Time to go back to those
crazy days of college with Decoys! Parties with heavy drinking,
occasional lesbianism, and aliens that eat human DNA!
To start off, the DVD
menu is a little on the drab side. While the box art is certainly
appealing, mostly because it captures the intent of the film so
well, just putting the box art on the DVD menu has been done to
death. It's so unoriginal that it loses any appeal that it may have
But the film itself is
what we're truly after here, so let's have a look.
Decoys is the story of
a fellow who comes home one Halloween night to find the house a
little colder than he expected. A LOT colder. So cold that his roommates
seem to have frozen to death. IN the house.
Then, for reasons that
are utterly unfathomable, we shift off to another college where
a couple of very attractive pre-med coeds who like the cold have
just moved into a freshman dorm.
And if you've spent any
time in a freshman dorm recently, you know that this spells a whole
herd of horny teenage guys who should be making asses out of themselves
to get noticed.
But these chicks aren't
They have tentacles that
sprout from their spines.
They also have a thing
for liquid nitrogen.
The first thing you notice
right off is at the nineteen minute, eighteen second mark. There's
a hot blonde coed on stage next to the school's hockey captain at
a sorority rush mixer with booze for all. And what does a random
wit in the audience shriek?
"Give him a kiss!"
Obviously someone put
a lot of research into this script. Because no one would EVER suggest
anything stronger than THAT at a college party. No one would EVER
be so crass as to suggest that the young lady part with some clothing...say...her
The rest of the movie
spreads outward like a fairly standard alien murder mystery kind
of deal. Our steadily dwindling Scooby Gang searches for answers
to the great mystery of who are these tentacle chicks, where do
they come from, what do they want on their pizza, that they have
a serious and debilitating fear of fire, so on and so forth, on
into video eternity.
While there are some
terribly amusing special effects--especially the tentacles that
show up on a regular basis--we all know that special effects alone
do not a movie make. The plot is all the more important, and it's
not actively offensive. It's fairly standard stuff. Yes, they're
distracting from cliches and obvious holes in the plot and horrific
dialogue featuring phrases like "To finally uncover them for
who they truly are." with tons of nudity and huge and impressive...tracts
of LAND...every few minutes (Monty Python fans should get that right
It's obvious the overt
displays of strategic and ample portions of the female anatomy are
designed to draw our attention away from a plot with a far lower
endowment than the female leads.
But you know what? This
is somehow all right. This is an old cliche that hearkens back to
the bad old flood-the-market eighties, where every third slasher
film was a race to see how fast the female lead could get her top
off. It's almost a homage.
And yes, we've got our
share of annoyances. Annoyances like "Gibby." Gibby is
our standard rap star gone insane, spouting all the latest shiznits
and off the hook's enough for any three useless wannabes.
The ending is a real
barnburner, and I mean that LITERALLY. Wait until you see the last
fifteen minutes of Decoys. There are all manner of twists, turns,
amusing sidebars, puns, and flamethrowers. Seriously! It's worth
it! It is an EXCELLENT ending, with fantastic twists. Easily one
of the best I've seen in quite some time.
The special features
include English (for once!) subtitles, a making of featurette and
trailers for "Asylum of the Damned," "Starship Troopers
2: Hero of the Federation" (it should be noted here that they
included the entire title, and the appropriate kudos should be given
for this show of respect.), "Hellboy," "Kaena: The
Prophecy," "The Lost Skeleton of Cadavra," and "Everquest
2." Surprisingly, there is no trailer for "Decoys,"
a normally standard feature not included.
All in all, despite some
hackeneyed dialogue and a rather predictable plotline, Decoys overcomes
its handicaps to emerge as a fairly solid title.
by Matthew Hastings
by Matthew Hastings, Tom Berry
Corey Sevier .... Luke
Stefanie von Pfetten .... Lilly
Kim Poirier .... Constance
Elias Toufexis .... Roger
Meghan Ory .... Alex
Enis Esmer .... Gibby
Krista Morin .... Vikki Vickers
Marc Trottier .... Bobby Johnson
Carrie Colak .... Natasha
Richard Burgi .... Detective Francis Kirk
Nicole Eggert .... Detective Amanda Watts
Don Hastings .... Medical Examiner
Sarah Smyth .... Rosedale Princess
Leah Graham .... Melody
Mike Lobel .... Halloween Jock
GRADE: 3 stars ***