do know that's its a horror film that was horrible but not scary. Apparently, the people who died during the film were already dead when it started and the Reeker was the smell of death coming for their souls, or something like that.
If you can be bothered to watch this you might be able to work it out but I couldn't watch it again as I had enough difficulty watching it once. I certainly don't recommend this. It has a poor plot, it's not original and if it wasn't for the blood and gore there would be no film.
Cast: Devon Gummersall
Director: Dave Payne
The Institution/Primal Pictures-Pathe
Released: 23 June 2006
When five students, heading for a huge party, find themselves stranded at a recently deserted motel they try not to let it dampen their mood. But when they start to discover mutilated bodies and a foul stench in the air, they begin to fear for their lives.
Maybe with the name "Reeker" the films creative team was trying to give us a subtle warning that is that this film stinks. There are so many things wrong with "Reeker" that it is hard to see why a few reviews and critics have actually praised it, but strangely they have.
When it comes to the plot "Reeker" is less than original, a group of students stuck in the middle of nowhere face a gruesome death, come on, been there, watched that and got the proverbial t-shirt. But then I suppose I can still see an audience for a film with this unoriginal plot line, that being teenagers themselves who may not have seen this sort of story line before done much more effectively in numerous other films. Whist the lack of originality detracted for me, what really made the film suffer was the countless plot holes which really do not make sense and makes it quite a difficult film to follow, well for me anyway. Throughout the entire film you are left wondering as to why the heck have they done that and sadly no matter how long you wait you will be none the wiser, especially by the time the rushed climax comes along. Even this ending, which attempts to piece everything together to explain what you have seen leaves you even more confused and you end up challenging everything it wants you to think has happened. But it is not all bad, and whilst the majority of the film is quite bad there are a few subtle moments of inspired ingenuity. One of these such moments was creating a character who was blind, thus making there other senses more alert than his friends and so he was able to smell the stench of impending doom a lot quicker than the others. But sadly these few moments are never used to their full effect and only leave you wondering what could have been with greater creative talent behind the film. It really does get so bad that you and others watching "Reeker" find yourselves taking the mick out of the scenes.
What also seriously lets "Reeker" down is the lack of any real tension. There are no moments where you jump or reach for a cushion in fright, as everything and I do mean everything is so telegraphed that you can see any attempts to scare you coming a mile off. This leaves the film attempting to making you cringe with some seriously dodgy special effects and make up. Not since the early eighties have I seen mutilated corpses look as unconvincing as these. Right from the opening scene, which did show early promise, it delivers some of the least convincing make up I have seen and you start to wonder whether this is going to be more a horror parody than an all out fright fest. Now if they had made this into a horror-comedy maybe it would have worked ten times better than it does.
Thankfully for me the cast was pretty much a band of unknowns, except for Derek Richardson who I recognized from the equally poor "Hostel", so I wasn't left wondering why their performances were so mediocre, and I am being generous with calling them mediocre. Everything about their performances reeked of inexperience and I am sure on more than one occasion they were reading their lines from an auto-cue. It didn't help that none of the characters was that well written and just added to the confusion of the plot, but when accents and general stiffness leaves you laughing, you know you are in for a bumpy ride. As for the dialogue, well I am sure even the least knowledgeable film watcher will be able to recognise some of the dialogue from other films.
As you can guess I am seriously unimpressed with "Reeker", which is a shame as the underlying plot, although unoriginal, did have a slight cleverness about it, it was just a shame that it was so poorly executed. When it comes to horror films this really lacked everything I need to not only scare me but also to keep me watching. For me this felt like a mediocre attempt to modernise a run of the mill 90s horror which although was not in the same style as "Hostel" was about as effective. Surprisingly, despite the poor plot, acting and dodgy visual effects there was a feeling that a bit of money had been spent on this film. This is mainly down to some reasonable camera work and editing which for me kept the film moving and is the only reason that I don't give this film a single star. My advice is to stay away from "Reeker" as it leaves behind a foul stench.
> Price & Availability
www.amazon.co.uk : £4.98
> Technical Details
Duration: 87 mins
Year of Release: 2005
Director(s): Dave Payne
Writer(s): Dave Payne
Cast: Devon Gummersall, Derek Richardson, Tina Illman, Scott Whyte, Arielle Kebbel, Michael Ironside, Eric Mabius, Marcia Strassman, David Hadinger, Les Jankey
© Christianfilm March 2008
This review also appears under my name on Ciao.
Reeker: (major spoilers contained herein)
It's supposed to be an intellectual, psychological thriller which deals with heavy subject matter such as death and the afterlife.
What it really is, is a movie about a zombie cyborg ghost who has magical powers, that smells like the outhouse at the last outdoor event you were forced to go into lest you accidentally went on yourself.
