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Article Archive >> Entertainment

Movies From the Black Lagoon: The Cottage

Movies From the Black Lagoon
The Cottage- 2008,Unrated

A kidnapping gets terribly botched in this crime/horror film that one ups Murphy's Law by showing that everything that can go wrong will as well as horrible stuff that you never even saw coming.
This one starts out with two brothers (David and Peter) repairing to a country cottage in England. They fix tea, bicker, and fuss with each other but otherwise everything appears normal until you realize they have left a bound and gagged woman in their trunk while they get the cabin warmed up.
We soon learn that David is in charge and he has opted to take a shortcut to his dream of living on a boat by strong-arming his meek brother into helping him kidnap his boss's daughter, Tracey. The problems are many for this pair as Peter is a white-collar schmuck with absolutely no criminal skills. David has to rely on Peter to do the talking as their victim would recognize his voice but that doesn't last long as Peter promptly refers to him by his given name in front of their hostage.
It doesn't help matters that their third partner, Tracey's half-brother, shows up with the ransom bag but has failed to check it. Turns out it was filled with tissue paper and the poor dope also failed to spot the two Asian hit men who followed him all the way to his destination. Luckily the killers are under orders to observe and wait until Arnie, the mobbed up dad of Tracey, can arrive.
David realizes that his cover is blown and decides to make the next ransom demand himself. Here is where the film begins its decent into horror with David's call, from a pay phone, attracting the local villagers who marvel at his appearance in their sleepy burg and proceed to warn him about venturing too far off from his dwelling, at night, or he may never be seen again. Said warning is entirely credible as David Bradley offers it, better known as "Pinhead" from the "Hellraiser" movies. Unfortunately, the warning comes too late. David arrives back to learn that his hostage has escaped and taken his brother as a human shield. David sets off with Tracey's useless brother in tow and stumbles across some good news - the corpse of one of the Asian assassins. It's a mixed blessing, however, as whoever killed him is still out there. Meanwhile, Tracey drags Peter into a nearby farmhouse and the film firmly enters horror mode as the resident turns out to be a psychotic farmer who has taken to harvesting humans for their faces after losing his in an on the job accident that wasn't covered by the good folks at All-State. The next half hour breezes by as all of the characters become united in their shared interest in staying alive. The deformed farmer, however, is a tough customer and the odds become slimmer as he hacks into the cast with various barnyard tools.
This one works due to some dark humor and a solid cast. Andy Serkis anchors the film as David and he's quite good in that rare role that doesn't require him to don make up as he did to play Gollum, in the "Lord of the Rings" trilogy, or the title role in "King Kong". The screenplay is serviceable but way too reliant on the F-Bomb to add emphasis to dialog. The special effects offer up plenty of gruesome deaths (via farm implements) as well as gaping wounds, which slow the cast down and make it easier for the farmer to do his dirty work.
This is that rare DVD that includes deleted scenes that are actually good. They were obviously cut for pacing purposes but include expanded characterizations, more gore, and even a character who was cut from the film.
This one also offers a double whammy ending but stick around for the end credits if you want to see what happens when Arnie finally shows up.
This was released in May alongside two other features that center on hoods who run afoul of psychos and, surprisingly, they are all worth your time. Check this out alongside "Botched" and "Frontiers" for a triple dose of crooks on the lam who should have seen "Silence of the Lambs".
Best Line: "If you whinge, cry, or do anything to let the owners of this house know that I'm going to kill you, I'll kill you."

Tom Doty will be emerging from the Lagoon to meet fellow genre movie fans at Borders on the August 21st. If you'd like to get a message to him, write to: dotyfox@pennswoods.net.

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