Preoccupation With Babes Keeps This Stuck In The "Muck" Review

When a film prominently advertises that the 2012 Playboy Playmate of the Year is in its cast, you can generally suspect what kind of experience awaits you. When the opening credits roll over footage of a topless woman stumbling around a field, her face obscured so that she is literally no more than a pair of breasts, your suspicions are immediately confirmed. Such is Muck, an indie horror flick more interested in sexy women than scares. The debut feature from writer/director Steve Wolsh, it chronicles what happens to a group of hot young things in the fictional Cape Cod town of West Craven (yup) as they are terrorized by a mysterious killer (played by Kane Hodder, a stuntman and horror icon best known for playing Jason Voorhees in four of the Friday the 13th movies). Spoiler alert: Most of them die, in brutal and barbaric fashion.

Muck strives to be a throwback to trashy slasher flicks of days gone by, and relies on practical gore effects and real human stunts rather than any CGI. This is generally a big check in the “pro” column in my book, but Muck inexplicably shows most of its murder scenes either partially offscreen or in a washed-out palette that lessens the shock value of the violence--and one would think that counterproductive in such as film as this. However, what are generously lit are the numerous sequences involving buxom women walking into (public) bathrooms and changing their clothes--particularly their bras--in order to maximize their odds of getting some action. In many of these scenes, multiple members of the female cast appear to be wearing the exact same black strapless bra; I kept wondering if the crew bought them in bulk or if the women were all sharing the same “costume.” (After all, they do all appear to have similar measurements.)

Like an untrained puppy, Muck is so exuberantly and enthusiastically stupid that you can’t help but warm to it, even as the film plunges to new depths of silliness. The dialogue is scattered with the lowest of lowbrow gems, including “If you’d told me I was walking into a nightmare I’d have jerked off first!” Most are honestly not that funny, which meant that whenever a line came along that was legitimately hilarious, I was so caught off guard that I ended up laughing hysterically for the next five minutes straight. Yet in the end Muck is a rather enjoyable romp through B-movie-land. It does not take itself seriously at all whatsoever, and that is refreshing in a sea of staid, stiff low-budget horror movies.

SPECIAL FEATURES

There are no DVD special features.

"Muck" is on sale March 17, 2015 and is not rated. Horror. Written and directed by Steve Wolsh. Starring Bryce Draper, Kane Hodder.

Jun
18
2015
Lee Jutton • Staff Writer

Lee attended NYU for Film & TV Production, but she now works mostly in PR. Her primary obsessions in life are Doctor Who, J.R.R. Tolkien, and Arsenal F.C. When not writing about things she's watched, she's running or kickboxing in preparation for the inevitable zombie apocalypse. 

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