Monday, December 2, 2013

For Cleansing and Bodycount: D-Tox (2001)

D-Tox (USA/Germany, 2001) (AKA "Eye See You", "The Outpost")
Rating: **
Starring: Sylvester Stallone, Charles S. Dutton, Polly Walker

Last time we say Sylvester Stallone in a slasher movie was that uneven yet cheesy fun action-hybrid known as Cobra (1986), wherein he faced not one, not two, not three, but an entire army of psychos! Now Sly returns to the sub-genre in once again a year after the new millennium, in another hybrid, albeit not as exciting as the last.

As Jake Mallov, Stallone is a grieving federal agent who is prone to suicide attempts after losing his wife from a cop-hating psycho years before. Under the advice of a friend, he enters a "D-Tox" program in the middle of a Wyoming wilderness during winter, where he joins other traumatized cops to undergo treatment, getting in terms with their personal conflicts. Curiously, after Mallov's arrival, a series of suicides had broken out among some of the crowd and they soon realized that a certain cop-killer is still around, now among them. But who of many characters is he?

A cheap and easy variation of many "mystery thrillers", D-Tox is best described as Agatha Christie's Ten Little Indians done in a snowy rehabilitation center with cops for kill count. Ironically, the set-up is anything but exciting and while the whodunit element of the movie did kept us guessing, in the end, we just don't care.

Not much of the cast is interesting or all that likable, something unsurprising if you're going into the account that almost all of them are whiny folks with death awaiting them. Not even Sylvester Stallone is all that sympathetic here, not much to improve his then-waning stardom, but he did do an okay performance to at least lure us into watching this uninspired barren.

For a slasher hybrid, the violence is near absent as well; an eyeball pierced with a powerdrill before the guy gets a billy club shoved into his throat might as well be the bloodiest thing the film can offer, but apart from that, simple stabbings and offscreen hangings doesn't sound all that suitable for any fan's needs, so that's another point down for that department. Killer's get-up is even more uninspired (oh great! another parka. Like we hadn't got enough of those already...), once he's unmasked, the factor of this reveal is just, well, plain; not someone we would have expect, but at the same time, we never cared much for who this guy was.

Not a total waste of time if you consider a routine walk through slasher/thriller triviality as your favorite pass time, but for the rest of us, D-Tox is an easily forgettable big-budget flapdoodle that not even Stallone's hard-faced dramatics can save.

1 male powerdrilled to the eye, shot on the head
1 female killed with powerdrill
1 male found hanged
1 male found dead under the ice
1 male found dead with a syringe on his arm
1 male found strangled with a face towel
1 male hacked on the head with axe
1 male found hanged
1 male throat cut with kitchen knife
1 male killed with electro-shock device
1 male found with throat cut
1 male found hanged
1 male impaled twice on spikes
Total: 13

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