The Black Waters of Echo's Pond (1:31, R) — Fantasy: Supernatural, bargain basement, original
I rate SF&F movies on a scale of 1 (execrable) to 9 (superlative). Not surprisingly, a year's worth of them tends to form a bell-shaped curve, with lots of movies in the middle and hardly any at the extremes. This one is among the rarities — but unfortunately not up there at the Avatar or Dark Knight end of the scale: It's one of the worst movies I've ever seen.
Here are the characters:
Rick (James Duval), the generally unwelcome 9th wheel at the party
Kathy (Danielle Harris), whose brother Danny, sporting a "1.8%" blood-alcohol level, had been killed in a car crash while riding with Rick
Robert (M. D. Walton), token Hispanic, a recently promoted loan officer
Trent (Walker Howard), token black guy, a junior loan officer who got Rob his job
Veronique (Mircea Monroe), a flirtatious sex kitten with new boobs
Erica (Elise Avellan), the goody-goody twin
Anton (Arcadiy Golubovich), her curly-haired, accented husband
Renee (Electra Avellan), the more daring twin
Josh (Nick Mennell), her bland and forgettable fiancé
Pete (Robert Patrick, who also executive produced), the eccentric old guy with the shotgun who owns the island and the lodge on it
The opening 9 minutes supposedly occur in the "Meandros Valley, Turkey, April 1927", as archeologists unearth Omphalos, lost temple of Pan. Among their findings is a map to Pan's lair, Pandemonium, where "demons were entertained by the tortures of the damned". The expedition leader is warned by its financier to bring all the artifacts to him immediately. For some bizarre and unexplained reason, this entails going to Beacon's Isle, Maine. By the time the financier arrives, the archeologists have converted their goodies into a tabletop-sized board game and proceeded to kill each other; the last of them takes out the money guy, then blows his own brains out.
Zip ahead to the present day, when 8 college buddies arrive on that self-same island for a weekend getaway, along with mismatched acquaintance Rick, who's evidently done different things to tick off each of the others individually. They discover the game walled up behind some boards in the basement and decide, since the electricity has just gone out, that they may as well try playing it. The 1st Chance card they get ominously suggests "speak thy hurt unspoken", and Trent uses it as an invitation to unload his resentment over Rob's success at their joint workplace.
Things deteriorate from there, as old jealousies (and new), misunderstandings, resentments, etc. flare up. Periodically the red-eyed goat head of Pan puts in an appearance in a non- speaking role, for no apparent reason. Sooner or later, each of the young people undergoes a transition in which their eyes turn black, grossly overdone black mascara and lipstick starts running down their faces, and they engage in frenzied homicidal attacks on their erstwhile friends, using rocks, rakes, spear guns, shotguns, knives, cleavers, icepicks, chainsaws, and good old-fashioned thumbs-on-the-windpipe choking.
Bad as the plot is, the acting is worse. The make-up is screamingly awful. The very limited effects are abysmal. None of the characters is remotely likable. Despite the prolog, there's nothing about Turkey or ancient mythology in the main storyline, and neither the black waters nor Echo's Pond puts in an appearance. This has all the hallmarks of something slapped together by a drunken committee over a bad weekend.
Fun to review, tho.
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