A girl wakes up in a coffin. She doesn’t know why is there. Rocking the coffin to the ground, she escapes and is pursued by a tall man wearing a mask. Fairly unoriginal, huh? You’d be right to think so. However there is something about this film that really floats my boat…
‘The Girl’ – who is never named has no idea who she is and why ‘Chrome Face’ is chasing her – is picked up by kind stranger Tucker on a country road, and he takes her home for shelter. This is where all hell breaks loose. Chrome Face doesn’t take too kindly to the fact that she has escaped his clutches and evil intentions, and he’ll do anything to get back his potential victim. Armed with his ‘tools of the trade’ he sets out to get ‘The Girl’.
As the film progresses we get to meet a selection of kindly folk who want to help. The film gives us main characters we can actually care about, in particular Kevin Gage’s Tucker and ‘The Girl’, played by Bobbi Sue Luthor. Like most horror heroines, Luthor’s character gets to scream and run around, but I really rooted for her and enjoyed her constantly getting away from Chrome Face.
Chrome Face, on the other hand, is a one-dimensional killer – which works brilliantly for the film. The skull mask is quite unnerving and unlike most movie psychos, ‘Face’ is actually tall and lanky. Looking body wise rather like the original Michael Myers (Nick Castle), it makes a nice change from the usual hulking brutes. ‘Face’ also has possibly the biggest knife I have seen since Crocodile Dundee and my lord, does he know how to use it.
Written and Directed by make-up artist Robert Hall, you expect the effects to be top notch and they certainly are. The blood flows in the various onscreen murders – and believe me does it flow! The death scenes are not quick, and there are some pretty gross beheadings and stabbings. A big ‘well done’ to all the make-up team, led by a guy whose surname is Porn! how cool is that?
Hall has assembled a good cast and used his connections as The Sarah Connor Chronicles head of make up to rope in old chums, Lena Headey and Thomas Dekker. Playing ‘The Girl’ is the director’s wife, Bobbi Sue Luthor, who carries the film well. Also it’s nice to see veteran bad guy Richard Lynch back on screen – remember him? The production values are excellent and the film has a nice polished look about it. It’s also the first slasher I have seen for ages with no T&A, which makes it a refreshing change.
Extras Anchor Bay’s DVD is excellent, with the film getting a nice visual and audio presentation. The surrounds are used well and the film also has some good music. The extras are plentiful, with two good documentaries, bloopers and some deleted scenes. Special mention to the brilliant and superbly-edited title sequence.
Laid to Rest is not the most original film around; it’s a slasher, after all. It does however have plenty of ‘heart’, meaning that the people in front and behind the camera enjoy their craft and take the proceedings seriously. The killer is terrific and the best I seen for quite a while. Although this is one of my shorter reviews, I have no real gripes about the film. It’s better by miles than the recent remakes of Friday the 13th and My Bloody Valentine and the travesty that is SCAR. I wouldn’t bother seeing it, if you hate slasher films, but if you like horror and fancy a really good hack-‘em-up, you cant go wrong. I loved it and can’t recommend it highly enough.