Sunday 29 June 2008


As I read the names in the opening credits, I thought to myself, none of these names sound familiar, so begins yet another generic survive-the-night. And shortly after that I thought, Michael Ironside? Really? Which was then followed by, Eric Mabius? No way!

Trip (Detroit Rock City much?) and his buddy are on their way to Area 52, sharing a car with a South-African from Joburg, a blind guy, and a useless chick. After Trip reveals that he’s carrying a pantload of E, the driver turns the car around and heads back to the diner where they ate lunch. Her plan is to ditch Trip but it totally backfires when the car dies four feet from where she drops him off. To make matters worse, the diner is completely abandoned, though it was full of people not an hour before.

With no one to help them, the group is stuck. There’s a motel next to the diner so they decide to make use of the free rooms and spend the night. Meanwhile, Trip journeys up the road to see if he can find help. Instead he finds a homicidal drug dealer. And Michael Ironside.

Once everyone’s back at the motel and are sufficiently bored of looking around, they are set upon by a mysterious killer whose presence is heralded by the most foul stench you have ever smelled. Part machine, Reeker kills by sawing, drilling, or cutting you up till you die. And he can't be stopped; bullets have no effect and you can't run away.

As Reeker stalks and offs the would-be ravers, the film becomes progressively weirder as Eric Mabius appears and disappears from the story. When the sun finally comes up on the survivors, the story is still far from over. So what I thought was a generic nighttime survival-type film has a daytime twist. And all the elements, people, and events from earlier come together in what, in the end, is a clean script.


When I first sat down to write this review, I had a lot to say. Now, some months later, I've forgotten most of it but believe me when I tell you it was incisive and enlightening. Reeker turned out to be a good film. It doesn't so much break conventions as it works within genre boundaries to deliver a new take on an old idea. And yeah, I know it's a bit too easy to have a blind guy fight against a smelly killer, but whatever.

Yes. Whatever. Take that critical readership!

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