The Wickeds (2005)

DVD Cover (Maverick Entertainment)
Genres / Traits: Haunted House Film, Horror, Vampire Film, Zombie Film, Halloween
Seven teenagers travel to an old, decrepit house, the site of a horror movie set and rumored to be haunted. But when two grave robbers arrive seeking refuge from an army of the living dead, it becomes the ultimate fight for survival. --TMDb
John Poague John Poague
Ron Jeremy Ron Jeremy
Mathias Alvarez Mathias Alvarez
Anna Bridgforth Anna Bridgforth
Kelly Sue Roth Kelly Sue Roth
Bradford Sikes Bradford Sikes

2.8 / 10 - Overall Rating

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Review by Chad
Added: August 07, 2005
In this low-budget horror film, we find a group of seven teenagers looking to have a good time on Halloween. What better way to celebrate, they figure, than by staying at a haunted house? The plan is set, and the group consisting of Jake (Justin Alvarez), Richard (Danny Darder), Dylan (J. Matthew Miller), Bailey (Bradford Sikes), Julie (Anna Bridgforth), Kate (Gabrielle Dennis), and Alyssa (Kelly Roth) show up at the house. They find that a "low budget b-movie" crew is shooting a movie there during the week and have left all of their props and whatnot laying around the house. There's pentagrams on the walls, baby dolls hanging from chains, swords, and even a coffin upstairs. Needless to say, the mood is set and we soon see some gratuitous softcore sex scenes.

Meanwhile, a group of grave-robbers consisting of Gus (Ron "The Man" Jeremy) and Billy (Bryan Donoghue) are plying their trade in the nearby cemetery. Gus has heard rumors of a corpse being buried here with an ultra-valuable medallion, and so he sets out to retrieve this. They find the corpse, and he does indeed have the medallion around his neck. A problem arises, however, when Billy grabs the medallion and yanks it off of the corpses neck. The "corpse" springs into a sitting position and bites a huge chunk out of poor Billy's arm, and judging by the fangs on this cat, we quickly realize that he is a vampire. Gus plays the incident off as the two having an over-active imagination ("it was just rigor mortis"), but they soon find that it was indeed real when they notice that the dead are returning to life and crawling out of their graves. The two hurry to a nearby house, which just so happens to be populated with seven partying teens. With zombies outside, ghosts inside, and a vampire (Michael T. Schneider) lurking about, it's a race against time to find a way out of this mess.

Before I watched this, I did a bit of reading about it on various sites. I found a good deal of negative remarks about it, and... well, I found nothing but negative remarks about it. "It's low-budget", "the acting is horrible", "the effects suck", and "the cover cost more than the movie" were but a few of the comments I saw attributed to this title. Never one to turn away from a "sounds good" movie based on anonymous internet reviews, I popped it into my Netflix queue. Boy, was I pleasantly surprised when the credits started to roll... this was actually a good movie. Was it low-budget? Yes, but it was a lot more polished than a lot of the recent indie horror offerings. Was the acting horrible? Well, there were no award winners here (even though Ron Jeremy should get some sort of nod), but it was perfectly acceptable. Did the effects suck? There wasn't any fancy CGI and you'd never mistake this for a snuff movie, but they were better than the average indie flick.

Now, I won't say that this was a perfect horror movie, and nor will I say that you should rush to your local video store or online rental service to give it a watch. It was a good movie and it kept me entertained from start to finish, but it's not without its flaws. For starters, the vampire looked god-awful. It seems as though they were going for a modern version of the titular vampire from "Nosferatu", but the end result was just downright laughable. The zombies looked great and the few ghosts looked excellent, but this vampire really should have had a makeover. The second problem that I found was the music. There's no score here, but instead, a nu-metal band known as Stuck In Kaos performs a few songs. We first hear a song by them during the graveyard scene in which Gus and Billy fight off a horde of zombies, and it fits the scene really well. The "slow" verses overlay a run-and-escape series of scenes, and when the loud-and-screaming chorus kicks in, we see the zombie slayers laying into a bunch of zombies with pick-axes and shovels. Yes, the song fits the scene perfectly, and I have to give the director his due for that. Then, later in the movie, there's another zombie attack sequence... and we hear the same song played again. Later, we hear the same song yet again, and we also hear a very similar song by the band in another scene. Some more variety in that regard would have done a world of good, even if it was just different songs by the same band.

So, the movie does have its flaws, but it's a perfectly fine way to kick back and relax for eighty minutes. Ron Jeremy turns in a shockingly good performance, showing that he's just as good in legit movies as he is in porn. The man is very well endowed (with talent), trust you me. Horror and zombie fans who can tolerate a low-budget offering should check this one out. 7/10.
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