Thursday, April 17, 2008

Beyond the Rave, Eps 1-3

“No girlfriend. No party. No weed.” (Beyond the Rave)
No credits. No horror. (Hammer and Beyond)

Well, the wait is finally over. The first three episodes of Hammer’s new movie/Internet serial were just launched today and can be viewed on the MySpaceTv page.

Lots of speculation accompanied all the production news with most fans of the Hammer movies fearing the worst: It looked like generic teen pap. The title was ripped not from another Hammer movie, but from an Amicus production. Raves are already as outdated to current teen audiences as Dracula A.D. 1972’s “hip” lingo was to the then current market. And what does it have to do with anything that Hammer ever stood for?

Can’t say I personally ever cared too much about whether they would really carry on the heritage of old Hammer. I love their movies, but for the new productions I am only interested in whether this is going to be a good movie in its own rights. The serial idea sounded like something that could either be hailed as the greatest new Internet marketing idea in years. Or as pure crackpot. After all who would be interested in buying the eventual DVD release if they already had a chance to watch or even download it for free?

This morning the first three episodes of the series were launched. From now on new eps will be posted every Monday and Thursday.

So is it any good?

Errr, no, very mediocre average at best so far, but bordering on drivel.

For starters these eps are just around 3-4 minutes long. I initially thought we were talking about 10 minute shows and that some care may have been shown in actually creating a proper serial, i.e. shooting the film in instalments that lead to regular cliff hangers and have you gagging for the next ep. Instead the film appears to have been shot just like any ordinary movie production and was then just randomly sliced and diced for the MySpace upload.

There are no credits in any of the episodes. Given the short running time of these this may be a logical decision. It is still a smack in the face of the people in front of and behind the cameras. So Episode #1 starts off straight away with showing us soldiers on an exercise in a moonlit night searching a forest for something or the other and discovering a vampire sucking a blonde girl. Cut. One of the soldiers is seen being brought into a military hospital in Iraq. Cut to a month earlier where the very same guy has one day left before shipping to Iraq and decides to spend the day looking for a rave and his missing girlfriend, meets up with his hip talking buddy (read: speaking like a retard from the 1990s) and drives off in a car. Not the most suspenseful ending of a serial episode methinks.

Episode 2 sees them driving on and on. And on and on. And there’s a mysterious undertaker’s car. We even have a flashback within a flashback! Urrgh. That flashback really just shows cliché dance sequences that we have viewed a million times before.

The driving around continues in Episode 3, though we also get to know two cockney speaking drug dealers who seem to be rejects from a bad Guy Ritchie movie. (You know the ones he started making after the met Madonna.) Oh, and we actually have the first proper horror scene. Not much of a horror scene, but about frigging time. Two guys visiting a DJ in a pirate radio station (sure, another completely outdated concept in this day and age), let him snort some coke, then suck him dry in an obvious attempt to get high on his drugged up blood stream.

The best I can say so far is that I haven’t been completely annoyed yet, however, so far the film hasn’t displayed anything resembling proper horror, the dialogue is painfully “wicked” in an awfully outdated lingo, the story telling is shoddy and neither displays respect for the serial nature of the production nor for any basic film making 101s (flashbacks within flashbacks are NOT clever).

Guess I’ll be back for the other eps, though I am not holding my breath.

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