Before I launch into my fair and balanced condemnation of the horrible movie The Legend of Sorrow Creek, I’d like to ease into the review, ever so slowly. Think of it as foreplay; like an erotic and/or disturbing tongue bath before doing the “dirty deed.” I’d recommend listening to some soothing love songs to get you in the mood (something like Barry White’s Greatest Hits or Cannibal Corpse’s Butchered at Birth). So, sit back, take a sip of two buck Chuck (which is now, like, four bucks, but that’s another story…), and let sweet ole’ Gabe take over…
Okay, I’m going to start off by complaining about something that has nothing to do with the movie itself (trust me, I’ll complain about the movie later). Instead, I’d like to focus on something that kicked my eye-testicles the moment I awkwardly shoved The Midnight Horror Collection into my submissive, and frightened, DVD player.
First off, The Midnight Horror Collection DVD is stuffed with eight motherfucking movies. And as we know, quantity always trumps quality! Right? Right?
This bowel-pummeling insult to sanity is spread over two discs. Disc one contains I Am Omega, Prom Night, Below, and The Legend of Sorrow Creek. Disc two contains Charles Bands’ Evil Bong, Meridian, Demonic Toys, and Decadent Evil.
Anyway, I won’t go into the merits of each movie yet, because I’m here to talk about the first movie I watched in this collection. And I knew I was in for a tasty treat when I laid eyes on the DVD menu. Apparently, a static picture of an unspooled roll of film is what DVD producers think is a suitable introduction to four horror films. Not any scary music or a montage of scenes from the movies, or anything resembling, you know, movement, thought, or effort. Just a static, unmoving shot of film. Fantastic.
As everybody knows, I like my DVD menus like I like my women; plain, quiet, and cheesy. At the very least, a DVD menu should establish a mood, or at least give the viewer a slight indication of what to expect from the movie. From my powers of deduction, I’m guessing whoever works for this company was taking a shit break when corporate came down to hand out responsibilities. I imagine the exchange between the DVD execs went something like this:
DVD EXEC #1: “Who do we have working on the menus for the DVD?”
DVD EXEC #2: “I don’t know, I didn’t see anybody in the office.”
DVD EXEC #1: “Did you check the staff lounge? Usually the menu guys hide in there.”
DVD EXEC #2: “Nope. Didn’t see anybody.”
DVD EXEC #1: “Well, how ‘bout the bathroom? Did you check in there?”
DVD EXEC #2: “…shit.”
Well, with that mystery solved, I’m guessing the DVD company said “fuck it,” and hired a group of slow monkeys to design the menu. Monkeys with irreparable brain damage; mostly resulting from horrific skydiving accidents, head-on train collisions, and from surviving screenings of Kristen Stewart movies. You know, all the typical monkey shenanigans.
The sloppy, half-assed DVD menus even screw up the title of one of the films. How is that even possible? And I am well aware that I know nothing about creating DVD menus, but, come on! Put a little effort into it! You know you’re slacking off when I’m calling you out on your laziness. I get winded unwrapping an Abba Zabba bar. Shit, my professor for my “Intro to Taxidermy” class had to give me mouth-to-mouth once because I fainted from raising my hand too long.
He still sends me valentines every year.
Then again, maybe there was no money left in the budget to produce a respectable DVD menu. Or maybe my brain is so ravaged by whiskey and jalapeno poppers that I’ve lost all touch with rationality and reality…
And with that, let’s examine The Legend of Sorrow Creek a little more closely, shall we?
What is it?
A movie in a DVD collection.
What did it cost?
A whopping 5 bucks. Now, I’m no mathematician or anything, but 5 bucks for eight movies works out to, like, 25 cents per movie or something! Holy crap! It’s a steal! Right? Right?
Where was it purchased?
At a Target store that, for reasons I’m still trying to rationalize, smelled oddly of pancakes.
How was it?
The Legend of Sorrow Creek (or, as it’s billed on the DVD menu, Legend of Sorrow Creek), is like watching a fat guy dog paddle in the shallow end of a pool. It’s slightly pathetic, slightly horrific, and, after a few minutes of watching him flail about, it becomes very tiring.
