Wicked Lake (2008)

DVD Cover (Shriek Show)
Genres: Horror, Sadistic Horror, Sex Horror, Supernatural Horror
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Zach Passero Zach Passero
Carlee Baker Carlee Baker
Angela Bettis Angela Bettis
Eve Mauro Eve Mauro
J.D. Brown J.D. Brown
Will Keenan Will Keenan

3.9 / 10 - Overall Rating

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Review by Chad
Added: December 11, 2008
I'm really not sure why I bothered with Wicked Lake. Here's a movie that I had never heard of prior to new release Tuesday a couple of weeks ago, it didn't feature any names that rang a bell with me, and although the plot sounded pretty neat, the reviews made it out to be the worst movie of the year. So, I went against my better judgment in picking this one up (the nice DVD cover helped in that regard), and as is often the case with yours truly and b-movies, I find myself disagreeing with the negative reviews. While far from a great movie, I do have to say that it was an entertaining one... and isn't that what's truly important?

We begin the film inside a college art class, where we find an awkward young man named Caleb (Marc Senter) drawing a picture of a beautiful nude model. After the class is over, he nervously approaches the little lady and offers to walk her home. She agrees and introduces herself as Ilene (Robin Sydney), and during the ensuing conversation, we realize that something is a little "off" about both of these characters even though we can't quite put our fingers on what it is just yet. At the end of the walk, Caleb asks a favor of his potential love interest, and although she obliges, the two are interrupted by another woman. You see, Ilene lives with Mary (Carlee Baker), Jill (Eve Mauro), and Helen (Eryn Joslyn), and as it turns out, these four college hotties are more than just "friends" with one another.

Completely afraid of confrontation of any kind even though nothing really happened during this interruption, Caleb runs away as fast as he can and soon arrives home. There, we discover that he's living with a family - Palmer (Will Keenan), Fred (Justin Stone), and Sir Jim (Frank Birney) - who make those flesh-eating, chainsaw-loving Texans look like that lovable Cleaver family by comparison. Palmer forces Caleb to come sit on his lap and tell him what happened to cause him to be so late in getting home, and after our hero spills the beans, Palmer asks for a kiss. Caleb obliges and plants one on his lips, and during the festivities, Palmer takes a bite out of his lower lip and sends him to his room before casually walking away and injecting some drugs into the IV of Sir Jim, a man who just so happens to be a disabled, wheelchair-bound war veteran. Did I mention that they're an odd family?

Anyway, the movie gets down to business after the ladies decide to head out to a remote cabin by the lake for a weekend of lesbian fun and watersports (and I mean getting naked and frolicking in the lake - they're lesbians, but they're not kinky lesbians). The film is comfortable with presenting itself as a typical skin-flick for a short while, but then, the dysfunctional family decides to pay a visit and turn this into something reminiscent of an old Italian home-invasion / torture / humiliation story (think House on the Edge of the Park). What they don't count on is... well, the tables turn when the clock strikes midnight, let's just leave it at that. Watch for cameos by Angela Bettis and Tim Thomerson.

If you couldn't guess from the above synopsis, Wicked Lake is a film that dabbles in quite a few genres with mixed results. The men in the audience will enjoy the ample amounts of T&A, the gorehounds will love the inventive and gory kills, the exploitation fans will get a kick out of the references to the films from years gone by, and there's even some comedy thrown in for good measure. For the most part, the film just works: it's nothing terribly original and it's not an instant classic, but it keeps the viewer entertained.

However, this genre-mixing does present us with the first problem of the film, that being a handful of scenes that do not work as well as they should have thanks to comedic elements being mixed with torture. See, I like exploitation goodness; watching a trio of men degrade and humiliate a handful of women before knocking them up and knocking them off? It's fun for the whole family. I also enjoy a solid mixture of horror and comedy. However, combining these two specific traits in one scene? Well, it may sound interesting on paper, but it doesn't quite work in practice.

This is really the only thing that I can specifically point to and gripe about. I thought that the acting was perfectly acceptable with Will Keenan doing a particularly good job with his role as the lead antagonist, I loved the soundtrack (courtesy of Ministry's Al Jourgensen), and although the storyline wasn't the very definition of original, it did provide enough material to keep things entertaining until the credits rolled. I especially enjoyed the usage of color and lighting techniques throughout most of the film, and truth be told, it actually felt a little like an Argento flick in that regard from time to time. I definitely have to give the filmmakers credit for some of the shots that they pulled off in here, especially given the nature of the film itself. You don't typically expect technical expertise coming from behind the camera in films like this, but you get it from this release.

Overall, this is a film that you'll probably enjoy if the synopsis sounds like your cup of tea, but on the flip-side, you'll probably hate it if that description didn't sell you on the concept. Again, it's not a perfect movie and it does have its flaws, but I'd be lying if I said that I didn't enjoy it. 7.5/10.
Tristan #1: Tristan - added 12/11/2008, 06:17 PM
7.5? No. I won't accept that. It was unbearably bad. I can't believe I actually finished it.

Chad #2: Chad - added 12/11/2008, 06:37 PM
You gave Night of the Demons a 2/10 as well, so I think your taste in horror just stinks.
Crispy #3: Crispy - added 12/11/2008, 09:20 PM
And you liked Soul Plane
Chad #4: Chad - added 12/11/2008, 09:35 PM
Indeed I did.
John Holmes #5: John Holmes - added 12/12/2008, 03:42 AM
This movie kicked ass!
I loved it.
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