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Movies From the Black Lagoon: Crawl

Movies From the Black Lagoon
Crawl - 2012, Unrated
By Tom Doty
Weekly Contributing Writer

A sweet natured waitress spends a harrowing night defending herself against a "cold as ice" assassin in this chiller from the "Land Down Under".
This grabs you from the beginning. The first sequence finds a vaguely Eastern European dude stopping off at a service station. He is a strange Mama Jama, who rocks a bolo tie, a ten-gallon hat, and a chocolate-colored sports car. He talks the attendant into doing a repair on his vehicle and then shoots the poor sap for his trouble.
Next we visit a bar where we meet waitress Marilyn Burns (that name will be familiar to fans of "The Texas Chainsaw Massacre"). She is a very happy lady as her boyfriend, Travis, is coming back from a trip and she is positive he will be packing an engagement ring. She finishes her shift and drops by to see the boss, Slim. First- he is far from thin. Second -he has company and it is that same guy in the big hat we saw kill the attendant in the opening.
We learn that Slim ordered the hit. Turns out the gas station attendant owed Slim some money. Slim doesn't come off as very bright since the guy still owed him the dough when he died. The hit man leaves with his pay but events conspire to keep him around a little longer.
Marilyn rushes home to get ready for her boyfriend. Popping the question is a big deal for her and she even baked a cake, which she left in her girl friend's car, she's a happy lady but not to sharp. Unfortunately the only thing that gets popped is Travis. His truck breaks down and his luck plummets further when he tries to wave down an oncoming car. You guessed right-it is a Chocolate sports car and it grinds him into street pizza. Now the killer lacks a car and he needs to get out of town pronto.
The nearest residence is, of course, Marilyn's. She soon finds herself at the mercy of the Croatian killer. Luckily he needs her alive to find a vehicle and the keys to her boyfriend's motorcycle just happen to be on his bloodied body. While the killer heads back to the scene of the accident Slim arrives at the scene. Will he get to Marilyn's and free her before the killer returns? Rent this to find out and you won't be disappointed.
This works thanks to the expert pacing and direction by newcomer, Paul China. He knows his Hitchcock and opts to tell this story visually. There are a few dialogue scenes throughout but the best moments are the actions of the characters that involve trying to sneak away from this determined killer. The film also gets a boost from a fantastic soundtrack that features a lot of stringed instruments that twang like crazy during the suspense scenes. This is old-fashioned storytelling with a couple of gallons of gore to please the diehard horror fans.
You also have to hand it to China for crafting some interesting characters. Slim comes off as a real tool with a predilection for spanking barmaids. The Croatian never gets a name but he does snag a lot of screen time as the slow burning killer.
You can thank the Internet for this flick. It was discovered by the good folks at Bloody Disgusting dot com. This website has been a reliable news and review source for horror fans for almost 20 years and now they are using their company to release 'International Terror Tales' from the film festival circuit. Their label puts out a new flick every month (under the "Bloody Disgusting Selects" banner) and has already released such fright flicks as 'Road Kill" and "The Woman". These are handpicked gems from guys who know what horror fans want. Wal-Mart carries their release for a mere 9.99 a pop -- a true bargain for fright fans.
Best Line: "Must have panicked. All that blood and gore. Enough to turn anyone's stomach."

Tom Doty occasionally emerges from the Lagoon to check his e-mail. If you'd like to get a message to him, write to:

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