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Animals

USA 2008
produced by
Bill Borden, Barry Rosenbush, Paul Green (executive), Arata Matsushima (executive) for T&C Pictures, Anonymous Content
directed by Arnold Cassius (= Douglas Aarniokoski)
starring Marc Blucas, Nicki Aycox, Eva Amurri, Naveen Andrews, Andy Comeau, Bart Johnson, Gillian Shure, Mark Elias, Ron Roggé, Heidi Shepherd, Adrienne Hartvigsen, Matthew Temple, Chris Tarantino, Charles Halford, Stan Ellsworth, Nina Alverez, Monica Campbell, Sofya Sadiq, Shalaina Fotheringham
screenplay by Craig Spector, based on the novel by John Skipp, music by Alan Brewer, visual effects by John Ross

review by
Mike Haberfelner

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Jarrett (Marc Blucas) hasn 't got much of a life: He's working in a dead end job in a hick town yet has to be happy to at least have a job, and each night, he drowns his sorrows in alcohol, just like all the locals. Then though he meets sexy Nora (Nicki Aycox), who seems to have eyes only for him, and his life changes: Ok, he might have lost his job, and that's less than great, but Nora persuades him to go with her to wherever, leave his hometown behind once and for all - and of course have terrific sex all the while. There is just one problem, Nora is not quite human, she's a human/animal half-breed who has supernatural powers and can turn from human to beast at will. That wouldn't even be too bad, but she has an ex, Vic (Naveen Andrews), who just refuses to let her go - and of course, he is also a human/animal half-breed. Jarrett wants to fight Vic over Nora, but he is no match for him, and in the end, Nora agrees to go with Vic if he promises not to kill Jarrett. Back at his place though, Vic puts Nora into a cage and returns to Jarrett's hicksville, where he kills Jarrett's best friend the barowner (Andy Comeau) and tries to blow up Jarrett in his car - who's only saved thanks to barmaid Jane (Eva Amurri), who has been hopelessly in love with him for years, and thanks to some animal powers that begin to manifest themselves in Jarrett because Nora has bitten him.

Jarrett and Jane soon start a (sexual) relationship, and since he's out of a job, and Jules' bar needs a new barman, they start a working relationship as well - and everything could be sooo beautiful ... but Nora, who has let herself put in a cage to save Jarrett's life (remember), breaks out of the cage because Vic didn't keep his promise, and now she comes to hicksville to reclaim Jarrett, whom she still loves. But Jane isn't willing to give Jarrett up, and since she is a human/animal half-breed as well, the two engage in a fight to the death, with Jarrett being reduced to being a bystander. Jane defeats and kills poor Nora, but she is gravely injured - not a good thing, because Vic has long taken up pursuit and finding Nora dead, he wants revenge, and now it's up to Jarrett to fight him - and he discovers his animal-powers just soon enough to defeat and kill Vic, and save Jane, too.

 

There is little to distinguish this routine US-American low budget horror flick from the myriard of other routine US-American low budget horror flicks of the 2000's: It's impersonally and unimaginatively directed, the cast is mediocre at best, and the plot lacks even traces of originality. What's annoying about this film though is its reactionary undercurrents, reactionary in the just-say-no kind of way: There is this girl, Nora, who not only gives the lead character hope in the time of hopelessness, she also sacrifices her freedom to save his life - yet she is killed and presented as almost a baddie, because she had sex with him, and repeatedly, while the wholesome girl, plain Jane, the supposedly good girl, seems to have older claims ... and why? Because she was loving him from afar, and never offered her body to him - and yet she never does a single selfless thing for him, and when she kills Nora, it's consequently a purely selfish action, killing the competition instead of giving her a chance. And she's supposed to be the good girl because she did not seduce him? I mean really, that's not only a terrible message, it also destroys a film that's not even all that good to begin with.

 

review © by Mike Haberfelner

 

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Robots and rats,
demons and potholes,
cuddly toys and
shopping mall Santas,
love and death and everything in between,
Tales to Chill
Your Bones to

is all of that.

 

Tales to Chill
Your Bones to
-
a collection of short stories and mini-plays
ranging from the horrific to the darkly humourous,
from the post-apocalyptic
to the weirdly romantic,
tales that will give you a chill and maybe a chuckle, all thought up by
the twisted mind of
screenwriter and film reviewer
Michael Haberfelner.

 

Tales to Chill
Your Bones to

the new anthology by
Michael Haberfelner

 

Out now from
Amazon!!!

 

 

 

On the same day
a Burglar wants to kill you
and your Ex wants
to make up ...
... and for the life of it,
you can't decide
WHICH IS WORSE!!!

 

A Killer Conversation

produced by and starring
Melanie Denholme
directed by
David V.G. Davies
written by
Michael Haberfelner
starring
Ryan Hunter and
Rudy Barrow

out now on DVD