Disclaimer: My reviews of media here do not mean that I lay any claim to the media in question. All reviews are entirely subjective. I may talk about how well the movie objectively works in my opinion, but it essentially all comes down to what I think of the movie. My liking a movie is not the same as thinking it's a great movie. If I trash a movie that you love, or love a movie you can’t stand, it’s not because I hate you. Also, all reviews are likely to contain SPOILERS. If you haven’t seen the movies in question and don’t want to know what happens, then you probably shouldn’t be reading about them here. Finally, a blanket trigger warning for people who don't want to read about common horror movie content such as sexism, racism, violence, etc.: I will likely discuss all of the above when they show up in the films I review, so please tread with caution. Check out this post for more on how my reviews are set up.

Monday, October 10, 2011

Horror Movie Reviews: CrossBones (2005)

Overall: F
Acting: D
Writing: F
Story: F
Technical aspects: D
Effects: F

Directed by:
Daniel Zirilli
Joseph Jones
Maria Santos
Joseph Marino
Jessie Camacho
Mayra Soto
Hardy Hill
J-Shin Kinshu
Merlynne Williams

Particular trigger warnings: rampant racism

This was… not a good movie. And my reaction is in with the summary, so spoilers abound throughout the whole writeup, to a greater extent than usual.

            Basic plot… A producer for reality TV has started a new show on an island where six contestants will compete for $100,000. In addition to the six contestants, there’s one camera guy, the producer, and the producer’s high-maintenance bitchy girlfriend. But naturally the island is CURSED. Because centuries before, the dreaded pirate Redblood was cursed by some (oddly English-speaking) Savage Native Voodoo-types, so he’s still around and going to get his revenge. Or something.
            I get the feeling the movie is intending self-parody, but it just comes off as stupid. The majority of the characters are one-dimensional reality TV stereotypes: the Black gansta rapper “Greedy G”, the bitchy made-of-attitude-and-promiscuity Black girl, the ditzy blonde who probably doesn’t have a coherent thought through the whole film, and the dumbass guy who is only “there for the ladies” and whose every line consists of wanting everyone to be naked, or referring to his penis as “The Monster.” And the two biggest “stars,” the two characters we’re apparently supposed to like and who show shallow attempts at character development, are played by actual reality TV stars! Hardy Hill was in “Big Brother” and “Miami Social,” and Jessie Camacho was on “Survivor.”
            Fabulous racism and sexism abound. Again, I’m sure it’s striving for witty self-parody, but it fails pretty astoundingly. All the women except for one are shallow and materialistic, as well as being portrayed as sluts who sleep around solely to feed the materialism, and every shot of the women is obviously for tits and ass. If you enjoy that, this movie may be for you, but this went beyond even much of the usual fanservicey pandering. The Black woman is nasty to everyone, the Black man is shown as unintelligent and violent, and immediately starts in with how if he was the black woman’s pimp, she’d be missing teeth. The obvious racism is probably meant to be tempered by a line between the “producer” and the cameraman, in which the producer tells him that “angry Black people make good television” and the cameraman protests that “they aren’t really like that.” But the movie definitely doesn’t fall under “clever social commentary” so much as “really fucking stupid and offensive.”
            And Redblood is not anything near a convincing pirate. He looks like he should be stumbling around a Renaissance Faire at best. His rather unplaceable accent comes and goes, his dialogue sounds like a high schooler on talk-like-a-pirate-day, and it’s just poorly acted in general.
            The beginning of the film where we get scenes of Redblood on his piratey ship doing piratey things appears to have been filmed on a boat that they weren’t allowed to take away from the dock. When he makes his daring escape from prison, it’s done on a bright blue rowboat (with an obvious hookup for a motor) on what appears to be a mid-sized lake rather than the ocean blue.
            The deaths are predictable and not especially satisfying, even considering how much I hated all the characters. The gore is unconvincing, so even if that’s all you’re there for, it’ll likely still be disappointing. It’s badly filmed and the sound sometimes gets annoyingly quiet, only to be back to full volume mid-conversation. The acting is awful, with only a slight excuse that it’s supposed to be “reality TV,” the characters are ridiculously horrible, it’s badly written… I wavered between giving this a D- just for the fact that I was entertained by how bad it was, and a full-on F. But I have to go with F.


  1. Oh wow. This sounds as bad as Teenage Catgirls in Heat. If you want a really bad T&A movie, check out that one next. Your review would be very scathing. Trust me.

  2. I think you've mentioned that one to me before. Pretty certain the review would be scathing, despite the apparent cult following that one has obtained. If you ever want to watch a bad-bad movie, this one certainly would count... I think we were contemplating a drinking game for it based on T&A shots or racial- and gender-based stereotype, but I no longer remember it.