WARNING: THIS BLOG CONTAINS BODYCOUNT. HIGH RISK OF SPOILERS. ENTER IF YOU DARE.

Tuesday, March 5, 2019

Every Game Has A Loser: 7eventy 5ive (2007)

7eventy 5ive (2007) (AKA "Dead Tone")
Rating: ***
Starring: Rutger Hauer, Gwendoline Yeo, Antwon Tanner

A gang of kids in a sleepover find themselves as the only survivors of a nightmarish home invasion when someone they prank called earlier that night decided to get unevenly even with them by showing up masked and armed with an axe, hacking down all of their parents who happen to be resting downstairs after their own night of partying. The killer eluded capture and was never to be seen again until a decade-ish later, apparently to tie up loose ends.

As the grown-up children starts to turn up axed to death themselves and a duo of detectives race against time to stop this new murder spree, one of the survivors drives out to a party at a friend's house (in the middle of nowhere, of course) along with his "Crew" to celebrate the end of their finals. Everything was going smoothly until someone suggests playing a game of "75", where one must prank call a random number and keep them on the line for seventy five seconds without making them aware of the joke being pulled on them. One of the calls, unfortunately, somehow got directed to the killer and it isn't long before someone drunkenly blurts out the house's address and the axeman cometh.

A late 2000s direct-to-video horror movie tackling the basics of all things dead teens and axe-wielding maniacs, 7eventy 5ive tries to spice itself up with a side of cop procedural with The Hitcher (1986)'s Rutger Hauer as a no-no sense half of a detective pair. Though this isn't anything new (10 to Midnight (1983), anyone?), it still works in a manner that the procedural does a relatively fine job transitioning plot points that may or may not be red herrings, inviting a sense of urgency to the killing spree as well as fine fodder to the movie's neat little twist at the climax, but there were moments that the execution can be too expounding, slowing the pace.

The rest of the story is, as mentioned, your classic paint-by-number dead teenager horror jig, with (mostly) moronic teeners going at each other and doing ridiculous things for cliche purposes. Nothing new, though I will admit the overly familiarity of the tropes and the matter that little of these casts are tolerable made this early bit of the movie testy for my patience. Thankfully, once the party died down a bit and only a few faces stay behind, the film rightfully treats us to a considerably enjoyable mid-movie massacre where filler characters get the sharp end of an axe before proceeding to our main casts.

The killer, donning the same parka look as that killer from Urban Legend (1998), is unintentionally hilarious for how exaggeratedly menacing his body language is (just watch how he sways around his head like a snake to a snake charmer whilst looking for their victims on one scene), but I learned to look over that seeing he's at least putting some good and brutal effort on using his axe to forever silencing our thespians. This leads to a twist that I personally didn't saw coming despite some very subtle hints in the first half and I really can't decide whether I'm quite satisfied with where it ends to seeing how much it borrows from both Scream (1996) and, strangely enough, Night of the Living Dead (1968), but I will give the film credit for how both insane and textbook cliched it is.

In all, 7eventy 5ive (2007) is your professionally shot albeit run-in-the-mill slasher being, well, a slasher and at most, you can tell the production is satisfied with that. I personally find this movie to be at a level of mediocrity that it'll be easily overlooked, but if one would take the time to look into this, it is an okay bodycounter packed with sizable kills and a chaotic finale made to entertain.

Bodycount:
1 male hacked with an axe, decapitated
3 females and 2 males slaughtered with an axe
1 female strangled to death
1 male hacked on the face with an axe
1 male found with his throat cut
1 female found murdered
1 female heard being murdered over the phone
1 male implied murdered
1 female decapitated with an axe
1 male axed on the chest
1 male had his neck crushed under the killer's foot, repeatedly hacked with an axe
1 female hacked to death with an axe
1 male decapitated with an axe
1 female drowned under a pool
1 female thrown dead against a wall
1 male axed on the back
1 female found murdered
1 male stomp crushed against the driver's seat, beaten to death
1 male hacked on the chest with an axe
1 female seen murdered
1 male hacked with an axe
1 male stabbed with a hunting knife
1 female stabbed on the chest with a hunting knife
1 male shot to death
1 female and/or 1 male hacked with an axe
Total: 29 to 30

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