Movies From the Black Lagoon: Laid to Rest

Movies From the Black Lagoon
Laid to Rest - 2009, Unrated
by Tom Doty

A woman wakes up in a coffin, with no memory of who she is or how she got there, but that's the least of her problems when she's targeted by a chrome masked killer with an unquenchable blood thirst.
This one plays out in real time as the woman tries to figure out how she wound up in a coffin when she appears to be dressed up for a night on the town. She can't even remember her name but that's peanuts compared to the guy who keeps coming after her. He sports a Chrome skull mask, a shoulder mounted camera, and a nasty pair of knives. What he doesn't have is any intention of helping our heroine figure out who she is or why she's number one on his hit parade.
She manages to get away from the skull faced killer, who settles for slashing the mortician, and is rescued by a likable dude named Tucker. He opts to take her home, where his wife balks at the woman's story until old Chrome skull shows up and makes a believer out of her. Unfortunately, she doesn't live long after that, though her death at the hands of Skull boy does buy an escape route for Tucker and the woman (whom they have decided to call Princess).
The pair find out that they are almost out of gas so they stop at the nearest home and seek assistance from its timid resident, Steven. He's mourning the death of his mother and is none too pleased to learn that the funeral home, where she's scheduled to be buried in the morning, has become ground zero for a psychopath's rampage.
The trio head for the Sheriff's office and are none too pleased too discover that Chrome dome has struck there already. In fact he's still around so they high tail it to the nearest business, which turns out to be the funeral home where the whole mess started. Chromey is not far behind and the trio soon make a gruesome discovery in an adjacent barn (that also serves as Chrome's workshop). Turns out this guy has been collecting victims for some time and each one's demise has been captured on tape. On the plus side he's a skilled carpenter and has built a coffin for each victim (at least he cleans up after himself). A decent fight ensues and our trio of heroes gets away. They make it to a convenience store for the final set to with Chromey. It's a fast paced finale that delivers on the shocks and, mercifully, avoids the tradition of killers who won't stay dead.
This one is a solid entry in the 80's style horror slash'em ups. It features all of the positives of that trend (masked killers, gory set pieces, and plucky heroines) but avoids the pitfalls (stupid characters, dumb dialog, and lemming like victims who stroll into the dark calling out their friends names). The film hits the ground running yet still manages to develop a few of the characters. The killer is not given a back-story but you learn enough, via scenes from his videotapes, to creep you out. One of the best moments involves Princess viewing the videotape of her initial meeting with the killer. It's a shocking moment that opens up your eyes about her character and features a brutal hammer attack. The special effects are top notch but that's no surprise as director Robert Hall got his start as an efx man. Check this one out for some fast paced thrills but avoid the unrated version if you have an issue with the red stuff because there's plenty of it on display here.
Best Line: " Where have all the dead people gone?"

Tom Doty occasionally emerges from the Lagoon to check his e-mail and to read to children every Wednesday at 10:30am at Borders in Hagerstown. If you'd like to get a message to him, write to: dotyfox@pennswoods.net.