Friday, October 26, 2007

5ive Girls (2006)

Today's film is "5ive Girls," directed by Warren P. Sonoda. This movie falls squarely in the middle of good and bad. It's part of the recent spate of direct-to-DVD horror films benefitting from the DV boom. It seems that anyone who can afford to rent an HD camera and an abandoned hospital, with enough left over to pay for David Carradine, Adrienne Barbeau, Dee Wallace Stone or Michael Madsen for a few days can get their poorly written movie out there these days, at least horror-wise. In this case, the star is Ron Perlman, and the script is pretty half-baked, but that also means it's half-unbaked, or whatever. It's kind of good, but not that much. At first I really kind of dug it, then I got a little bored. I probably would have enjoyed it a lot more if I'd watched it with a friend and we'd been making fun of it, but I watched alone, so, well, whatever...In the movie, five girls (or I guess 5ive girls, whatever the hell that means) with behavioral problems are sent to a once-abandoned Catholic school, run seemingly by only two people, a semi-sadistic headmistress and a compassionate priest (Perlman, who's always pretty good but doesn't seem to be exerting a ton of effort on this one). Already the setup is a little goofy. I mean, a school with five students and two teachers? Is that even legal? And the building is pretty decrepit. And everyone is locked in. Like, the doors are chained shut. Isn't that a fire hazard? Well, whatever. The flimsy school setup seems mainly like an excuse to have the girls wear Catholic school girl uniforms throughout the film. This could have been a good setup for something really pervy, but this is totally exploitation-lite. There's a spanking and some brief nudity, but for the most part things are kept pretty tasteful.

The plot proper has some or another to do with demonic possession and, oh yeah, each of the girls has some kind of power. One of them is telekinetic, another can phase through solid objects, one is a healer, the other two have significantly less defined powers, psychic something or other. Oh, and one of the girls is blind, except she can see when she gets possessed. In some ways this has a "Nightmare on Elm Street 3- the Dream Warriors" vibe, only with schoolgirls, which should have been kind of awesome, but it really kind of isn't. The powers don't really come into play as much as they should, and the girls don't wind up standing much of a chance against the possessed. Anyway, like I said, this one's neither especially good nor especially bad. I just wish they'd either done more with the powers aspect, and made it more cartoonish and over-the-top, or gone further with the exploitation potential and made it more over-the-top that way. As is, it's just a bit too much under-the-top, though Ron Perlman is always fun to watch.

For a really rewarding horror experience, check out "A Bucket of Blood" on TCM tonight, and check back tomorrow for a new film review, and a new comics posting (on Skywald horror)...

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