Saturday, September 13, 2008

Dead Mary: 1 out of 5 stars

The B side to Bloody Mary, September 13, 2008

Late night is the best time for a horrific b masterpiece. Over the years the window in between 12:30 am til 4:00 am has been such a huge source of our reviewing materials by revealing the straight to video side of films. For about the past month, every Friday night around 1 am this fim Dead Mary comes on. After checking it out partially here and there it was finally time to sit through the film in its entirety. Just from the description explaining a group of friends are terrorized by a supernatural force they summon lets you know what to expect. This is the same description for about 500 other horror titles that are shown late night, but thats all part of b.

When pondering this film you may wonder, why the title "Dead Mary" instead of the well known tale of Bloody Mary? The one thing that came to mind was some type of copyright nonsense. Which turned out to be exactly the problem. The original screenplay was called Bloody Mary. The title was cleared in every territory except Japan, where the name Bloody Mary is copyrighted, and it was suggested that the title be changed to Dead Mary for release in that country alone. When the film's producers discovered that another film, also called Bloody Mary, was being readied for release around the same time, it was decided that the film's title be officially changed to Dead Mary in order to avoid confusion. But with a direct to video release does it even matter?

As we begin we are introduced to yet another group of d bags who are having a little reunion in the woods to reminisce of old times. So for once we don't have a group of high school kids getting killed in the woods. Instead we have older versions of high school idiots who are probably more irritating now then they were in high school. Go Dead Mary! They finally arrive at the cabin and not much of anything happens for the first half hour. There is a lot of dialog which amounts to absolutely nothing. It gets so boring you may even consider just shutting it down. As night rolls in they are hanging out having some drinks when one of the girls suggest they play Dead Mary. After she starts challenging the room they finally give in and one by one go into the bathroom. With only a lit candle they stand in front of the mirror with their eyes closed and repeat Dead Mary 3 times. This part actually was a bit creepy. The atmosphere was very dark and provided some element of horror, but nothing too amazing. The one kid has an odd experience as his candle goes out and turns the light on to find blood on the sink signifying Dead Mary is one the loose. See this was a disappointment. It would have been cool to see some old decrepit spirit come smahing through the mirror but we get nothing. Everyone now decides it's bed time and one guy continues to get loaded by himself in the living room where he eventually passes out. He awakes to some odd noises which for some reason make him run outside. Once outside he gets killed. The friends go running as his corpse begins speaking revealing secrets within the group of friends. So instead of a cool Dead Mary running around have people getting killed and possesed by her spirit which makes them come back only to reveal each other secrets. It's absurd. The rest of the film moves at the same pace with nothing to offer. It feels like you're watching more of a therapy session then an actual horror film. All thats revealed is this group of losers dirty laundry in a weak attempt to create some chills.

Once this one ends you're going to wonder why this approach to a creepy tale. After some research we found out that the original script called for Dead Mary, when summoned by the chant, would rise from the lake and murder each character. Instead of that director Robert Wilson decided it would be much better if Dead Mary was never seen. She wuld just manifest herself in the characters causing them to spill the beans about their friends. He should have picked the first idea which would have been a far superior film. It's good to take an approach outside the whole slasher idea, but there has to be some element of horror to make it work. This one just came up short where the rapidly aproaching ending was all you're rooting for. Don't bother with this unless up very late with nothing better to do.

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