Ginger Nuts of Horror
There are many respects in which I consider myself blessed with Film Gutter, and one of the main reasons for that is that I very rarely encounter any bad films. Sure, there are plenty that are brutally hard to watch, but its seldom I get to the end and think 'what a letdown'. The unbearable Chaos is the only film I've ever given 0/10, and most do sneak above the average of 5. I've even had to award a few tens to those most wonderful offerings from the past 18 months.
But I'm afraid that Unrated is not one of those – in fact, it will be joining Chaos in that exclsuive club of scoring 0/10. This is a movie that I would award minus points if I could. Now, I'm aware it might sound like I'm being too harsh here – it's a low-budget movie, so there are of course limitations to what can be done. But directors using a tiny budget creatuvely can do fantastic things – this cost about the same as Phil Stevens' remarkable Flowers, so I'm not willing to let this movie off too lightly.
And worst of all, I was EXCITED about this one. Bringing together two of German cinema's best known purveryors if disturbing cinema – a practical dream team for gorehounds – it baffles me even now how this turned out so badly.
The plot – such as it is – follows director Frank (played by Timo Rose) as he takes four buxom and vivacious actresses to a cabin in the middle of nowhere to shoot a horror movie. He tells them next to nothing about what he's doing, largely counting on improv. This all follows an awful CGI introductory sequence, something about a book of nightmares, that barely makes sense initially and doesn't really get any clearer in the rest of the film.
This is clearly a film aiming at horror comedy, but the humour is so juvenile and so far wide of the mark throughout. The use of cartoon sound effects – literally, plucked straight from Tom and Jerry – is obnoxious in the extreme and doesn't bring a single laugh. Rose's overacting is atrocious, and the horror 'babes' in the piece are obviously trying their best but the script and premise are so terrible I doubt there's an actress in the world to save them. The effects are probably the only thing to genuinely raise a chuckle, but certainly not intentionally – as the most random assortment of monsters begins to emerge from the book of nightmares, they sneak up on the girls and the intrepid director before brave Samantha takes a stand with a host of random found guns and a samurai sword. Half-naked and splattered in blood, she's the only survivor of this remarkably nondescript demonic/undead/supernatural incursion.
Yes, I know, I didn't warn you about spoilers. But the biggest spoiler was from the very first line – this movie is truly terrible. Chaos was po-faced and serious, preachy and painfully conservative, a sub-after school special trying to jolt parents into looking out for the kids. Unrated is an entirely opposite kind of awful – it revels in humour that isn't sophisticated enough for a ten-year old, with an infuriating soundtrack and the slimmest of concepts that is basically there to allow for A) some blood to be shed and B) some breasts to be shown. It's the kind of nonsense that continues to give horror a bad name to those outside the genre – gratuitous, pointless, amateur-looking and practically unwatchable. It took me three sittings to get through barely 80 minutes – not because it was disturbing, but because this trash bored me silly.
RATING: 0/10. Warned you it was coming, didn't I? I can only ever justify giving a film a zero if I can't find a single redeeming feature, and unfortunately that's just the case here. Unbearable from start to finish, held back by a storyline that could have been written on a napkin on the way to starting shooting, abysmal effects throughout, non-existent scares and utterly ineffective gore and nudity inserted only to try and keep people watching. Sometimes I say 'I watch these films so you don't have to.'
Never was that truer than with this one..