Bad Movies Done Right — Necrosis

Every day Robert Saucedo shines a spotlight on a movie either so bad it’s good or just downright terrible. Today: I think we’re alone now … except for the cannibal ghosts, that is!

I’d like to thank director Jason Robert Stephens’ film Necrosis for making me confront a truth about myself that I had long denied.

As much as I’d like to say that I take the moral high ground and that I’ve learned my lessons from the fables every person is read to as a child, I have discovered that I am very much one to judge a book by its cover. Or a DVD by its cover, as the case may be.

Looking at the box art for Necrosis, the recently released horror film about a group of friends who encounter terror after they are stranded by a snowstorm, I instantly had it pegged for a bad movie.

Maybe it was the sub-par Photoshop effects or the presence of former teen singer Tiffany in the cast but I took one whiff of Necrosis and cried stinker. Being a fan of bad movies, though, this was open invitation to enjoyment.

I went into Necrosis hoping for a crappy version of Dead Snow. What I got instead was a crappy version of The Shining.

Necrosis stars a wide assortment of television actors and horror sub-icons as a group of friends who, after being stranded in a cabin during a snowstorm, are haunted by the ghosts of the Donner Party, America’s favorite cannibalistic footnote in frontier history.

With a cast that includes Heroes‘ James Kyson Lee, the aforementioned Tiffany and 7th Heaven‘s George Stults, audiences may not expect a lot from the film in the acting capacity. These low expectations are promptly rewarded with stiff, stilted acting and some truly bizarre delivery choices from Mr. Stults.

George Stults performance calls to mind a bizarre mix between a leading man’s boisterous machismo and Lenny from Of Mice and Men. Stults delivery in Necrosis was so odd and deliciously bad that I kind of want to watch 7th Heaven just to see if the horror film is a fair representation of his talents (or lack thereof).

The film’s plot idles along on a steady course through a paint-by-numbers horror recipe. As the group of vacationers makes their way to the cabin, they of course are given ominous warnings from a tavern full of scary looking yokels — including The Hills Have Eyes‘ Michael Berryman.

Speaking of judging a book by its cover, if I saw Michael Berryman approaching me, I’d instantly wonder what child he had just finished eating. I’m sure Berryman is a pleasant man and seems really well spoken but he just looks like a scary mofo who enjoys following up his kiddie meals with kittens for desert.

Once the ill-fated vacationers arrive at the cabin, Jerry (James Kyson Lee) begins to suffer hallucinations of the Donner Party’s victims. Growing steadily unsteady, it isn’t long until Jerry is doing his best Jack Nicholson impersonation and wigging out to violent results.

While the DVD cover for Necrosis might make it seem like your standard “zombies frolic in the snow” film, the movie is much more of a psychological thriller with a few gory special effects thrown in.

Besides some mildly impressive make-up effects, the film’s gore is much less prominent than you might imagine from glancing at the film’s poster or seeing its title, which means a premature death of living cells or tissues — often to gross effects.

I can’t say Necrosis is a completely terrible film. It’s sure no Creature of Darkness. What it is, though, is much worse in the end: boring.

A familiar plot and uninspired performances leave Necrosis with much to be desired. It’s only fitting, though, that a film about the Donner Party would find itself cannibalizing better, much more recommended films.

Robert Saucedo thinks he isn’t alone now in saying he’s glad the filmmakers of Necrosis had the common decency to include a new song by Tiffany in the soundtrack. Follow Robert on Twitter @robsaucedo2500.

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