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Monday, August 17, 2009

Loud and Bobnoxious Cult Movies: Laid to Rest

Posted By on Mon, Aug 17, 2009 at 8:17 AM

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A young girl (Bobbie Sue Luther) awakens inside a coffin with no idea who she is or how she got there. She manages to free herself from the box, but her relief doesn’t last long. A knife-wielding nutjob (Nick Principe) wearing a chrome skull mask shows up, and the forgetful femme just barely manages to escape his clutches. She’s picked up on the side of the road by Tucker (Kevin Gage), a married blue collar kind of guy who takes the girl home, much to the chagrin of his wife Cindy (Leana Heady). Of course, it couldn’t be that easy to get away from old chrome dome. He easily tracks down his intended victim, leaving a trail of brutal murders in his wake.

Laid to Rest is shot extremely well and boasts some of the most graphic and inventive kill scenes since the golden age of the slasher film in the early eighties. There are solid supporting performances from Gage as well as Sean Whalen as mama’s boy/computer geek Steven. And there’s no denying that Chrome Skull is easily one of the most visually arresting, no-nonsense psychos to stalk his way through a horror flick in some time.

Hall seems to be trying for something with more depth and substance than your average stupid teen body count movie, but he’s just not a good enough writer to pull it off. He creates interesting characters, then falls back on the old horror movie cliché of having them suddenly turn into complete idiots because the movie needs to get to the next kill scene. And the whole amnesia thing is just a drag. Bobby Sue Luther isn’t a bad actress, but she lacks the presence necessary to make a character that’s a blank slate compelling. When we finally do learn the truth about her past, it hardly seems worth all the deaths it took to acquire the information. I appreciate the effort that went into making this, but in the end Laid to Rest just doesn’t cut it. **

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