Exit 33 Movie Review
Directed by Tommy Brinswick
Written by Mark Myers and Norman Koza
2010, Region 1 (NTSC), 83 minutes, Not Rated
DVD released on August 2nd, 2011
Kane Hodder as Ike
Antoinette Nikprlaj as Angie
Jerry Reid as Matt
Maria Hildreth as Eva
April Canning as Marla
Motorists in need of gas or a tasty jerky treat can find both at “Ike’s Last Chance Gas”, just off Exit 33. In addition to the fine hospitality, visitors may also add to the local flavor once they are murdered by Ike in this self proclaimed “no holds barred gore-fest”.
A group of friends planning to attend their five year high school reunion get more than they bargained for once they cross paths with Ike, a seething psychotic whose insatiable bloodlust... Wow... It is getting difficult to write a compelling summary for the same tired offerings over and over in these low budget crap-fests where casual filmmakers make backyard efforts using a bag of clichés and a Mad-Libs template.
Exit 33 offers nothing new and will quickly appear on discount DVD racks in gas stations like the one featured within the film itself. Audiences will snore to the endless antics that anti-hero Ike (Kane Hodder) pulls time and again as he lumbers his way through the cycle of grumble-kill-repeat. The isolated location works in theory (and in better films), but when it is populated by every hunter and passing motorist in the area then it should be a more successful business and less opportunistic place for a budding killer.
Little effort is placed on who to root for in this story as both killer and victim plot lines suffer from extended sequences that are little more than padding to stretch the overall running time. There is ample use of flashback to slowly reveal a motivation for the killer, but these are so comically mishandled that anyone who has seen a horror film before will likely be many steps ahead of this slow moving train wreck.
Kane Hodder made a name for himself in the horror community primarily as a stunt man who appeared in numerous Friday the 13th sequels and claimed the role of horror icon Jason Voorhees as his own. Despite appearing in four films within the franchise, the studios felt that Hodder did not actually own the character and when he reportedly grew more demanding, they simply replaced him in a move that has resulted in numerous public tantrums to anyone who will listen. Here he pads his acting resume (bank account) while sleepwalking through another low-budget borefest. Appearing as bloated as his ego, Hodder mumbles his way through the film with little direction or energy and settles on the angle that his grumpy character is always pissed off, but somehow remains likeable enough to have repeat customers, much like Hodder himself.
The supporting cast seems genuinely sincere in their efforts; a shame really, since without direction the performances are pretty terrible across the board. Antoinette Nikprlaj is both attractive and engaging as she delivers the strongest performance despite some awkward line readings. This is particularly impressive given that the majority of her onscreen relationships are presented either over the phone or with actors who are novices unable to emote their way out of a wet paper bag.
The blame falls squarely on the shoulders of director Tommy Brinswick (Mr. Jingles) as he continues to repeat the same rookie mistakes despite having a handful of titles under his belt. Instead of learning from one project to the next, he seems to settle for the “that’s good enough” school of production and has delivered yet another lazy product.
While Exit 33 is not the bottom of the barrel, it is guilty of continuing the trend of setting the bar lower and lower for audiences. There are good films to be found for under $10,000 but you have to suffer a lot of bullshit titles like Exit 33 to find one. Eager young directors may be disheartened by my cynical tone, but I would like to make this a challenge to every one of them.
Rise above the dreck that results from laziness and spend the extra time putting thought into the project. Be creative. Make a film that you are happy to have your name on, one that you wouldn’t be pissed off watching for up to 90 minutes. Like Exit 33.
Video, Audio and Special Features:
Video, audio and special features not reviewed as this is a screener.