"Alive or Dead" DVD
There are only so many
things I can say about "Alive or Dead". The upshot is
that only a few of them require expletives. The downshot, meanwhile,
is that few of them would ever get put on a video box.
The plot of "Alive
or Dead" doesn't really help the position at all. Basically,
some random chick stumbles across an abandoned school bus. This
alone doesn't mean very much until she notices the hand-lettered
"help me" sign written across the back window. Did I
mention it's dark and in the middle of the desert? So all these
wonderful events combine to form a horrible picture--and as our
random chick gets on the bus and discovers what happened, the
picture only gets worse as the bus drives away, with her on it.
Now, she's got to save who she can, fend off the various unpleasant
types she'll run into after the bus finally stops, and discover
a whole lot of weird stuff along the way.
"Alive or Dead"
starts off with some of the worst phone sex I've ever had the
displeasure of sitting through. Seriously, it's like watching
a regular sex scene with your parents in the room. It's embarrassing
just to sit through it. It's so spectacularly INEPT.
And when the main characters
actually describe the opening minutes as "That's like the
beginning of every shitty horror flick I've ever seen.",
all I could do was laugh uproariously and try desperately not
to choke on my muffin. For some reason I covered this one in the
morning. But anyway.
Because, yes, this
plotline IS unnecessarily familiar. Yes, this HAS been used unto
death and beyond. Which forces me to wonder why they even bothered
using it in the first place. I mean, come ON, surely there's any
of a hundred better concepts to use--why this miserable rehash
that's been done so many times before that even your own script
makes fun of it?
level only continued to climb throughout as our killer took the
bus ot what amounts to a castle in the desert. No, seriously.
A CASTLE. In the DESERT. Bars on the windows, turrets, real old-world
stone construction. A proposition that, once again, even the movie
itself will make fun of. What, do they think they have some kind
of a license on stupidity just as long as they openly mock it
Why, why, so much why?
Well, there's not a whole lot of reason running behind this sucker's
eyes, but they're going to do something at least somewhat interesting
at about the middle of the movie. I won't say what, that'll spoiler
like no tomorrow, but I'll admit that it's actually a pretty good
surprise. In fact, it's surprise enough to make me revise my estimation
of this sucker upward a bit.
The ending will include
a couple of very nicely done surprises.
The special features
will include English and Spanish subtitles, audio options, an
audio commentary track, a making-of featurette, and trailers for
"Sight", "Frontier(s)", "Saw IV",
"The Descent", and "The Devil's Rejects".
All in all, "Alive
or Dead" was a pretty fair idea that just took way too long
and made too many mistakes to execute properly. Too unique to
call bad and somehow too derivative to call good, a single rental
here will not go to waste if you need something new to watch.
Directed by Stephen Goetsch
Written by Stephen Goetsch
Starring Ann Henson, Angelica Modana, L. Flint Esquerra, Gretchen
Produced by Paul Koslo
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