Thursday, August 21, 2014

River of Darkness (Film Review)

A Film Review
By Daniel Skye

     Years ago, when Blockbuster stores were still a lucrative commodity, I spotted an interesting B-movie sitting on the new release shelf. The title was End Game and it starred WWE/TNA wrestler Kurt Angle.
     I’m always up for a good B-movie, so I decided to give it a shot. And I can say with conviction that End Game was not a good B-movie.
     It was directed by a man named Bruce Koehler, who showed little promise as a writer, and even less promise as a director.
     What’s Mr. Koehler been up to since then? Well, back in 2011, he released another film. This time, he decided to take a crack at the horror genre. The title is River of Darkness, starring Kurt Angle, Sid Vicious, and Kevin Nash.
     Kurt Angle plays a small town sheriff named Will Logan who investigates a series of grisly murders. Murders that might be the work of three brothers, the Jacobs boys, who have returned from beyond the grave to seek vengeance. Nash and Sid Vicious play two out of the three Jacobs boys. Sounds like it’s got all the makings of an entertaining B-movie to me.
     A low budget horror film starring three recognizable wrestlers. How could it not be fun? Well, let’s start off by saying that when Nash and Sid Vicious do appear, which is not very often, they’re pretty much unrecognizable. The director decided to cake their faces in some kind of dirt or muck that makes it almost impossible to tell who they are.
     What could’ve been a fun little film turned into a grueling ordeal, and I couldn’t wait for it to end. This is the second chance I’ve given Bruce Koehler as a film maker, and it will be the last.
     As for the acting, not much can be said about Kevin Nash or Sid Vicious. They appear sporadically, are extremely difficult to spot, and they don’t talk, either. I think Nash is the only one who spits out a few horrible lines such as “I’m already dead!” after Angle blasts a hole in his chest with a gun.
     Kurt Angle did a decent job playing the small town sheriff who’s clearly in over his head. Of course, the dialogue was pretty bland, so there wasn’t much for him to work with. But Angle tried his best to carry the film on his back.
     I’ve never seen or heard of any of the other actors who appeared in this terrible accuse for a film, but I assume they were all local hires or people with no prior acting experience.
     The plot is fairly simple, but the director felt the need to try and add some mystique to it. He failed miserably. Thirty years prior to the recent murders, the Jacobs boys were accused of rape. There was no trial, but there was a conviction, as one of the actors says during the course of the film. A man named Harvey Hicks started up a group of vigilantes who took justice into their own hands. Now, the Jacobs boys are back for Harvey’s blood. Like I said, it could’ve been fun. Instead, it was torture.
     The writing, the editing, the directing, the lighting, the cinematography were all handled by Brue Koehler, who seemed to put zero effort into the project. As far as the directing goes, Koehler seems to have only one style: Just point the camera and shoot. B-movie or not, that simply doesn’t fly with me. You want people to watch your films and rave about them? Put some effort into it.
     I can carry on this diatribe for hours, but I won’t torture you readers or myself any longer.
     On a scale of one to ten, I award River of Darkness with a one. And that’s being extremely generous. Avoid this film at all costs.

No comments:

Post a Comment