It’s 10:30 pm
Back in 2006 a film festival called “After Dark Filmfest” was launched. The idea was to showcase a group of low budget horror films called “8 Films To Die For”. Horror films from around the world were submitted and the final 8 films were shown and later released under the “8 Films to Die For banner.
The festival got off to a good start in 2006 and the films sound were being seen on the SyFy Channel. Sadly,the festival only ran for five years before the format was changed and the films become more action themed.
I had seen a few of these films listed on SyFy without actually seeing any of them. It wasn’t until about a year ago that I stumbled across my first “8 Films” title,a very good film called “The Death of Ian Stone”. But that was the last film I have seen while hunting until yesterday. I dropped by my local Family Video as they had received quite a few movies from a store that had closed and they were priced at 1.50.
It was here that I saw they had gotten a copy of “Crazy Eights” and thus I picked up my second film of the series.
The film opens telling us about several hundred kids who taken to various hospitals,mostly in South where they were used in different experiments. Over 200 children were never seen again. It shows one young girl being dropped off by her mother and showing the medical hell she was going to be facing.
Flash forward 20 years and we meet 6 people from all walks of life,professor (Dina Meyer),a rock singer (Traci Lords),a Father in the Catholic Church (George Newbern),a ambitious business man (Frank Whaley),a sculptress (Gabrielle Anwar) and a mechanic (Dan DeLuca).
Several of the group have been having strange dreams and experiences and as they struggle to understand what is happening,they all receive news that a childhood friend has passed away. They all meet for the funeral and while on the surface all seems okay,there is a few resentments and bitterness within the group.
When the late friend leaves a note telling them about a old time capsule she wanted them to have,the group of friends to honor their friend and go and find it.
The group heads off and as they approach the address given,they find their memories start to rise to the top and the businessman Brent is getting very edgy,it’s clear he doesn’t want to be here.
The group goes inside a barn and they find a heavy wooden box,Brent,Wayne and Father Lyle manage to lift the box but the rope breaks they attempt to lower it. The group opens the box and each person recovers the item they put in but at the bottom of the box and why it was so heavy,is the skeleton of a small child.
At first Gina (the singer) and Beth (the sculptress) want to call the cops but after the rest of friends debate it,they decide to leave it. They jump back into their car and leave. Soon they discover they are driving in circles and just as they pass the same house for the third time,Brent sees a little run towards the house.
He slams the brakes and they all exit the car as Brent is explaining that he saw a child.
The group splits up with Wayne and Gina going to the basement while Jennifer (the professor),Beth,Father Lyle and Brent go into the house which they find abandoned.
When a sudden freak accident leads them all into the basement and no apparent way out,the six friends are forced to confront their pasts and face their darkest fears…..
First thing you notice right away about “Crazy Eights” is its cast….its an extremely talented and strong group of actors for a small indie horror/suspense film. Led by genre favorite Meyer,this group of well known faces and names gives a good accounting of themselves. The cast includes Traci Lords,Frank Whaley,Gabrielle Anwar,George Newbern (he does the voice of Superman in the DC animated shows and films) and Dan Luca.
The reviews for “Crazy Eights” weren’t that good but its not because of the cast….for me,what dooms this movie is the story and it’s cruel twist of a old horror trope.
In most horror films where a crazed killer is stalking a group and they slowly picked off one by one,there is a reason behind it. Or in the case of say,”Friday the 13th”,while the counselors are innocent,they still have unsavory character traits that allows the audience to not really care about them as people,when they meet their demise,viewers will “ohhh” and “ahhhh” about the method but the fact that they died.
In “Crazy Eights” (which co-star DeLuca co-wrote as well as produced),every character is not only a decent person that doesn’t deserve their fate,using the “we left our friend behind”plot twist doesn’t work here because they ALL were victims of the same tests and cruelties inflicted. The fact of the matter is all the characters were up to be good people,Brent may be a bit unlikable but he isn’t a bad guy. Beth was left emotionally scared while rugged Wayne is still scared of the dark.
Having these people being hunted down for no reason instead of maybe having the staff of the hospital getting their just desserts left a bad taste in our mouths.
It is a tough watch and one we recommend solely to watch a talented group of actors doing their thing.
“Crazy Eights” is rated “R” and has a short run time of 1 hour and 20 minutes. Extras include trailers and naming “Miss Horrrfest 2007” which is cheesy fun.
We gave “Crazy Eights” a thumbs up for the cast but a thumbs down for the ugly story.
The cheetah says we need to go back and review “The Death of Ian Stone” and I’m with him…that was a very interesting film!
Have you ever been to a horror film festival? If so,share your experience by dropping a comment below!
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