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The Washingtonians (2007)

DVD Cover (Anchor Bay)
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5.0
 / 10
5 votes
Movie Connections:
Masters Of Horror: Season 2
> The Damned Thing (2006)
> Family (2006)
> The V Word (2006)
> Pro-Life (2006)
> Sounds Like (2006)
> Pelts (2006)
> The Screwfly Solution (2006)
> Valerie On The Stairs (2006)
> Right To Die (2007)
> We All Scream For Ice Cream (2007)
> The Black Cat (2007)
> The Washingtonians (2007)
> Dream Cruise (2007)
Genres:
Cannibal Film, Horror
Director:
Peter Medak Peter Medak
Starring:
Caroline Carter Caroline Carter
Julia Tortolano Julia Tortolano
Venus Terzo Venus Terzo
Johnathon Schaech Johnathon Schaech
Myron Natwick Myron Natwick
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Review by Chad
Added: October 01, 2007
In one of the last Masters of Horror episodes to air on television (as of this writing), we find ourselves with an episode that was almost universally described as being either "worst of the series" or "slightly below average"; I honestly don't think that I've seen a genuinely positive review for it yet. However, the subject matter intrigued me enough so that I had to rent it anyway, and you know what? It really wasn't that bad. It's not the best of the series and it won't win any awards, but I was pleasantly surprised when the credits started rolling (which was just after that final joke, mind you).

Our storyline for this charming outing finds a small family - Mike Franks (Johnathon Schaech) along with his wife Pam (Venus Terzo) and daughter Amy (Julia Tortolano) - heading out to the former home of Mike's grandmother. You see, she recently passed away and left everything to him, and he's now tasked with the unenviable job of rummaging through everything, keeping what he wants, and selling the rest. Things get a little interesting when he finds a handwritten letter behind a painting of George Washington, a letter which eludes to the writer being a cannibal... oh, and it also comes with a fork made out of a child's femur, and it's signed by Washington himself. Things get a little more interesting when it's confirmed to be authentic, and it gets downright bizarre when the Washingtonians show up and attempt to keep this revelation under wraps.

This is far from being a serious horror film, and while I would think that that sort of goes without saying, I was shocked to see how many people expected an orgy of blood and terror from this one. It's campy, it's fun, and it mixes in a little bit of horror to stick with the theme of the show; that's the extent of the deliverables from The Washingtonians, and personally, I thought that it worked out great. You won't find yourself sleeping with the lights on after watching it and you won't walk away thoroughly disgusted at the gore effects, but you will most likely have a damned good time during the fifty-six minutes that it runs for.

The pacing of the film was another perk of the presentation, as director Peter Medak (who is not exactly a master, but I digress) managed to ensure that something was happening during damned near every scene of the film once things got rolling. We're thrust directly into the story after the obligatory character introductions, and from there, it's pretty fast-paced: there's always a chase going on, or the Washingtonians are stalking the poor family, or at the very least, more facts are being revealed about the case at hand. There's very little time to breathe once we get going, and that was a very good thing considering the absurd subject matter being presented here.

Speaking of the Washingtonians, I thought that they worked out very nicely given the scope of the film. Yes, they're almost comical in nature, and while I can't speak with absolute certainty, I'm pretty sure that that's what both the original writer and Mr. Medak were going for. It seems as though some people out there wanted a legit horror film featuring old men in clothes straight out of the 1800's, powdered wigs, and white face paint, but that's not what you get here; it's as humorous as it sounds, and I'm fairly positive that that was the goal especially when one considers the shots, the script, and the actions of the characters on screen.

Overall, it's a slightly above average entry in the Masters of Horror universe. The acting is acceptable (although I wanted to strangle that goddamned kid from the opening scene), there's some neat gore effects, there's plenty of laughs, and the overall product is original enough to keep the audience guessing. It's not a perfect film and it's far from being a legit horror flick, but regardless, I thought that it was quite entertaining. 7/10.
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