Director: Dan Golden

Reviewed by Paghat the Ratgirl

I guess I'm not the only one who'll watch just about any film with Jeffrey Re-Animator Combs in it, because the credits cheatingly give him top billing even though he is a minor character. He's a police detective who pokes his head in at a couple of the murders.

We see slightly more of Angus Phantasm Scrimm as the old physician who oversaw Michelle's reconstructive facial surgery. But he isn't creepy or anything bad so his special talents weren't mined.

Combs & Scrimm could very well be the modern-day Peter Lorre & Boris Karloff if horror film producers weren't too damned cheap to pay for actual star performances. In a classic bait & switch mode, we're promised Jeffrey Combs & we get instead unknown actors. Well, at least these unknowns are in the main competent to the task.

Michelle (Annie Sorell) has her entire head bandaged after a car accident that killed her father (George Tovar). She is alluded to by the wanker of a hospital janitor (Michael Gaglio) as "bride of the mummy." Her face stays hidden so long that we almost expect something weird like that Twilight Zone episode "Eye of the Beholder" when the mummy wrap comes off, but it turns out she quite unscarred & perfectly pretty, though Sorell is just odd enough looking, with mismatched eyes, to be good casting.

Michele's completely amnesiac. Even though the reconstructive surgery rather too miraculously restored her to her pre-face-smash good looks, she does not recognize herself at all. The viewer is bound to guess that they've given her the face of the wrong girl, & she's not really Michele, except she keeps having flashback memories if not ghostly encounters with her dead father, so we're a little off-balance guessing which obvious ending it's heading for.

Although Michele is a decent person now, before she got her face mashed & lost her memory she was one troubled girl. Reading her own unfamiliar diary she realizes she was a psycho witch conjuring up demons on an ouiji board drawn in her father's blood which she stole with leeches in his sleep. She had even sacrified a fellow teen (Lauren Emmel) to the dark powers. In short, Michele was a goth skank, & it greatly disturbs her to realize what she was like & what she did.

Cliff the janitor is killed by a cowled figure in the hospital. Jeffrey Combs shows up for a minute to check it out, then leaves for most of the rest of the film. A sleezeball shows up who has a halfway house for troubled teens, & since Michelle is now an orphan as well as having had a record of being a bad girl, she's taken away to the diseased foster home wherein the drunken foster dad (Rick Dean) behaves inappropriately & the foster mother (Diane Goldner) expresses jealousy & hate toward all four kids under her care.

The teens in residence are just glad they don't have to live in the streets & are a lot less rebellious than would've been reasonable.

We enter a lot of Michelle's surreal dreams as she tries to put her memories back together in her sleep. The nightmares spice the film up somewhat, being more interesting than most of the waking events.

Larry, the nice weird teen, tries to reassure Michelle that her dreams of having killed & her diary about satanic rituals were just rebel fantasies, because she's nothing like that. Larry's the only other sympathetic character so I sort of assumed everyone in the story would be killed except him & Michelle, everyone else being a hack 'em up & throw 'em away character. But the script doesn't care who is or isn't likeable, & everyone's just meat by the end.

[SPOILER ALERT] For a climax we find out the cowled figure is not a demon pursuing Michelle but is the other Michelle (Alicia Loren, Annie Sorrell's actual twin sister). The "mystery" unravels in the most obvious manner. There's some girl-on-girl wrestling action for trivial sexploitation sake, to undermine any last lingering level of story value or credibility. [END SPOILER ALERT]

The were moments when this turkey seemed okay for low-budget sleeze, but the final climax is merely moronic, so when all was said & done, it wasn't very rewarding.

copyright by Paghat the Ratgirl

[ Film Home ] - [ Film Reviews Index ]
[ Where to Send DVDs for Review ] - [ Paghat's Giftshop ]