The director knew this had to be bad. Or "misunderstood" as he would likely call it. He even put the following into his opening credits:
"If you're a film reviewer and are uninspired enough to use the phrase "this movie stinks" or any other lame pun/rip off of the title-ha ha ha"
He made a preemptive strike. Dear God, what sort of self-esteem issues does this man have?! He calls his movie an intellectual horror, but yet he makes the most immature gesture of all: he sticks his tongue out at reviewers and goes "Nyah!" He even goes as far in his special features interview to call Reeker and "all new genre" of movie, and goes as far to imply that its not a horror movie at all. I can agree with him in that fact at least. The most horrifying part of Reeker is its distinct plot holes.
For an intellectual film which is supposed to have absolutely nothing to do with bodily functions, the movie starts off with a bunch of fart jokes. The people (a family with children which is supposedly more horrifying, which any horror junkie who is actually bored enough to watch this obviously is too desensitized to care about) are then dispatched by an unseen but undoubtedly odoriferous creature. The mutilation effects are pretty good for such an undeniably bad movie, but considering that Evil Dead pumped out a fantastic trilogy of works with fairly crappy effects its really not that much of a big deal. Plus this is only the first few minutes of the movie. It has a long time left to go downhill. And it uses it. Oh does it ever.
The movie starts out as most horror movies do. The pre-requisite stereotypes of college students find a get stranded defunct, disgusting looking violation of public health, in this case a gas station/motel in the middle of the desert. The fact that by being a gas station it should have everything necessary to fix the car never really crosses their minds I suppose, so they just kip up in the motel. And then the surreality of the film begins.
There is a legless trucker in the dumpster. The place is abandoned without a person (besides of course the legless trucker) in sight. And Michael Ironsides is in this movie. Why, Michael? Why, indeed? Thankfully he dies before Scanners is eternally ruined for me.
At least it starts out with a good atmosphere of mystery...perhaps it shall keep that right? What's this new scene? A torture? A past murder? No. It's the obligatory sex scene. Or in this case, attempted sex scene. And on a completely unrelated note, do these women have bras with packing peanuts stuffed in there? Cause unless its freezing cold...well you get the idea.
She has to go to the bathroom, even though you know she was about to ave sex and apparently could keep it in long enough for the audience to feel incredibly awkward but when it come down to the actual act, she just had to go. To add more awkwardness to the situation, she has to traipse out to an outhouse in her underwear. And they actually show in the outhouse, bodily functions fully implied.
Suddenly it stops. Only for a hand to reach out of the toilet! There are so many things wrong with that I cannot even begin to describe my feelings on the matter. Though the way she tries to pull herself to freedom on the roll of toilet paper amuses me. Did I mention that its a bloody robot claw that drags her down the toilet? Because it is. How it doesn't rust is beyond me. I honestly don't want an explanation.
This mysterious thing also has magical powers over iPods or at least knock off iPods as he magicks one to play the funeral march before causing one character to fly out the window. In the interview the actor admits that he doesn't even have a character. He is death fodder. That is all.
We eventually see the Reeker, who is essentially a creepy mouth breather with a rain coat, a gas mask, and a robot claw. Its fetishist meets craggy old fisherman meets Terminator. Add in a fuzzy distortion effect that is supposed to represent the Reeker's overpowering smell. Frankly it looks like someone took the photoshop smudge and burn tools and went loony. Its hard to determine anything once the mask is off except that it is some form of zombie. Its a zombie. With a robot hand. With magical powers. What in the world, really?
There's a few more horror cliches which I won't give away because frankly they are stupid but not so mind-numbingly stupid to be worth mention. The big clincher is the "intellectual twist ending".
The ending that defines this as a new genre.
Wait for it....
It was all a dream. Sort of. In a way.
You see all the kids were in a car crash, and the whole Reeker business was their collaborative near death experience. The character with the iPod who went out the window? Went out the car window. Arm chopped off guy? Arm chopped off in crash. Which leaves us to wonder.
What about the girl in the outhouse?! Unless upon her death, she expelled in inhuman fashion, it is completely irrelevant to the entire movie.
More anyone wanting to laugh at a bad horror movie or a movie which is terribly self important, this is right for you. Otherwise avoid it at all costs.
And guess what? They're making a sequel. My joy is unbounded.
I loved this film. It took me by surprise as I don't ussually like films in this genre, but it is fun, scary and worthwhile, in fact the smart people in the audience will at the end realize the whole film is really a simple but useful public service announcement. Also the cast was great up and comers like Ariel Kebbel (Sooo Hot!) and Derick Richardson (Hostal). Very worthwhile scary smart , action packed and fun!
It started off like any other road trip. Friends travelling together across the desert, loaded up with luggage and the anticipation of a groovy gig at the other end of the journey. One of them harbours a dangerous secret. Shortly before he joined his friends in their truck, one of the reckless teenagers took it upon himself to visit his usual drug dealer, and make off with a huge stash of tablets. Hidden away in his holdall, none of his friends have any idea that they are carrying such an attention-seeking cargo and when they find out, they waste no time in driving to the nearest motel to abandon the cargo and the idiot who brought it on board.
