October 23, 2011

Shadow Puppets (2007)


"Director Michael Winnick's chilling tale stars James Marsters as Jack, one of eight captives who awaken in an abandoned asylum not knowing who they are or why they are together."

When there isn't even a trailer available on YouTube for a movie, you know you're in trouble. I should have heeded the warning signs but I still watched this anyway, fool that I am.

If you look up the description on Netflix (where I watched this), the entire plot of the film has been given away so I have no reason not to spoil it even further for you.

Basically, or fundamentally (since I'm aware that I've been using the non-word "basically" a bit too much recently), this is a poor man's version of "Cube" (1997) but with Spike, the Candyman and some girl from a "Star Trek" spinoff being chased around the corridors of a mental hospital by the smoke monster from "Lost".

Although it started off quite well, the twist (or "reveal") was ill-placed because, as soon as it occurred, any interest in the mystery behind why the characters couldn't remember anything went straight out of the window... unlike the animated "shadow monster" which went into a ventilation grill instead.

It wasn't a good film and the "shadow monster" effects were as lousy as you'd expect them to be. I'm not sure if this was meant for the Sci-Fi (SyFy) channel but it had that stench about it. No nudity, bloodless kills, and all that other kiddified horribleness. The girls showed a lot of bare arms and legs but that was it. Two of them were vile to look at anyway. I've seen more meat on a sparrow's kneecap.

Obviously the cast just did this for the money because if they did it as a favour then it didn't do them any. James Marsters was okay, Tony Todd was actually better than usual and the rest of the cast were just there. I don't know their names and don't care to. Disposable characters in a cheap, disposable story don't deserve to be remembered.

I think there were supposed to be eight of them (maybe nine including the uncredited guy in the hospital bed) originally but it soon got whittled down in "shadow monster taking the place of a slasher" style. You can work out the rest as it's predictable as can be.

Yes, this is going straight into "The Dungeon". Call me a hater but I don't care, this was dreadful and not in a good way.

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