Sunday, October 4, 2015

Dark Haul, What's in the Crate?

....Satan's beast...that's what's in the damned trunk!  Okay, this entry is for those of you who are like me and enjoy made for Syfy TV movies.  2014's "Dark Haul" has lots of plot holes, and bad decision making, but also is tons of fun.  Directed by Daniel Wise, we get some nice gore and terrific kills and a neat monster.  Romance?  Not here.  Disembowelment carnage? are in the right place.
Almost 300 years ago, in New Jersey..the 13th son of a 13th son is born....the New Jersey Devil! It kills most of those present at the birth and is captured by a sect of Catholic priests.  These priests become 'The Keepers," and are charged with keeping the beast contained for eternity.  Oh yes, the beast has a twin, a girl.  This girl will have the power to keep the beast calm and she will also be kept prisoner.  Present day New Jersey, the beast has shown a proclivity to escape and kill Keepers.  Knicks (Tom Sizemore) and Damon (Rick Ravanello) are Keepers charged to transport this thing 100 miles to more holy ground.  These two tough guys will rely on Zib (Evalena Marie) to keep her brother behaved during the haul in an 18-wheeler.  Good plan, stops...get there fast.  You think they follow the plan? Nope!
One wonders how 'The Keepers' survived through the ages with all the poor decisions they tend to make.  Right out of the gate, they stop for gas.  Oh yes, the beast has psychic powers and can make Keepers hallucinate.  This translates with a couple dead Keepers and a blown up gas station before they hit the highway again.  Knicks threatens and tortures Zib so she will keep her brother in line.  Also a prisoner, Zib tries to keep the beast calm while biding her time until the right opportunity presents itself for escape. more stops right?  Wrong.  Similar stops producing much carnage will occur at a hotel and a diner.  Eventually, the beast gets loose and turns over the semi. Now, free, the beast hunts down the remaining keepers as Knicks and Damon hold it's sister. Trapped in the woods of New Jersey (the film is actually shot in Connecticut), the surviving Keepers will have to survive the night and find a way to trap the beast.
Though Zib comes across as a sympathetic character, what will her desire to free her brother spell for the residents of New Jersey?  Why didn't Knicks just kill Zib and her bro' when he had the chance? Is this film using the incompetence of 'The Keepers' as a metaphor for the reason the Catholic Church has fallen over the past 50 years?  Tom Sizemore is terrific as the heavy and Ms. Marie and Mr. Ravanello do fine jobs.  Instead of putting on a stale zombie film, give "Dark Haul" a view.

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