We open with a prologue involving a kid shooting his mother’s deadbeat boyfriend, followed by a scene from fifteen years later involving an escaped murderer, a young woman, and a red herring. Then we finally settle into the story proper (!), involving two pairs of lovers (Mike Erwin and Cameron Richardson, obnoxious Aaron Paul and pregnant Kelly Kruger) who are left stranded after Erwin’s car conks out during a drag race. Paul claims to know a nearby junkyard and Erwin thinks he can use a spare part to replace the wrecked fan belt (whatever that is, not a car guy I’m afraid). Paul, being the moron he is, has brought a gun along, and naturally starts fooling around with it, leaving poor Richardson wounded. Erwin, who had recently proposed to Richardson, decides to quickly run off for help. He finds the local sheriff (Roger Perry) and his deputies, but when they come back, Erwin’s friends all seem to have vanished. There is a lunatic killer, however, and he decides to pick everyone off one by one. Oh, and did you hear about the escaped mental patient? Yeah, there’s that too. Scoot McNairy plays a junkyard yokel, the nephew of the junkyard’s owner. Bevin Prince plays a paramedic who accompanies Erwin, Perry, and his dopey deputies.
Directed by John Asher (several episodes of “One Tree Hill”, of all things) and scripted by David Frigerio, this horror flick has a seriously wonky structure, slow pace, and indifferent performances that all combine to ultimately sink the film. It starts out way too slowly (especially considering it features more production logos at the start than any film I can recall) and extremely clunky, and although the prologue eventually ties into the rest of the film, the film’s climax collapses in a heap nonetheless. The manner in which things are tied up is just too clunky for my liking, despite a cute red herring thrown in. In fact, there’s two red herrings, one at the beginning, one towards the end. The first one is annoying and ultimately superfluous. There’s some interest in finding out where in the hell it’s going, but the pacing is so slow one starts to lose interest.
Although the masculine-named Bevin Prince definitely brings the hotness factor (apparently she’s an alum of “One Tree Hill”), Aaron Paul gives the only decent performance in the film. He’s good, although he’s so convincing as a tool, that he creates one of the seriously most punchable characters you’ll ever come across. At the other end of the scale are veteran character actor Roger Perry and “Monsters” star Scoot McNairy. The former is terrible and reminded me so much of Lloyd Bridges I kept wanting to laugh. The latter, meanwhile gives one of the hammiest, most caricatured performances I’ve seen and is a constant distraction.
I must give praise to the lighting. It starts off a bit murky, but once the film gets going, there’s some really good lighting and fog used. I also liked the shots through things like broken car windows, I’ve always appreciated that sort of thing.
Overall, this film is pretty crummy all round, though I did kinda like the welder ensemble the killer wore. Clunky and painfully slow-moving, and only for the seriously undemanding.