I‘m not one to put down a low budget movie because let’s face it, money doesn’t make a great movie, indie movies can be amazing and don’t NEED a budget to achieve this but every now and again one slips through the crack that could be great but somehow fails with something so simple that isn’t affected by the budget but just fuzzy story writing.
A young pseudo metrosexual Dennis Twist (Rick Crawford) is out and about in Portland, on his day off, looking for a gift for his wife Crystal (Audrey Walker), as he parks his car he notices a biker apparently starring him out but carries on with his shopping trip and meeting up with a woman called Dana (Anna Lodej) who we discover he’s having an affair with and decided to chose this beautiful day to break up with her, he also discovers that she has a psychotic ex boyfriend who has just been released from prison. After this heated discussion they go their separate ways and Dennis notices that he’s being stalked by this bike, he has lunch with his friend Stan (Richard Topping) who he recounts his day too but with no proof of who the bike is, he goes about his day until he realizes that he’s now caught up in a gauntlet.
This film, like many other hunter/prey films since 1971 draws a bit of it’s charm from Duel (1971). or maybe it’s just a matter of not being able to mention a hunter film without also mentioning Duel! The tension is there, the unknown chaser is there, the desperate innocent man is absent. It’s quite intriguing that we’re given an absent person to attribute to the killer but with no proof we are left to look for clues, which does add in a bit of mystery to the film.
Rick Crawford is an entertaining as Mark from The Room, he is a bit of a wishy washy actor who can’t fake cry to save his life but he does scared very well! He’s the main focus throughout, apart from the faceless hunter, so he really does carry this film, and generally it’s okay.
Limited budget doesn’t mean limited involvement, the director turns up as one of the actors in the film and does a pretty decent job, but as for the movie it seems out of his control, transforming from a thriller to a bit of an exploitation film. For the first half of the film, Dennis spends his time running from this masked assailant, hiding in parking lots, toilets, wherever he can, a few attempts to fight back concluded with him keying the wrong bike and getting threatened in the streets only to have the real perpetrator glide by with his frantic screaming “that’s the man” making him looked paranoid and ridiculous. The chase becomes humiliating. After a lengthy day and night he ventures home and the movie takes a bizarre change in pace, the chainsaw and a dick becomes present and each deals out some pain!
Overall the film is okay, the concept is sound, the acting is a bit weak and the shots and their dynamics is a bit underpowered but on the whole there is an interesting story there somewhere, the execution is just a little poor and the dialogue messy at times, the switch from intelligent chase to anything goes maniac doesn’t help anyone who’s trying to take the film serious. The biggest let down is the failure to deliver the dramatic ending that it lines itself up for. There is a massive realisation and twist for the end folks but it has the strength of an asthmatic ant climbing up a hill carrying shopping.. but watch out for it. If this had been cared for and nurtured then it really could have been a really good film.
R – Duel (1971), Roadkill (20??), Mirage (19??),
L – Chase Films Vol 1
A – Anonymous Killers, do they work better?
Vs – Rage Vs Duel