Country : USA
Running Time: 90 minutes
Something stinks and it ain't this movie...
Written and Directed by Dave Payne
Starring Devon Gummersall, Tina Illman, Derek Richardson, Arielle Kebbel and Scott Whyte.
It’s a brave film that takes the title Reeker. It's an even braver film that takes the title and runs with it, for you see, it refers to a foul smell that accompanies the slasher as he approaches his next victim, the very stench of death itself. Thankfully this film avoids all the headlines it could have garnished by being quite good, although nothing particularly special. Less of a Reeker, more a slight pong. Or maybe someone just forgot to flush the toilet, that kind of smell.
The plot is familiar enough. It sees a group of teenagers heading to an all night rave in the desert. The group includes, a blind guy (Devon Gummersall), a South African chick (Tina Illman), two generic sexed up teens (Derek Richardson and Arielle Kebbel) and a guy (Scott Whyte) who has stolen a bunch of ecstasy tablets from a drug dealer who may or may not be pursuing them. Inevitably they break down at a diner that has suddenly become empty, and there are hints of some super-natural apocalypse (Broken radio reports, a crashed car, small Earthquakes). As they investigate further, they are bumped off one by one by a nasty smelling creature, the ‘Reeker’ of the title.
This is all generic stuff, but pleasingly so. And although the script and acting are occasionally weak (someone being asked if they are ok, despite clearly missing an arm is one cringe moment), there are some genuinely witty moments, such as one hilarious attempt to escape through a window, and some nice use of the blind protagonist (he is the only person facing a warning flare that is set off). There is also a welcome cameo from Michael Ironside, who seems to be there just because he is Michael Ironside. There are also some intentionally funny lines such as: “I saw a trucker. Half a trucker!”.
The killer itself is a mixture of the Grim Reaper and R2-D2, employing a host of bizarre and gory dispatch tools. Although a bit out there, it is refreshing to see something a tad more original than the typical man in a mask psycho, and he fits well into the story. And although the ‘Twist’ ending has been used before (twilight zone anybody), it is handled well and leaves a nice pay off to what has gone before. Director Dave Payne handles his job adequately, and there are a few jumps to be had, although nothing is really frightening. But really that’s nitpicking, ‘cause in this day and age it is difficult to find a horror film that truly terrifies (except ‘Curse of the Forty Niner’).
In conclusion Reeker doesn’t stink, it swims… Sorry about that pun, however, not only does it not make sense, it’s also crap. Serves you right for reading though. Anyway, put your brain on hold, get in some friends and some beers and you will enjoy Reeker (except don’t invite the guy who constantly talks, pointing out flaws and offering every theory known to man, we all know someone like that, I’m looking at you, Ben Carlin).
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Review by Chris Black, for Pitofhorror.com