Mediocre – Trespass, Demons of the Mind, Slumber Party Massacre

Mediocre: of moderate or low quality, value, ability, or performance: ordinary, so-so

I watch a ton of movies and I spend a lot of time writing about the good ones, the unusual ones, and the bad ones. I usually skip writing about the mediocre ones because there isn’t much to say and they aren’t nearly as fun to riff on as the truly bad films. Unfortunately much of what I’ve watched lately has fallen into that category. In short DON’T WATCH:

Trespass (2011) – Rated R

“A husband and wife find themselves pushed to their absolute limit when they’re held for ransom by brutal thugs who invade their home. As tensions escalate and shocking revelations emerge, the couple is forced to take ever-more desperate measures.”

Ugh! I feel for Nicolas Cage sometimes. He can act but lately he has had to rush through one film after another so he doesn’t end up sharing a cell with Wesley Snipes. The bills have to be paid but his acting price will have to come down now that he has had his first (to my knowledge) direct-to-video movie. If this had a theatrical run, I missed it.

Still it was bound to happen sooner or later. Certainly his latest, Ghost Rider – Spirit of Vengeance, should never have been released to theaters. imdb has Cage listed for five movies last year. On the other hand, what is Nicole Kidman doing in this?

Trespass is not terrible but the script makes very little sense, the villains are morons, the husband is script-clever and reality-stupid (watch the safe opening scene and see if any of it strikes you as realistic), and the few people in the film who can act phone it in. This is another in a long line of movies where the plot only moves forward because the script says so. If you watch it, which I do not recommend, you will spend the movie saying things like ‘that wouldn’t happen’, ‘he/she/they wouldn’t do that’, and other phrase with your choice special words.

Demons of the Mind (1971)

“This horror film, set in early 19th-century Bavaria, follows the deranged Baron Zorn (Robert Hardy), who locks his two grown children in a castle and drugs them to protect them from a curse he fears they might have inherited from their late mother. The baron enlists the help of a scientist to cure his son and daughter, who in his mind are not only a hazard to society, but — because of their incestuous attraction — are also a threat to the family itself.”

I was really looking forward to this movie. I love the old Hammer horror movies and, until the other night, this was the only one I had never seen. It is a period piece with some nice atmosphere but it is not terribly well acted and the script is not very coherent and it actually manages to be dull.

Slumber Party Massacre (1982) – Rated R

“Young Trish Devereaux throws a slumber party and, naturally, a gaggle of randy boys turns up. But when an escaped psycho crashes the bash, the mood turns gruesome. As the teens go down one by one, three brave girls draft a plan to stop the killer.”

Wow! Okay this one is pretty bad. When critics talk about the slasher sub-genre being misogynistic, it is because of films like this. All of the components are sub-par as well but the misogyny really runs hot and heavy here. The bizarre part is that this was written by Rita Mae Brown. Yes the same Rita Mae Brown who wrote Rubyfruit Jungle and all of those Sneaky Pie mystery novels. I’m not sure where the disconnect is such that a champion of women’s rights ends up writing this but she is the sole credited writer on the film.