HOME |  CULT MOVIES | COMPETITIONS | ADVERTISE |  CONTACT US |  ABOUT US
 
 
 
Newest Reviews
Treasure City
Piccadilly
Parallel
Invasión
Shiva Baby
Flowers of Shanghai
War and Peace
Agony
Merrily We Go to Hell
Ellie & Abbie (& Ellie's Dead Aunt)
Amusement Park, The
Lemebel
Hands of Orlac, The
Cats
Death has Blue Eyes
Caveat
Kala Azar
Duplicate
Flashback
Gunda
After Love
Earwig and the Witch
Zebra Girl
Skull: The Mask
Vanquish
Bank Job
Drunk Bus
Homewrecker
State Funeral
Army of the Dead
Initiation
Redoubt
Dinner in America
Death Will Come and Shall Have Your Eyes
PG: Psycho Goreman
Maeve
Sound of Metal
Things of Life, The
Auschwitz Escape, The
Jungle Fever
   
 
Newest Articles
She's Evil! She's Brilliant! Basic Instinct on Blu-ray
Hong Kong Dreamin': World of Wong Kar Wai on Blu-ray
Buckle Your Swash: The Devil-Ship Pirates on Blu-ray
Way of the Exploding Fist: One Armed Boxer on Blu-ray
A Lot of Growing Up to Do: Fast Times at Ridgemont High on Blu-ray
Oh My Godard: Masculin Feminin on Blu-ray
Let Us Play: Play for Today Volume 2 on Blu-ray
Before The Matrix, There was Johnny Mnemonic: on Digital
More Than Mad Science: Karloff at Columbia on Blu-ray
Indian Summer: The Darjeeling Limited on Blu-ray
3 from 1950s Hollyweird: Dr. T, Mankind and Plan 9
Meiko Kaji's Girl Gangs: Stray Cat Rock on Arrow
Having a Wild Weekend: Catch Us If You Can on Blu-ray
The Drifters: Star Lucie Bourdeu Interview
Meiko Kaji Behind Bars: Female Prisoner Scorpion on Arrow
The Horror of the Soviets: Viy on Blu-ray
Network Double Bills: Tarka the Otter and The Belstone Fox
Network Double Bills: All Night Long and Ballad in Blue
Chew Him Up and Spit Him Out: Romeo is Bleeding on Blu-ray
British Body Snatchers: They Came from Beyond Space on Blu-ray
Bzzzt: Pulse on Blu-ray
The Tombs Will Be Their Cities: Demons and Demons 2 on Arrow
Somebody Killed Her Husband: Charade on Blu-ray
Network Double Bills: Maroc 7 and Invasion
Network Double Bills: The Best of Benny Hill and The Likely Lads
   
 
  XII Desert dismemberment
Year: 2009
Director: Michael A. Nickles
Stars: Steven Brand, Michael Leydon Campbell, Jeremy Fitzgerald, Emily Hardy, Vanessa Long, Mercedes McNab, Josh Nuncio, Joe Nunez, Monica Ramon, Nick Searcy, Jack Story, Mark Twogood
Genre: HorrorBuy from Amazon
Rating:  5 (from 1 vote)
Review: Best friends Claire (Emily Hardy) and Vicki (Mercedes McNab, from Buffy the Vampire Slayer) are diner waitresses stuck in dead-end town in the middle of the Arizona desert, but five years ago both served as jurors at the trial of child molester Leonard Karlsson. Now Karlsson is out of prison, physically and mentally scarred as a result of his routine prison beatings. His hideously disfigured face hidden beneath a bizarre mask, Karlsson trails, tortures and terminates each of the twelve men and women responsible for his incarceration. And now he has the girls in his sights.

Oh joy, another mass-murdering horror hero in a fright mask and boiler suit. However, one should not be too quick to dismiss XII a.k.a. Twelve (possibly destined to be confused with the similarly titled low-budget action opus also released this year) because the build-up is a lot stronger than usual. Writer-director Michael A. Nickles crafts a nicely detailed milieu: shimmering sand dunes and sun-scorched cinematography lay an effective veneer of creepiness, while the dingy desert town is rendered all the more depressing given it’s Christmas. The town is all but abandoned with folks away visiting relatives and the closest thing to the Christmas spirit are hideous decorations inside a lonely old woman’s house and a bored-looking pole dancer in a sexy Santa outfit, going through the motions before a bunch of dozy barflies. As Deputy Kent (an endearingly world-weary turn from Nick Searcy) ruefully admits the atmosphere is soul-sapping, with nothing for bright young things like Claire and Vicky to do.

Nickles tweaks his back-story into a metaphor for Claire finding the strength to relinquish past ties and move on. She is contrasted with old boyfriend and local no-good Shane (Josh Nuncio), who can’t let go of their high school days even though all of his contemporaries have moved on. The strong cast have richer characters to work with and the relationships, particularly that of Claire and Vicky are well drawn with engaging turns from newcomer Emily Hardy and horror veteran Mercedes McNab. Nickles initially confounds our expectations as Vicky - earmarked for slaughter by virtue of her self-centredness - proves a far braver, smarter and proactive character than is common. Claire might be more compassionate, but Vicky thinks on her feet. Of course it does her no good because she is blonde, bubbly and therefore doomed, while Shane joins F.B.I. investigator Agent Naughton (Steven Brand, last seen in the BBC’s Mistresses) as pointless, red-herring characters that disappear from the plot in an abrupt, nonsensical manner.

Things get off to a splattery start as a pair of cheerful road-racing newlyweds have their happiness curtailed by shotgun blast (and hubby’s head blows up like a balloon), but for the initial two acts Nickles cuts back the bloodshed and crafts some suspenseful sequences. Things get a lot less interesting once the characters are trapped in Karlsson’s dungeon and Nickles opts for tedious torture porn with a nasty tongue removal, graphic skin peeling and rampant unpleasantness. It boils down to the usual, protracted face-off between killer and “final girl”, but by this stage haven’t most horror fans been there and done that? XII is at once better than the usual DTV horror tripe and dishearteningly familiar.

Reviewer: Andrew Pragasam

 

This review has been viewed 2256 time(s).

As a member you could Rate this film

 
Review Comments (0)


Untitled 1

Login
  Username:
 
  Password:
 
   
 
Forgotten your details? Enter email address in Username box and click Reminder. Your details will be emailed to you.
   

Latest Poll
Which star probably has psychic powers?
Laurence Fishburne
Nicolas Cage
Anya Taylor-Joy
Patrick Stewart
Sissy Spacek
Michelle Yeoh
Aubrey Plaza
Tom Cruise
Beatrice Dalle
Michael Ironside
   
 
   

Recent Visitors
Graeme Clark
Darren Jones
Enoch Sneed
  Desbris M
Andrew Pragasam
  Paul Tuersley
  Chris Garbutt
  Sdfadf Rtfgsdf
   

 

Last Updated: