Old 37 Movie Review
Written by Karin Crighton
Released by Epic Pictures
Directed by “Alan Smithee”
Written by Joe Landers and Paul Travers
2015, 84 minutes, Rated R
DVD released on October 6th, 2015
Kane Hodder as Jon Roy
Bill Moseley as Darryl
Caitlin Harris as Amy
I'm not sure you need to know more about Old 37 when the director “Alan Smithee”d himself, but here goes.
Darryl (Bill Moseley) and Jon Roy (Kane Hodder) follow in their father's footsteps: intercepting emergency calls and arriving on the scene in the old family ambulance. The bad news is they're not paramedics. They're murderers. So when their mother is run down by reckless teenagers, they decide to take their revenge on everyone and anyone connected to her death. And they will stop at nothing to succeed.
It is a clever concept, but this movie doesn't deliver on its potential.
MINOR SPOILERS BELOW
To begin, the brothers are actually the backstory. Old 37 falls into the trap of thinking it has to have sexy teens as the center of its story, and creates Amy (Caitlin Harris), a shy country girl who wants to look like her much sexier friend Brooke (Olivia Alexander). It's a tired old story, but this one gets even more ridiculous when Amy's mother agrees to let her 16-year-old daughter get breast implants, which save her when she's stabbed in the chest by Darryl (Bill Moseley). It's too trite a plot point to be considered clever, and the hot guy Jason (Maxwell Zagorski) thinking she was “beautiful the way she was” rings false when he dated Brooke despite knowing Amy existed. The same old rule of teens having sex applies, so any time anyone has any fun, they get axed by the brothers. When Amy goes from brunette to big-chested blond, she gets attacked. Sigh.
Old 37 would have been much more successful if they'd focused on the interesting part: Darryl and Jon Roy. Returning from Vietnam, their father Jimmy (Kenny Simmons) cannot quench his bloodlust. He comes home to his family and his junkyard business, fixes up an old ambulance and begins to answer 911 calls. Needless to say, he doesn't save anyone. But his violence isn't sated and he beats his sons savagely, treating cuts with lye and punishing transgressions with the belt. Darryl begins to act out the lessons he's learned on his little brother, scarring them both for life inside and out. All grown up, they finally take up the family business of murder.
That would have been more than enough; exploring how violence begets violence, how these killers came to be. Instead we have dumb kids who aren't interesting even when they're half-naked.
The director seems to know this, as he uses the good ol' Alan Smithee pseudonym to avoid blame for this disaster. But the direction isn't really that bad considering the script must've been damn near impossible to take seriously.
I have my hopes up someone who understands that we're ready for horror movies with substance picks up the ball from here and writes a sequel worthy of a director's name.