In the middle of nowhere, they find said motel and abandon unwanted passengers. But when they find that the fuel line has been damaged, they are suddenly confronted by the unpleasant reality that they will have to find shelter and amusement for the night until the morning when they hope to be able to find assistance.
Its going to be a long night. In a small, ramshackle outbuilding used as a makeshift toilet, something gurgles and seethes in the dark. In the diners main dumpster, somebody is trying to escape and in one of the motel rooms huddles a wretched young woman, desperately trying to scribble down a message as her emaciated face decomposes further and further.
But more importantly, all the teenagers will soon find themselves asking the same question.
What IS that dreadful smell .?
Slipping in and out of cinemas at one of the most hectic periods of the year, you could be forgiven if Reeker passed you by. If it had come to your attention, you would almost certainly remember it, with a title like that and if you did actually go and see it, Im quite sure youd remember it even more.
The reek, you see, is that unmistakeable odour of death. Its the smell you get when your next door neighbour has been rotting in his bathroom for five days. Unlike your neighbours bathroom, however, in Reeker the worst is yet to come because the smell of death is likely to be followed by the arrival of death himself as the teenagers in this movie discover to their peril.
Whatever you make of it, Reeker is a combination of many horror genre favourites. Rather like the Final Destination series, you might find yourself guessing how the heroes will come to a sticky end (hint: you never will). Failing that, its stalk and slash of the finest variety, with some barbed, cloaked figure skittering across the desert backdrop, hacking lumps and bits off whatever he can get his hands on as though somebody has something he wants back (ahem). You do, however, always get the feeling that theres a little bit more to this than meets the eye, and you wouldnt, of course, be wrong. From the brutal introduction (watch out animal lovers, doggie mutilation ahoy!) to the teenagers arrival at the motel, something just doesnt feel right and when a legless trucker scuttles out of the motel dumpster as though hes been caught stealing the leftovers, reality starts to fade into the distance. The killer seems unable to make up his mind as to how he wants to kill people, switching from giant scissors, to a buzz saw thing and then back again and its all just plain weird. And that, dear readers, is entirely the point.
Reeker is not a traditional stalk and slash, nor is it a black how will they die? comedy fright-fest. As the final scenes settle into place you suddenly realise whats been going on. The clues were there from the beginning. I cant tell you what they were or even the least shrewd amongst you will have it all figured out. The climax by numbers is a little patronising, given that the director seems insistent on pointing out every last detail, but you have to hand it to him, he does at least try and make sense of every last detail. So why will you end up feeling so cheated?
The trouble is that whilst the story is quite unique, it isnt entirely original. This has been done before. Again, I cant explain when or where, because Ill give the game away, but just trust me that it isnt as original as you first think. This is a huge disappointment, given only that the way the film is made is just so darned freaky that you might believe that this is going to be something quite outstanding. I loved the whole idea. Teenagers in deserted motel, hunted down by strange killer whose presence can only be detected by the foul smell of rotting flesh. How cool is that? I loved the visuals. The blinking, skittering images of the killer appearing here and there were creepy and unsettling. The presence of other victims in other states of emaciation was curious what had been going on? The arrival of and old man named Henry, looking for his missing wife adds more intrigue is he everything that he appears to be. Theres even a blind man in the party, purposefully placed because his heightened senses mean that hes instantly more aware of the Reeker. It should have been so much better.
Its not helped by a fairly weak cast. Whilst any such film is reliant on its teen characters, the ones used in Reeker have little going for them. The only familiar teenaged face is Derek Richardson (recently seen being tortured in Hostel) and he plays virtually the same character here. The lead female, Gretchen, has a really irritating voice and everyone else is instantly forgettable. Michael Ironsides arrival as Henry promises more but delivers little and hes out as quickly as he is in.
I couldnt help thinking that one of the directors biggest problems was cash flow. Reeker should have been nasty but actually more cheap and nasty. The opening scenes were (unintentionally) guffaw-inducing, due largely to some seriously bad make-up effects. The night time setting of the rest of the film exposes the budget less, but you can tell there wasnt much money to go round. The 15-certificate is a fair reflection of the violent content Reeker would have had to be much nastier to merit anything more and in retrospect actually feels quite tame.
At around ninety minutes, Reeker keeps it short and simple and never outstays its welcome. I liked lots of bits of this film, but the finished product was just not satisfying enough and as much as I wanted to be creeped out, I very rarely was. To anyone looking for common sense and logic, Reeker would simply exasperate so it probably doesnt come as any surprise that it came and went so quickly.
Strangers trapped at an eerie travel oasis in the desert must unravel the mystery behind their visions of dying people while they are preyed upon by a decaying creature.