As you can probably tell by now, we’re going through the After Dark Films’ 8 Films to Die For series, released this week on DVD. I enjoyed the first two Horrorfests they put together in 2006 and 2007, and was really dissapointed when the third one wasn’t playing anywhere around here. Still, figuring that the first two, while enjoyable, had a wildly uneven quality of films, I thought maybe it best to just save up my money and pick up all 8 from the third Horrorfest when they were released on DVD (we’re not big time enough yet for screener copies!).
Perkins’ 14 was one of this years 8 Films to Die For that I was looking forward to the most. See, last year, Massify, kind of like a MySpace for budding acting and script writing talent to show their work off, put together a contest: come up with the best pitch for a horror film. People voted for their favorite, and for their favorite director based on films made for the site, and After Dark Films would produce the movie. The result of this endeavor? Perkins’ 14. Was it worth it? Read my full review after the jump.
Perkins 14, together with The Broken, which I reviewed on Friday, are giving me a lot of hope for this years 8 Films to Die For. Last year the two or three films I saw in theaters were so bad my eyes bled, so it was refreshing to see that the first two entries I’ve seen in this year’s stash have not only been good, but damn good. While I wouldn’t say Perkins 14 really holds up to the level of being a great theatrical horror movie, I would say it’s an exceptional DTV, or limited release theatrical, movie.
It’s the ten-year anniversary of the abduction of fourteen neighborhood children who were never found. The final kid taken was the son of police office Dwayne Hopper and his wife. Their daughter is alive and well, and a rebellious teenager who likes to have sex with guitarists on putt-putt courses. Dwayne and his wife have disconnected emotionally, and, as if his day wasn’t going bad enough, he has to go into work to cover someone’s shift. In the holding cell, he comes across a man named Ronald Perkins, who all signs point to being the man who kidnapped Hopper’s son. Hopper and his police friend investigate (it’s probably no secret since the damn film is called PERKINS’ 14), but unknowingly release the children out into the world. This is bad…very very bad. See, they’ve been tortured, abuse, and drugged up to the point that they feel no pain and act like 28 Weeks Later zombies – the cannibalism is never really explained, but oh well. They’re batsh*t crazy bonkers.
Hopper has to save his family, all the while trying to protect his son, who’s now one of the 14 crazy people roaming the town bashing heads and eating guts. I like the idea that the victims of a crime eventually become the criminals. It would be like Jason’s victims coming back from the dead to go on their own killing sprees. While the acting is wildly uneven in the film, it’s competently written and filmed. Like I mentioned before, it’s a better than average DTV flick, and definitely worth your time if you’re looking for a good horror flick.
Paul’s Awesomeness Score – 7 out of 10!