This low-budget horror is one I recently dragged out the pile for watch and I was susprised how good the film turned out to be. The Studio that released it hae sinced given the director some more money to re-shoot the film and improve he special effects but his film I’m watching is the original cut released on DVD
Bridget (Rebekah Brandes) the manager of a run-down cinema puts up a poster for a midnight screening of a film created by Ted Radford, a madman who slaughtered an entire psychiatric ward one night and vanished without a trace. There are not a lot of customers for this rare treat so when her boyfriend Josh (Daniel Bonjour) shows up she lets her eager young junior manager Kenny (Shaun Ausmus) take charge while she sits with the boyfriend in the auditorium.
The only other people who turn up the screening are a large biker called Harley (Stan Ellsworth), his girlfriend Babe (Melissa Steach), Josh’s friend Mario (Greg Cirulnick) Mario’s girlfriend Samantha (Mandell Maughan), an obnoxious film nerd called Sully (Michael Schwartz) and finally unknown to Bridget her little brother Timmy (Justin Baric). Another two men turn up Detective Barrons (Jon Briddell) and Dr Wayne (Michael Swan) but they are not interested in the film. They are looking for Radford who they are certain will appear during the screening of his film. Both men were present the night of the slaughter at the hospital and know that Radford was not finished.
Kenny switches on the projector and starts the film ‘Beneath the Dark’ which turns out to be a badly written and directed ‘Texas Chainsaw Massacre’ rip-off about a bunch of young hippies whose VW van breaks down on the way to Woodstock and they have to go back to an old farmhouse for help. We don’t get to see the gore that the audience sees but it must be fairly brutal going by their reaction. Bridget gets upset and Josh takes her out into the foyer for a while. The film is old and scratchy they are not surprised when the film seems to burn up in the projector and get replaced by a better quality POV scene of the Killer (Lee Main) killing Kenny in the basement. No-one recognises that the action has abruptly moved to inside the cinema or that the victim of the killer is Kenny.
Josh and Bridget come back from the foyer and Sully starts farting. This film nerd is not truly a fan of cinema or he would not be munching noisy snacks and talking throughout the film. Fortunately Sully will be gone very soon. He goes to the toilet and then there’s another film burn. They have no trouble recognising Sully and as they watch him getting gored by the Killer they are certain this is a stunt that Sully managed to arrange with his AV club [Audio-Visual Club, in the US this is some sort of afterschool activity related to making videos and because it is not a sport it is not regarded as cool] The four friends are up on their feet laughing and talking about this stunt. This upsets Harley who really wants to punch Mario but Barrons intervenes and gets everyone to calm down.
Now they know that there is something to look for they are ready for the next film burn. Everyone spots that the Killer’s POV is in the foyer where he is going after Rachael (Brea Grant) at the snack counter. Mario runs out to catch whoever is doing the filming but when he gets to the foyer there’s only a pool of blood. Everybody else followed and they are disappointed to find nothing. Barrons and Dr Wayne recognise the signs of this being just like the attacks at the hospital and they tell the others.
No-one knows how he’s doing it but they figure out that the Killer is coming out of the film and killing people then dragging their bodies off into the film. Each attack is signalled by the film burn and a switch to the POV of the killer in the film. They try to get out of the building but it’s clear the killer has enough supernatural power to stop that happening.
This film was another nice surprise amongst the pile of cheap DVDs I buy then eventually get around to watching. A cursed film is certainly not an original idea and this film has a few elements that were similar to some earlier films and in particular it reminded me of ‘Demons’. I liked this film and if the studio takes the bait and makes sequel I’d be happy to go see it. In fact I would love to see the extended Killer Cut that they have released