Ariztical Entertainment // 2009 // 104 Minutes // Not Rated
Reviewed by Judge David Johnson // May 8th, 2009
Love shows no mercy!
The follow-up to a movie I reviewed a while back and can't remember much about picks up after a gay love triangle explodes and a dude named Elliot Hamilton goes off the deep end and kills a bunch of people.
So now we have a guy named Eli (Sacha Sacket) who's moved into the old Hamilton house and while he attempts to live his complicated life -- looking for a satisfying relationship with another man, trying to get on the good side of his new employer who also happens to be Elliot's mom, explaining why he digs guys to Debbie Rochon, etc. -- he finds himself dealing with the fallout from Elliot's killing spree.
Meanwhile Eli's dad is struggling in his own relationship with a woman, Elliot's mom is losing her grip on reality and all the women in Eli's life end up tied to chairs with tape stuck on their face. Plus, Elliot keeps popping up in ghostly manifestations so that can't good, right?
Right, because you're saying, "Hey this is a sequel to a psycho killer movie, so where the @#$% is the psycho killing?!" Well, kids, it's there, but you're going to have to wait a long time to get to the violence and the big twists and turns. The last 20 minutes or so blow out some big plot points and the reveals are somewhat satisfying, though the tension is considerably watered down thanks to too much talking and exposition in the finale. Really, it gets to heights of parody how much yapping goes down at the end. And flashbacking. And close-ups of scrunched up faces. And cast members emoting their balls off.
Before this zaniness transpires, you're looking at a standard-fare gay drama. Through Eli, writer/director Jason Paul Collum, tackles a boatload of issues: alienation from friends, poor taste gay jokes, family members who don't approve, judgmental religious types, social stigmas, it's all there. That's a lot of material to wrestle with in a film and the result is a mixed bag; sometimes it's overbearing, sometimes it's potent. At least Collum didn't hold anything back.
So, you're looking at a split personality thing going on here. On one side, you have gay issues film and that works fine for the most part. On the other side is a mystery thriller, which is executed clumsily and wraps up a decent twist ending with a bunch of pacing and scripting misfires.
The DVD is OK (the menu system was a chore to navigate). The 1.85:1 anamorphic widescreen is fine, despite the low budget film materials and the 5.1 mix is effective. A few extras: commentary from Jason Paul Collum, a making-of featurette, some forgettable deleted scenes and a still gallery.
The whole is not greater than the sum of its parts. Whatever that means.
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Scales of Justice
Studio: Ariztical Entertainment
* 1.85:1 Anamorphic
* Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround (English)
Running Time: 104 Minutes
Release Year: 2009
MPAA Rating: Not Rated
* Deleted Scenes
* Image Gallery