Tuesday, March 29, 2005

Reversed Expectations

Sunday I felt like I'd been hit several times with a desk, so I rented two movies: "The Toolbox Murders" and "Dog Soldiers." I'd heard a recommendation for the former, and the latter looked fun in a bad-movie sort of way, so I prepared myself for an afternoon of good couch-potato times.

First, the good news. "Dog Soldiers" was about soldiers vs. werewolves, and it was a rollicking good time. I'm a sucker for werewolf movies, but this one surpassed my low expectations in terms of quality. The crown jewel of the film is when one soldier takes on a werewolf in hand-to-hand combat and kicks its hairy ass. Another werewolf had to intervene to save its packmate and finally take the guy down. How embarrassing is that if you're a werewolf? Can you picture the other werewolves gathering around the water cooler: "Did you hear Bill got his hairy ass kicked by a human? If Janine hadn't stepped in things would have gotten worse than they did, and you know the corporate office heard about it. Yeah...he'll be pack leader someday."

Now for the bad. "Toolbox Murders" was dreadful, just dreadful. No, it was execrable. I was wary of this film because "Texas Chainsaw Massacre" was so bad, but I thought, "Nobody can make two entirely boring horror films." Wrong! I can accept plot holes and even unlikely methods of killing people, but these things should occur in an atmosphere of at least moderate tension. The only tension involved in this film was my finger pressing the fast forward button. I vow to never again pay to see a movie in which Tobe Hooper is involved. It's my small way of improving the world.

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