Tuesday, September 8, 2015

Movies Can Kill: Cut (2000)

Cut (Australia, 2000) (AKA "the Curse")
Rating: ****
Starring: Molly Ringwald, Frank Roberts, Kylie Minogue

Opening with a scene from a fictional slasher called Hot Blooded wherein a cool-looking masked maniac is supposed to slice a victim's throat, an angry director (played by Kylie Minogue) cuts in and openly scolds the actor, Brad, for forgetting to undress the victim before the kill. Unhappy on how he is being treated off-camera, Brad decides to visit the director that night and show her how good he is at killing people. For real.

Stumbling into his murder is the lead actress Vanessa, who then gets attacked and nearly becomes victim number two until she somehow gets the upper hand and stabs Brad with his own weapon. (which curiously surges purple electricity)

Since that night, the unfinished footage of Hot Blooded is rumored to be cursed as anyone who attempted to finish the film ends up dead from freak accidents or mysterious murders. Of course, this talk of curses does not deter a group of present day film students and they choose to finish the film as their final assignment, despite their professor's distaste for the idea.

After reeling in an unamused Vanessa back to the project, the group drives to the movie's original filming location, hoping to bring back life to an obscure classic, all the while unaware that someone in the same slasher mask is out offing casts and crews left and right.

Taking cues from Wes Craven's Scream as a self-aware horror flick, Cut tries to mold the same approach but didn't exactly meet the wit and stylistics as that of Craven's film. It does, however, managed to bring us back to a simpler and bloodier time when slasher films can be both silly and enjoyable.

While the casts' acting isn't the film's strong point, they do have the air of classic slasher victims and still do the same mistakes and cliches the sub-genre is known for, mainly having sex in seemingly abandoned places, finding reasons to go out alone, and warn people of an incoming evil (albeit too late). The pace is fluid enough to keep the story going without dragging around and, always a plus point for us slasher fans, features a rather interesting killer who can actually dish out some bloody murders, even if their weapon is needlessly gimmicky.

And keeping in trend to the cheese-filled 80s slasher, Cut even devised a twist that may either be imaginative or a bit of a cheat; without spoiling much, it involved "creative energy" being materialized, a supernatural element that wasn't fully explained through out the movie and was only hinted that one time in the early scenes. This sort of harks back to the same obscure villain powers/origins similar to Freddy Kreuger's need of "fear" or Candyman's need of "belief" in order to exist, only those movies made this element more workable as it is clear that the killers are otherworldly to begin with. Here, the killer remains as imposing as any normal human slasher can be; nothing paranormal was made to back up their origins, thus making this sudden deviation a bit confusing. Or clever depending on how well you thought about that hinted purple surge.

For for what it is, Cut is a movie well worth seeing and keeping for its strange mix of something old and something new (for its time). It's fun from beginning to end with a decent dose of humor, blood, and cheddar, something us slasher or even genre fans can enjoy from a B-Grade horror flick. If you have the chance to get this, don't waste it! It's well worth the viewing!

1 cat found killed (film)
1 female had her tongue cut off, killed with modified shears
1 male stabbed with modified shears
1 male found with a throat cut (flashback)
1 male electrocuted (flashback)
1 male found disemboweled
1 male beheaded with a meat cleaver
1 female pinned to the door with a thrown meat cleaver
1 male had his throat slashed with modified shears
1 female had her head crushed with a hydraulic wood-splitter
1 male stabbed with modified shears
1 male stabbed through the eye with modified shears
1 female set ablaze
1 male immolated inside an exploding car
1 female suffers through stroke-induced shock
1 male beheaded with modified shears
1 female impaled through a water spout
Total: 17

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