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Sunday, March 25, 2012

Day 85: Masters of Horror: Incident On And Off A Mountain Road

Masters of Horror: Incident On And Off A Mountain Road
Who wants pie?!

Moonface! The main villain in this installment of the Masters of Horror series is named Moonface. That's the main reason why I decided to watch this movie. That name is awesomely bad and badly awesome. I think there's a small part of me that was hoping his face would actually be a giant moon pie. Maybe I'll save that one for my horror version of Candy Land. Sadly, Moonface isn't a chocolately dessert bent on destruction, but he is pretty brutal.

Incident On And Off A Mountain Road stars Bree Turner (Deuce Bigalow, Just My luck) as Ellen, a woman driving down a desolate mountain road. She loses control of her car and smashes into an abandoned vehicle on the road. She gets out to assess the damage when she sees a person moving in the nearby woods. She calls out asking if the person it ok, but sees that the person is the monstrous Moonface (John DeSantis), dragging a helpless woman. Moonface attacks Ellen, who narrowly escapes and runs into the woods. We are shown through flashbacks that Ellen had received training from her abusive survivalist husband, Bruce (Ethan Embry, Brotherhood, Empire Records). Ellen uses her skills to fight off Moonface, but he captures her and brings her to his cabin, which surrounded by rotting corpses of previous victims. There in the cellar, Ellen meets Buddy, another captive of Moonface who has gone insane. He tells Ellen of Moonface's methods and reasoning, explaining that he cuts out his victim's eyes. As if on cue, Moonface comes down to the cellar and bores out the eyes of the woman from earlier in the night. Will Ellen be able to use her skills, break free and defeat Moonface? And where is her husband Bruce?

"If he's Moonface, does that make his ass Sunbutt?"

Incident is full of pulse-racing action. It feels like a combination of First Blood and Predator with a little bit of Michael Myers thrown in. There is a lot of violence and a good amount of blood and bones throughout. The acting is good all around and the entire scenario was fairly believable. Director Don Coscarelli (Phantasm, Bubba Ho-Tep) does a good job with atmosphere and has some very nice action shots. That being said, the story itself didn't feel very special. The flashbacks showing Bruce as a survivalist abusive nutbag are helpful to explain how Ellen is capable of fighting back, but I felt like it just took away from the action and more time from Moonface. I found him more interesting than Bruce. I would have liked a little more back story on Moonface and was disappointed with his fate. It felt very anticlimactic which is a shame because I think he had a lot of potential.

Another thing that bothered me throughout was that I couldn't figure out why Ellen married Bruce. On their first date, he talked about how he'd like to kill everyone and she jumps in the sack with him. Shouldn't that have been a big red flag before doing the horizontal mambo, let alone marrying the guy? It wasn't a gradual coming out of crazy, it was full-on neon sign blinking in your face crazy. It just seemed very forced and convenient to cram it in to the Masters of Horror format, which is weird because Incident is only 50 minutes long. Most MoH movies are close to the full 60. What happened to make this one ten minutes shorter? I think a little more action and background would have created a fuller picture for the audience to appreciate what is occurring.

"I should've stayed at Empire Records"

Plot holes and minor complaints aside, Incident On And Off A Mountain Road has a lot of action and plenty of suspense. Moonface is a good horror character that should probably get a full-length feature someday. The acting is good all around and Don Coscarelli shows that he still has a good eye. If you can suspend your disbelief long enough, you might enjoy this movie.


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