Saturday, November 27, 2010

'Cut' doesn't make the grade

Cut (2000)
Starring: Molly Ringwald, Frank Roberts, and Kylie Minogue
Director: Kimble Rendall
Rating: Four of Ten Stars

Scream Queen and TV actress Venassa Turnbull (Ringwald) returns to finish a slasher flick that saw production stop after one of the actors went nuts and murdered the director and tried to kill her. As the new crew of film-students (including one played by pop star Kylie Minogue) looking to make a name for themselves start production in an isolated area on the outskirts of one of Australia's big cities, someone dressed in the costume of the film's burn-scarred mad killer starts butchering them, one by one.

If most of that summary sounds familiar to you, then that's because there's nothing new that this film brings to the table--other than having Ringwald in a rather amusing role as an actress whose demands and ego outstrips her starpower. What's worse, the film, probably in an effort to offer what the script writer felt was deep and insightful commentary, presents us with the rather foolish notion that the film and all its prints are cursed--whenever they're screened, the shears-wielding killer manifests himself in the real world, brought forth by all the "creative energy" put into making the film. Why are the prints cursed? Who knows? The film doesn't bother to provide an explanation that seems credible. Maybe the filmmakers were trying to be satirical--Ringwald's character and some of what the film crew do get up to some funny stuff--but whatever their intent, it's obscured by a script that's bad in just about every way.

While refreshingly light on "stupid character syndrome," and filled with a cast of attractive and talented Australian actors and actresses, not to mention plenty of gore and the always enjoyable Ringwald, the script is both so tired AND ludicrous that "Cut" is a must-miss unless you're a hardest of hardcore slasher flick fans.

(I saw a reference somewhere that this film was planned as the first of a trilogy ala "Scream." Since it's been ten years since "Cut" was released, it's safe to assume that it didn't make a enough money to warrant a follow-up. That's a shame, because there are far worse movies that have spawned sequels.)

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