Ratings Key



★★★★
= Excellent. The best the genre has to offer.
★★★
1/2 = Very Good. Perhaps not "perfect," but undoubtedly a must-see.
★★★ = Good. Accomplishes what it sets out to do and does it well.
★★1/2 = Fair. Clearly flawed and nothing spectacular, but competently made. OK entertainment.
★★ = Mediocre. Either highly uneven or by-the-numbers and uninspired.
1/2 = Bad. Very little to recommend.
= Very Bad. An absolute chore to sit through.
NO STARS! = Abysmal. Unwatchable dreck that isn't even bad-movie amusing.
SBIG = So Bad It's Good. Technically awful movies with massive entertainment value.

Friday, July 6, 2012

100 Tears (2007)

Directed by:
Marcus Koch

Two tabloid reporters, Jennifer Stevenson (Georgia Chris) and Mark Webb (writer / producer Joe Davison) are wanting to be taken seriously as journalists and begin investigating a serial murderer known as "The Teardrop Killer," who has been hacking up people over a 20 year period but has somehow managed to elude the police all that time by hiding out in an abandoned building's cellar. Jennifer and Mark piece the clues together, which lead them to a flea-bag circus (which seems to be right in the middle of some junkyard) and revelation that the psycho is actually an obese, jilted clown named Gurdy (Jack Amos) who murdered a few people decades earlier before disappearing. Also disappearing around the same time was Gurdy's lover Tracey (Leslie Crytzer), who has successfully managed to change her name and live in the same small town along with her and Gurdy's whorish cutter daughter Christine (Raine Brown) for two decades without being detected. Other characters include a dwarf and bartender who know the clown's whereabouts and a pair of ineffectual police detectives (Kibwe Dorsey and Rod Grant), as well as various victims (a real estate agent, partying teens, etc.) who show up just long enough to get killed.

This very low-budget film (shot on digital) excels at one thing and one thing only - gore. Heck, during the first fifteen alone the body count has already reached double digits as the clown killer goes around a halfway house hacking up anyone he can get his hands on with a huge meat cleaver. There are cut off limbs, slashings, decapitations, guts spilling out all over the floor, a head getting stomped in and blood literally gushing out all over the place. These scenes are actually pretty entertaining and well done. Unfortunately after the first fifteen minutes of almost non-stop carnage, the film then tries to add the plot and deal more with characters and this is where it starts to come apart. In fact, 100 Tears seems to falter any time it isn't being gory. The entire mid-section of the film is slow-moving, tedious and badly written, with uneven performances and a sense of humor primarily centered around farts and bowel movements. The ending is also rather sloppy, and the overdone gore scenes themselves start growing tiresome and monotonous after awhile.

A good point of comparison might be with Peter Jackson's DEAD ALIVE (aka BRAINDEAD), which has even more gore than this one but also managed to be entertaining and fun when it wasn't being disgusting. Jackson's film is also much more clever and inventive when it comes to creating new and original gore scenes, while the kills in this one - bloody as they may be - aren't particularly clever. Though in this film's defense, it only had a 75K budget while Dead Alive's was 3 million, so I guess they did a good job cramming as much blood and gore in as possible. It's just too bad the other areas of the film aren't quite as strong. From a technical standpoint (cinematography, score, sound, editing, etc.), it's pretty uneven, though again not bad for the budget.

So if you're looking simply for gore and a high body count, then this will satiate your blood lust. However, if you're looking for a scary or otherwise good horror film, you'll probably find less to like here.

★★

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