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Case Number 01160

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Cut

Trimark // 2000 // 82 Minutes // Rated R
Reviewed by Judge Patrick Naugle // May 31st, 2001

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All Rise...

The Charge

Finishing the movie could be the death of them.

Opening Statement

I'm pretty sure that Molly Ringwald, famous for her '80s teen movies such as The Breakfast Club and Sixteen Candles, hoped that Cut would be her big break back into mainstream movies. Unfortunately, that would not be the case. Cut went straight to video, ending up as yet another Scream clone. Trimark presents Cut in anamorphic widescreen, starring Ms. Ringwald, as well as a bunch of Australian actors who sound like a Foster's beer commercial (Cut. It's Australian for "straight-to-video").

Facts of the Case

In 1985 a movie called "Hot Blooded" was begun but never finished. Why? Because the director was killed, but not before her tongue was ripped out her head. I guess that would put a damper on anyone's filmmaking aspirations. The production for "Hot Blooded" was shut down, and the remaining footage stored away.

Flash-forward to twelve years later. Some hotshot college film students have decided to make their class project the completion of what was started on "Hot Blooded." Their teacher, Professor Lossman (Simon Boswell), was at the scene of the crime in 1985 and warns them not to forge ahead with this project, as the film seems to have a curse on it (a few years after it was started, a screening took place where another innocent was killed). The kids, being the wacky bunch that they are, don't listen and begin production to complete "Hot Blooded" and hopefully make a bunch of money. They are even able to secure the original star, Vanessa Turnbill (Ringwald). Vanessa is a snotty Hollywood B-actress who only wants big money and someone to fetch her a Diet Coke. The crew puts up with her, as they need her to finish the original film. Never mind that the original was shot in 1985, it's fifteen years later, and Vanessa looks no different from the day shooting began ("Welcome to the world of Cut, where time, space, and age have no relevance!").

The shoot starts out fine, with each crew member doing his or her duty (cameraman, make-up artist, et cetera), as well as doing the typical teen slasher things, such as drinking beer and getting their rocks off with the opposite sex. Everything's fun until someone loses an eye. Seeing as this is a horror movie, someone loses an eye. And a leg. And an ear.

Yes, there's a mad killer on the loose, and he wears a mask that looks like a cross between Mr. Clean and a Raggedy Ann doll (including a stitched up mouth). "Stitch," as I will refer to him, doesn't seem to like the fact that these nutty kids have decided to continue work on "Hot Blooded." His rebuttal? Sharp, pointy objects into soft, fertile tissue. Where did "Stitch" come from? Why is he killing people?

Oh yeah…bring it on and let the mayhem begin.

The Evidence

Cut is like that little brother that always tags along everywhere you go, wanting so desperately to be with you, act like you, BE you. Unfortunately, it just ain't possible.

Cut takes its inspiration predominantly from the Scream trilogy, but also quotes other sources as well, including Friday The 13th and The Texas Chainsaw Massacre. Too bad it can't live up to the quality of those other films. Cut makes such mention of American horror films that it seems almost a cry for help, as if the movie is screaming, "Please! Let me be a successful part of this genre too!"

Cut does have some fun stuff going on in it. There's a nice, gory decapitation (I'm going to hell just for saying that, aren't I?) where a guy gets his head cut off, yet his eyes still survey the situation. The gore and effects in Cut are above passing, though usually never more special than any other mid-grade horror flick. The dialogue often treads towards silly. At one point, a character looks at another distraught characters and actually says, "It really affected you, didn't it? The killing?" Someone needs to join a "Sensitivity In Obviousness 101" class.

Aussie actors dominate this film, and as much as I like the Outback and their succulent steaks, Australian accents just sound strange when placed in the context of a horror film. Not only that, but if these are the best actors Australia has, the whole country needs to go back to acting school.

Cut is presented in anamorphic widescreen, looking fairly good for a film of its budget. The picture was clear of most dirt and grain. Compression was kept at a minimum, with bright colors and blacks that look thick and dark. I did notice a few moments of softness, but this may be due in part to the filming than the studio's transfer.

Audio includes a Dolby Stereo track presented with English, French, and Spanish subtitles. The bulk of the sound is centered, with only small amounts trickling out from the sides. A passable track, though nothing very impressive. Dialogue was clear and free of hiss, with music and effects mixed well.

Extra features are at a minimum for Cut, including some theatrical trailers for some other Trimark releases. Included are the trailer for Cut (which is actually pretty funny), a movie called Attraction, and a Lake Placid rip-off called Blood Surf. All are presented in full frame versions.

The Rebuttal Witnesses

A few lingering questions I pondered during my viewing:

After one half of a couple is killed, the girl nervously inquires, "Who are you?" It seems to that this would be the least likely thing I'd need to know at this point in my impending demise.

Why is it when someone in a horror film is impaled on something sharp, like a fence post, they always feel the need to look up momentarily, catching one final glance at the object that has killed them?

During one scene, the killer stalks a girl. He catches her, but she gets away by lightly throwing a pot at him. As my second grade teacher would have said, "phony baloney."

Closing Statement

This is a pretty high priced film (at over $20), so I don't think I would recommend it as a purchase. Certainly it might be worth the rental just to see Molly Ringwald trying to diligently to get her career back on track. Otherwise, Cut is just another tedious slasher film (with a nominally twist ending). The transfer is fine, the audio decent, the extras hardly there. Too bad Cut didn't end up being a "cut" above all other horror films. HAHA! I "slay" me!

The Verdict

Nothing special, though you can do much worse. Guilty of ripping everything under the sun, but free to go as it's a little film that tried so hard.

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Scales of Justice

Video: 93
Audio: 91
Extras: 34
Acting: 70
Story: 70
Judgment: 70

Perp Profile

Studio: Trimark
Video Formats:
• 1.85:1 Anamorphic
Audio Formats:
• Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo (English)
Subtitles:
• English
• French
• Spanish
Running Time: 82 Minutes
Release Year: 2000
MPAA Rating: Rated R
Genre:
• Horror

Distinguishing Marks

• Three Theatrical Trailers

Accomplices

• IMDb








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