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Tuesday, December 14, 2010

BREAD CRUMBS -- DVD review by porfle

In one of the grand old traditions of slasher flickdom, BREAD CRUMBS (2009) begins with a group of young morons spending the night in a secluded cabin in the woods and finding themselves beseiged by local psychopaths.  When done right, this sort of thing can yield a good deal of giddy fun and a few goosebumps.  But in all too many cases, such as this one, it just bores you for a couple of hours.

The cast of characters is a veritable stereotype-o-rama.  I started to lose count after picking out the crude guy, the sensible girl, the bickering couple, the liplocked lovers, the pushy macho jerk, the glasses girl whom nobody notices is a total babe, and the vain bitch.  I may have left someone out, but it doesn't really matter--they're just kill fodder anyway.  Their first night in the cabin (where, needless to say, there's no cell phone reception) is the usual party time stuff, but the next day they get down to the real business of why they're there.  I won't spoil it for you, but it's a pretty nifty surprise, involves boobies!  Woo-hoo!

What these idiots don't know is that there's a weird brother and sister named Henry and Patti living in the woods, and they're like some kind of psycho Hansel and Gretel.  I never really got what that was all about, but apparently what it means is that everyone in the cabin must die horribly.  They're both teens, but Patti dresses like a little girl and carries a big dolly, while Henry looks like one of those science club nerds who's wound so tight that he just goes off sometimes.  Henry and Patti like to play, and their toys include a straight razor, an axe, and an archery set. 

These characters are marginally interesting and Amy Crowdis and Dan Shaked are pretty good actors, but the trouble is that they're not in the least bit scary even when they're killing people.  There's not much here for gorehounds, either, with a throat-slashing (yawn) being about the most graphic murder and some of the kills taking place off-camera. 

One sequence in which the designated victims attempt an exodus through the forest features some mildly interesting mayhem such as the old bear trap to the ankle, the old sharp-spikes-in-a-hole trick, and the old arrows-in-the-back routine.  The latter eventually results in one of the all-time lamest slasher movie demises I've ever seen. 

The most disappointing thing about BREAD CRUMBS is that it's a handsomely-mounted production that starts out pretty well.  After a creepy opening scene, there's a killer main titles sequence that looks like somebody really put some work into it (three guys are credited).  The acting and direction also seem better than average at first.  Unfortunately, both pretty much fall apart as soon as things actually start happening, with director Mike Nichols and his cast seemingly unable to put together a single convincing scene. 

Attempts to create growing tension within the group are badly scripted and very poorly staged, and the ensemble acting is often laughable.  Worse of all, the lackluster story fails to build any momentum or suspense and starts to get boring way before the fadeout.  It doesn't even do anything interesting with its "Hansel and Gretel" premise.

The DVD from Green Apple Entertainment is in 1.33:1 full screen with Dolby Digital Stereo 2.0.  Bonus material includes trailer.

I've definitely seen worse slasher flicks than BREAD CRUMBS--total dreck such as MOTOR HOME MASSACRE, DARK FIELDS, and THE EVIL WOODS make it seem like GONE WITH THE WIND in comparison.  But those films were perversely interesting in their utter badness, while this one is mainly just dull.   

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