Wednesday, May 6, 2015

Death Valley, AKA "You'll Shoot Your Eye Out Valley"

2 of 6 viewers "Liked" "Death Valley" (1982, USA)
Here's what the citizens of the Overlook Theatre had to say:

Lord Battle - "Not a great film but a pretty solid slasher movie." - 3 Stars

KillDozer - "Sometimes you are the only person cheering at the end while the rest of the group looks at you in disgust. Such is the case with Death Valley, a fun and flawed slasher written by Richard Rothstein (Universal Soldier) and starring Stephen Mchattie (Ponty Pool, 300, The Watchmen) and Peter Billingsly (Iron Man, A Christmas Story) in very early roles. Honestly, I had a lot of fun with this movie about a kid in the wrong place at the wrong time who is hunted down by a serial killer while his mom and new boyfriend roam Death Valley. The people involved in making the film have an obvious love for Hitchcock and Halloween. Unfortunately they didn't quite know how to make it all work. But like I said I had fun with this movie and it honestly has the best/most confusing impalement scene ever. That alone is worth the trip to Death Valley!!" - 3 Stars (Collection Worthy)

B4DK - "Not sure what to say so I'll describe it with one word, 'Bad.'" - 1 Star

Book Wyrm - "The kid was cute but I don't care enough to review this movie. : ( " - 1 Star

Math Mage - "Hilariously cheesy ending, fails to redeem 70+ min of boredom." - 2 Stars

Huntress - "I'm glad I got to see this movie, mainly for the complete tone reversal, but it desperately needs some editing. The first instance where the vacation turns ominous but then gets dismissed as childish imagination is easily my favorite moment, but there is too much dead screen time and weird conversation for me to want to watch it again." - 2.5 Stars

The Overlook Theatre Final Rating*

Death Valley is a strange film. The opening sequence shows Mike (Paul Le Mat) and his father Paul Stanton (Edward Herrmann) on a blissful romp through the city, it honestly feels like it's building to a sudden tragedy (like someone gets hit by a car and the music halts) but it never comes. Instead we get some dialog that seems to be setting up a family drama. Mike's parents are split up and he soon learns that he's heading out to Death Valley to visit his mom's new boyfriend alongside her. This of course is no big deal, until we find ourselves 3 scenes into the film and the only thing amping up is the tension between the family. Then, just when you are about to check and see if you have the right film, a car appears on the road behind them and the soundtrack instantly turns ominous. The car is practically emitting an evil aura but no one seems to notice. From this point, the film seems to sway from poor storytelling to simply bad movie making. Death Valley seriously runs the gambit of bad acting, bad editing, and bad writing but always in little spurts and as the movie goes on, it becomes increasingly funny.
My favorite scene in Death Valley has our killer ambushing an unsuspecting babysitter by simply leaving a soda out. Never mind she was already carrying ice-cream and had just eaten chocolate... Death Valley is definitely not for everyone but if you like slashers and you've got some friends over, it's definitely good for at least one run.
While we were screening this film someone got a good round of laughs with this line: "If you're watching this because you're a fan of A Christmas Story, turn it off."
*Spoiler* - The Indian shoots his eye out.

- Lord Battle

*Based on the star ratings turned in by character reviewers, others viewed and got to "Dislike" or "Like" but that does not effect the rating.

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