Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Recent Release Review : SCAR



In the small town of Ovid, Colorado, Joan Burrows awakens in the basement morgue of Ernie Bishop, a local undertaker who secretly tortures, mutilates and kills teenage girls. Before becoming Bishop's latest victim, Joan manages to kill him and escape with her life. Sixteen years later and still bearing the scars of her torment, Joan returns to her hometown in time to see her niece, Olympia, be crowned Prom Queen. Soon after Joan's arrival, murders by an alleged copycat killer begin targeting Olympia and her girlfriends. As the police investigation unfolds, all clues lead back to the mentally fragile Joan, who must clear her name, rescue Olympia, and confront the gruesome and barbaric killer before it is too late.

I blind bought this movie from Target a couple weeks back for one reason and one reason only; Angela Bettis. I am a long time diehard fan of Bettis' and when I hear she is in a new movie, especially a horror movie, I do whatever I have to do to get my hands on it as soon as possible. I'm not gonna make the bold claim that I should start rethinking this decision, but goddamn is this movie awful. While I have pretty much loved everything i've seen Angela in prior to this, i'd be lying if I even said I remotely liked this one on any level. I guess everyone's entitled to a bad movie every so often, and this one's pretty damn bad. It's ironically a scar on what is an otherwise pretty damn solid career.

Scar gained some considerable early buzz on the internet around the time it was made (2007) for several reasons. For one, it boasted Angela Bettis as its star. Secondly, a well documented screening of the film back in '07 resulted in one man fainting and another throwing up (thanks to apparent high levels of gore), always a sure sign that an upcoming horror flick is gonna be one to watch. And finally, it was apparently the very first US made live action feature film ever shot in HD 3D and also the first ever released On Demand in 3D for 3D televisions, which was kind of a big deal back in 2007 being that 3D wasn't so over-utilized as it is nowadays. Unfortunately, now that buzz has given way to me actually seeing the movie, I realize that these three elements were falsely hyping up a terrible movie. Angela Bettis is totally misused, the gore is far from impressive or shocking and the film has no business whatsoever even being in three dimensions. Quite frankly, it looks terrible in 3D (though I of course watched it in 2D, as I always do when given the choice ... I only watched one scene in 3D to see how it looked). Once again I say, cheap gimmicks cannot mask shitty filmmaking. Scar, directed by a co-producer of Pumpkinhead 2 : Blood Wings, is indeed shitty filmmaking. That dude who passed out at that early screening? I can only assume it was out of sheer boredom.

The thing that baffles me most about this movie is the same thing that got me to see it; Angela Bettis. Bettis is an incredibly talented actress who has some GREAT films on her resume and I can't for the life of me understand how she ended up being in this movie. I'd say it was for a quick paycheck but judging by the low budget quality of the movie, I highly doubt they had much to offer her in that department. The writing is absolutely terrible and i'm quite frankly shocked and dissapointed that she ever signed on to this project. On top of that, her performance in the movie is totally phoned in and quite frankly pretty bad at times, which I will say is heavily attributed to the horrible writing. But still. You are far far better than this, Angie. I'll let this one slide, but please don't let it happen again!

Even at a mere 78 minutes, Scar is far too long and far too much of a waste of valuable time (with the world ending soon and all), even if you're as in love with Angela Bettis as I am. That being said, I will give it props for three things ...


1) Finding an actress who physically looks nothing whatsoever like Angela Bettis to play a young ... Angela Bettis. Now I know nobody quite looks like Bettis, but come on. Are we really supposed to buy into the fact that the girl on the left and the girl on the right are one in the same, with just a handful of years between them?


2) Having one of the most awkward romance scenes ever commited to film. Before making out, these two compare scars (get it?!) ala Jaws, which makes for one of the most peculiar and awkward scenes in recent memory. The boy first tells the girl he has a scar on his chest, and then proceeds to show her the scar, which is actually on his stomach, and then the girl counters that she has one on her leg, and reveals a scar that is actually right along her hip bone. It's as if the characters and writers have no grasp of the human anatomy.


3) Having the most laughably bad inside the mouth POV shot i've ever seen. Seems to be a hard effect to pull off but my god, what the hell kind of creature do those teeth belong to!?

Oh wait, those were all negative things, weren't they? I could go on and on but I guess the point is that I don't have anything positive to say about the movie, other than the fact that i'm impressed it somehow managed to convince Angela Bettis to sign on the dotted line. Scar is nothing but a totally amateur attempt at a gross out "torture porn" flick and I can't recommend enough that you watch something else instead. Something like May. Or Toolbox Murders. Or anything else Angela Bettis has ever been in.


Simon Dedalus said...

Your description of the movie (before you start ripping it apart) sounds like it could be really good. Especially if you played up the mystery of if the star is actually the killer in the modern day setting, possibly with a split personality thing going. Lots of ways to take it.

Too bad the film itself is an utter bore. Not sure I agree with the first point though. I'd think that the kind of trauma she underwent would change you a lot. So maybe better not to look too much the same.

Your third point is right on, though. That's some scary kind of monster teeth we're looking at. Movie should have been about that creature. Tie it in with the Jaws reference from point two and call it Jaws 5: The Landshark.

Ok, now write that up and sell it to syfy.

Johnny said...

Yes obviously after 16 years, and some serious trauma, a person would look different but Angela Bettis is so unique looking and the girl they cast to play a younger her is just too typical looking. If you saw the whole movie (and by all means don't), you'd see what I mean.