Kevin McCauley as Ranger Cody, gives pretty decent imitation of Roy Scheider's character of Chief Brody from Jaws (1975)
McCauley's is the one halfway competent performance in Trees (2000), which takes the entire script from the Stephen Spielberg film & remakes it in the woods instead of on the beach, with killer trees instead of sharks.
Nancy (Erin Reynolds) provides the first kill-scene, chased by a Great White pine. The lack of blood, & even the lack of an animate tree (other than branches waved in front of the camera lens) is unfortunately representative of what will (or won't) be seen in the entire film.
A few deadpan lines about trees-gone-bad are kind of funny if you try hard to find it so. The tree's-eye-view is with a green lens filter, which is what passes for the key special effect.
There's enough material in this feature-length film to fill a ten-minute parody in an anthology of parodies, such as would've fit into Kentucky Fried Movie (1976).
At ten minutes Trees might have been slightly enjoyable with or without laughs, as it'd be over soon.
Stretched to it's actual interminal tedium, it's a big dud with no gore so not scary, close to zero jokes beyond the pun of the "Great White pines" so not funny, nothing visually interesting to indicate the swiftly mobile trees -- in all, nothing much here beyond terrible videography & hokum acting.
Unbelievably enough, there's a sequel, Trees 2: The Root of All Evil (2004), because anyone with a joke this bad is bound to want to tell it to you more than once.
The bar wasn't set high, so we shouldn't be too stunned that the awful sequel is a lot better than the original, the acting slightly better, with Ranger Cody coping with his phobia about trees picked up in Part I.
This time the soundtrack is competent, & it even qualifies as a legitimate "creature feature" since we do get to see the mobile trees.
The killer trees are only about six feet tall so not the least scary. We're only talking about killer Christmas trees. But they do have green eyes that glow in the dark, squinty like Chinese people which to xenophobic honky imagination is sinister stuff.
It's worth listening to the theme song "Killer Trees" behind the closing credits, not least because it's the sound of the film being done. But neither the song nor the film has anything like the effectiveness of Attack of the Killer Tomatoes (1978). As with the first film, there's simply not enough to The Root of All Evil to justify the feature length.
copyright © by Paghat the Ratgirl