Sunday, September 7, 2014

Laid to Rest, An Extreme Hangover

Robert Hall might be the best special effects/make-up artist in the business. In 2009 he directed "Laid to Rest" and cast his then wife, Bobbi Sue Luther (see photo below) in the lead.  What resulted was an incredibly gory and well acted horror film, which some refer to as gore-porn.  Filmed in and around Annapolis, Maryland, we the viewer are introduced to a fiend called Chrome-Skull, who makes Jason and Freddy resemble Sunday school teachers.  Though we've all had blurry nights when we've woken up in coffins, this film exploits that experience with horrific results.
The plot: A beautiful woman wakes up inside a coffin in a funeral home. She has amnesia because of a blow to her skull, and her ability to recall some words hampers her ability to communicate.  No time to fret as the mortuary director (Richard Lynch) finds her.  The two don't have an opportunity to chat, unfortunately, as a monster with a chrome skull mask, a go-pro type camera mounted on his shoulder, and the meanest knife in movie history arrives.  After killing the mortician he tries to do the same to the woman.  We find out that Chrome-Skull has abducted 31 young women, tortured them, then cut them into little pieces, and this woman stands to be #32. Oh yes, Chrome-Skull videos the torture and murders then mails the videos to the cops. With some luck and determination she escapes and is taken in by a Christian couple, Tucker (Kevin Gage) and Cindy (Lena Headey, see photo below).  They want to help her, but this woman is hysterical and can't remember enough words to tell them a coherent story.  Unfortunately, Chrome-Skull is determined, and follows the woman everywhere she runs.
To Tucker's misfortune, Chrome-Skull makes him a widower (see photo above).  Now Tucker and the woman are on the run.  Chrome-Skull has marked his territory, and his territory is the woman.  Anyone who happens within 50 yards of her is cut up.  This maniac kills off the local police department, Tucker's brother-in-law and his hot girlfriend (Jana Kramer), and about a dozen more poor saps.  Tucker, who by the way, only has one working leg is determined to protect the woman and avenge his wife's murder.  Unfortunately for our unlikely duo, the only help they can enlist is from Steven (Sean Whalen), a nerdy computer novice who refuses to drive above the speed limit.  As the now trio try to stay one step ahead of Chrome-Skull, Tucker begins to figure out the identity of his amnesiac friend.
Every kill ranks at the top of the gore-meter.  Seemingly outmatched by the evil of their foe, Tucker, Steven, and the woman ready themselves for a violent and icky final battle.  However violent and horrifying this tale is, the altruism of Tucker, the Christian, is touching.  When the true identity of the amnesiac woman is finally revealed, it becomes a plot twist that sets up a weird, but satisfying conclusion.  Not for those with weak stomachs, but "Laid to Rest" is one of the most memorable films you will see this year. 

1 comment:

  1. I don't know about the movie, but it's a shame Ken Dryden never wore something like that!