Carver (2008)

DVD Cover (Allumination Unrated Edition)
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Overall Rating 49%
Overall Rating
Ranked #5,332
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Natasha Charles Parker
Natasha Charles Parker
Erik Fones
Erik Fones
Matt Carmody
Matt Carmody
Neil Kubath
Neil Kubath
David G. Holland
David G. Holland
Review by Chad
Added: March 15, 2008
The name of tonight's film is Carver, and let me tell you: it's one hell of a ball-busting experience, and I have to say that writer / director Franklin Guerrero Jr. certainly had a set of balls to film some of the things he did. What I'm really trying to say here is that Carver hits you like a steel-toed boot to the balls, and save for some minor audio quibbles, this one was damned near a perfect film. You'll better understand my newfound fascination with testicles once you see a particular scene from this flick, a scene which the DVD cover proclaims to be "the most horrific scene in horror film history", and even though I probably wouldn't go that far, it's a scene which will definitely rank up there should I ever compile a list detailing the best of the worst. However, this movie is not a one-trick pony; no, you're not going to want to rent this just for that one scene, you're going to want to buy it for the amazing horror film that surrounds it.

The thing that shocked me most about the film was found in the credits, and that thing just so happened to be a line that said "Copyright 2007." Standard credits fare, I know, so why the shock? Well, Carver was presented as an eighties throwback film, and unlike the vast majority of those films that attempt to recreate this style, Guerrero succeeded; in fact, save for an unimportant scene involving a cellphone and a brief instance of CGI, there's nothing in here that would indicate that it was shot a day after 1985. This attribute certainly didn't slip by me being that I'm a huge fan of eighties horror, and it was refreshing to see someone tackle a "retro" project like this with both a firm knowledge of what made the era work so well and with respect for the greats who made it all happen.

The storyline for this one is amazingly simple, a standard affair when it comes to those eighties flicks, and it involves four young adults who decide to go camping in a remote section of Virgina. The people living in the nearby town seemingly came straight off the set of Deliverance, but there won't be any squealing like a pig for these young kids; in fact, the owner of the local watering hole proposes an extremely generous trade. He's a bit of a cripple, you see, and he needs some supplies from the storage shed which just so happens to be quite a hike away from his bar. If these fine, upstanding young adults can find it in their hearts to help a man in need, why, he'll provide them with a night of booze the likes of which they've never seen, and what group of twenty-somethings can turn down all the free beer that they can drink?

Naturally, they take him up on his deal, and when they arrive at the shed, they find a couple of films and a projector to play them on. Being a curious lot and thinking that they've found some antique porn, they decide to check them out; after all, nobody's around out here, and what could it hurt? They discover that these films contain what appears to be underground slasher flicks, but oddly enough, the effects seem extremely real, and... hey... isn't that the same set of trees from next to their campsite? It doesn't take a genius to figure out where the storyline goes from there, and it also doesn't take long for the hulking man from the movies (Erik Fones) to show up and start hacking them to pieces one by one.

A strong storyline was not the film's selling point, and it was obvious that this wasn't something that the filmmakers spent years working on. This is a storyline straight out of those aforementioned eighties horror flicks, but let me tell you: it works here. The emphasis here is on taking this tried and true storyline and cranking the volume up past even eleven. You'll know how the movie plays out, but you haven't seen it done as beautifully as it was done here. Again, I'm saying this as a huge fan of the eighties, and let me go on record as saying that this one trumps all but the best that the decade had to offer: yes, it's that damned good.

The gore and kills that are on display here are simply disgusting, as they're both realistic and inventive. That scene that I hinted to in the opening paragraph? I sure as hell didn't see that one coming, but I'll admit that it made me squirm while watching it. That's not a knock on the rest of the kills, as damned near all of them were just as gruesomely great as this particular highlight. Suffice it to say that gorehounds who pick up the unrated version are in for a treat with this release.

Now, some great gore and a handful of brutal kills is not enough to get a solid recommendation out of me. That would be an entertaining film, but it wouldn't be something that I'd rate as highly as I'm going to rate this one. What makes this one work so well is the pure terror that emanates from the screen once things get going. Again, it's obvious that these cats did their homework when it comes to making classic horror films, and folks, this is one you'll want to put on your wish lists. The tension reaches levels that the Hostel films could only dream of, and the usage of music... my word, the music. I won't say too much about it, but that goofy song you hear a couple of times at the beginning of the film? You know, the one you'll undoubtedly be laughing at? Wait until it makes its final appearance - that is how you use a song for maximum impact.

Carver is amazing, pure and simple. It's graphic, it's brutal, it's disturbing, and best of all, it achieves all of this while being a downright scary film. Very few films make me gush like this anymore, but this one did it. Don't pirate it, don't rent it, just go ahead and purchase it and thank me later. 10/10.
Mr. Mistoffelees #1: Mr. Mistoffelees - added 03/17/2008, 02:49 PM
Damn man those kills look horribly awesome.
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