Cruel and Unusual (2001)
Cruel and Unusual is a direct to vid Canadian film
which has been released in Australia and the US. IMDB, for some
unaccountable reason, has decided to call it Watchtower. This thriller
has absolutely no tension or suspense, but is full of gorgeous scenics
of Vancouver, BC.
In scene one, we see Tom Berenger kill Elizabeth
Carol Savenkoff, so, right off, we know he is a killer. In scene two,
we see him kill a man who picked him up hitchhiking with the same
knife to the heart method he used on the woman. We now know he is a
serial killer who befriends his victims, then puts them out of their
|We are then introduced to a lovelorn
Rachel Hayward and her younger brother, who is in trouble with the law,
and will be half of a lighthouse crew for the year to avoid jail. The
kid has an attitude and a poor self-image. Of course, the murdered man
was to be his partner at the lighthouse, and Berenger takes the man's
place. A clever three-year-old could predict the plot from here, and he
would be exactly right.
E.C. Savenkoff, who is better
known as a voice actress, shows breasts in a shower scene, then
again in bed with Berenger just before he kills her.
Rachel Hayward shows breasts in
several very dark sex scenes with Berenger.
Not enough have seen this for a score, and the only
review I was able to find agreed completely with me. The DVD transfer
is good, the sound track is also nice, and the scenics are nearly
worth the rental price, but a thriller with no thrills, no action, and
no suspense is about as useful as a basketball court with no baskets.
guideline: 7.5 usually indicates a level of
excellence, about like three and a half stars
from the critics. 6.0 usually indicates lukewarm
watchability, about like two and a half stars
from the critics. The fives are generally not
worthwhile unless they are really your kind of
material, about like two stars from the critics.
Films under five are generally awful even if you
like that kind of film, equivalent to about one
and a half stars from the critics or less,
depending on just how far below five the rating
guideline: A means the movie is so good it
will appeal to you even if you hate the genre. B means the movie is not
good enough to win you over if you hate the
genre, but is good enough to do so if you have an
open mind about this type of film. C means it will only
appeal to genre addicts, and has no crossover
appeal. D means you'll hate it even if you
like the genre. E means that you'll hate it even if
you love the genre. F means that the film is not only
unappealing across-the-board, but technically
inept as well.
Based on this description, this
film is a D+.
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