The Legend of Sorrow Creek is about a place called, wait for it…Sorrow Creek! And this place is cursed…or something. I’m not really sure, I was checking my phone during the long, drawn out exposition scene that comes directly after the confusing opening scene. From what I can gather, a woman in the “olden days,” was accused of being a heretic and her house was burned down and her eyes were plucked out and she hanged herself and blah, blah, blah….
None of it makes any sense, which foreshadows the incoherent nature of the rest of the movie. A movie that focuses on four twenty-somethings (2 guys, 2 girls, and no cups), who make their way through Sorrow Creek, busying themselves by fishing and examining ruins that look like they were set-dressed with props from The Blair Witch Project. Then they head over to a house in the middle of the woods and weird shit starts happening.
Weird, arbitrary, and boring shit.
Will the youngsters make it out of the house alive? Will any of the characters become possessed? Will Gabe continue to check his phone?
Okay, for the most part, the flick is pretty damn tedious and inexplicable. I still don’t know what the hell the “Legend” is, and, in the span of 74 minutes, I checked my phone 8 times. And these weren’t just “Oh, let’s see if I have any new messages,” check-ins. No, these were full-on “Huh, I wonder what’s going on in international news today. I haven’t looked up information on Zimbabwe’s emerging textile industry in awhile, maybe I should give that a go…”
Not all is lost though, since the film contains a new benchmark for “Biggest Pussy in a Leading Role.” Oh, if only the Academy recognized such accomplishments!
Let me explain…It, hands down, contains the lamest protagonist in any film, ever. You see, this character and his girlfriend are trapped in the house, and, well, let’s just say he has an interesting way of dealing with all the weird, arbitrary and boring shit going on around him.
How does he deal with a friend getting slaughtered by a possessed woman? He cries. And hangs his head. And hugs his girlfriend. How does he deal with an old, menacing lumberjack who may or may not be trying to get into the house? He cries. And hangs his head. And hugs his girlfriend. His response to everything in life involves crying and hanging his head. Oh yeah, and hugging his girlfriend.
He is the biggest pussy that has ever existed in any form of entertainment in the history of entertainment. Did I mention he cries a lot? And hangs his head? And hugs his girlfriend? And does all of these things simultaneously?
Finally, a horror film with an emo protagonist! Hooray! My letters to film companies have finally paid off!
Anyway, I estimate these crying, hanging head, and hugging scenes comprise roughly 72 of the 74 minutes of the film.
And holy hell, do these scenes linger, man.
Have you ever seen the highly overrated and infuriating movie Drive? It stars an unconvincingly brooding Ryan Gosling, whose character speaks about three words throughout the whole film and, when he’s not saying those three words, he’s either staring at walls or staring at the ceiling.
For minutes on end.
While watching The Legend of Sorrow Creek, I felt like this character from Drive. Oh yeah, I unconvincingly brooded and stared at the walls and the ceiling. Then I stared at my cell phone.
Over and over again.
Anyway, there are a couple of things the film has going for it. For one thing, the two main actors do a great job of incessantly crying, so that’s something. And I’m not being condescending either. They really throw themselves into their roles. I would be hard pressed to emote on camera, on account of me being a borderline sociopath, so I give these fearless actors a hearty “Kudos!”
Also, there are moments where I could sense an inkling of atmosphere and mood. These elements never really take flight, but, with the right script, a bigger budget, and more professional actors, the director might be able to stick to the landing. Unfortunately, the only truly effective moments happen during the conclusion, which clearly rips off the aforementioned The Blair Witch Project. The Legend of Sorrow Creek completely shifts gears and develops another tone/style that, while derivative, is nonetheless compelling. However, it works on a more visual and emotional level than on a logical level. So, while I appreciate the effort, I am still left scratching my head at the end result.
On top of this, the minimal use of CGI was not too spectacular. Once again, I appreciate the effort…so keep fighting the good fight low-budget filmmakers! Make Gabe proud!