Those of you that know me, know that I like bad movies. I like b horror and cult movies. I love me some troma, and Troll 2 holds a very special place in my heart. But sometimes a bad movie comes along that is so terrible; I just loathe it, but do find a joy in deconstructing it. The most recent example of that is a little piece of shit called “Laid to Rest”.
I’m not going to bother doing the research to find out the guys name that directed it or wrote it. I just know he’s a makeup effects artist who wanted to make a name for himself by directing his first feature. Buddy, please stick to makeup. If there is one redeeming quality to this movie, it’s definitely the gore, which looks for the most part practical and is pretty realistic, which is always a plus. That being said, everything else in this movie is so bad that the gore is like a flower growing out of cow crap. Seriously, I’d rather sit through an elementary school rendition of Rent than watch anything by this guy again.
This 80 minute waste of time starts off a heavy metal montage of women being disemboweled, while our killer makes his stupid mask. This was the first sign to me that this movie was headed in a bad direction. And then the movie finally starts, and it just gets worse and worse. The opening scene is a woman waking up in a coffin. She manages to knock the coffin over and make her way from the funeral parlor to the morgue (which just happens to be located in the same building). Our heroine, who looks like she just stumbled into the set of this movie (after many bouts of plastic surgery), is about as resourceful as a man without hands trying to climb a mountain (though he’d probably manage better). Apparently spending a short amount of time in a coffin causes you to become mentally retarded and to suffer amnesia. This girl (dumb girl or DG for short as we’ll call her from now on) doesn’t remember her name but is somewhat able to use the phone to call for help.
But I must add that she is assisted by a hand written note on the wall that literally has 911 written on it and circled. Why a morgue/funeral parlor run by one old man would need to have this written on the wall is beyond me. Unless he suffers from Alzheimer’s, in which case he probably shouldn’t be running a business working with people’s dead loved ones. This is where the real fun begins. As she’s on the phone with the police she walks away with the phone long enough that it rips the cord out. So she just keeps talking into the phone. She holds onto this broken phone for about 2 minutes until our killer comes in and kills the old man, who has enough on screen time to do nothing. Somehow she manages to get away (there must have been a sign on the door explaining how to use it) and runs out on the road. She unluckily gets picked up by the good guy, Kevin Gage who played the titular character in Demon Dave Defalco’s Chaos. Sad to say, but he’s about the only halfway decent actor in the movie. He asks her what happened to her, and no lie, she says “I came from the box; it was dark in the box”. So he takes her home, whereas he probably should have dropped her off at a police station or at least a library. His wife is mad at him for bringing her in, but caves into her really easily. I was seriously expecting this movie to go in the direction of porn during these scenes. It looks like it will, but then they just go to bed and sleep. Then, I guess an hour later because it’s night the whole movie, the killer has tracked her down (must be from the blood trail of the butchered English language) and kills the guys wife.
He gets over her death rather quickly. So he watches his wife get stabbed to death in front of him and keeps his cool, but DG gets put in “the box” for a couple minutes and reverts to a Cro-Magnon. I forgot to mention that Mr. Gage’s character has a gimp leg and uses a cane to hobble with. He’s able to stop the killer by pushing him down, which gives them enough time to get in the truck and get away. Then for some reason the guy from That Thing You Do gets killed, along with his girlfriend. This scene is completely superfluous and only serves as a reason to try to make the killer scary. They do not succeed.
So, let’s talk about the killer in this movie. He is possibly the worst slasher in the history of slasher movies. You see him preparing for his night of killing by sitting in the lotus position like a monk, he has no nipples because apparently he cut them off (they don’t explain this but I’m guessing) but this has no bearing on the story. He’s obviously just a guy because he doesn’t come back at the end (thank God). He wears a mask that is a chrome skull. They call him Chrome Skull. And do you wanna know why? Because that’s what HIS LICENSE PLATE SAYS! So this guy is some no-nippled freak but he had the time to go to the DMV to get a vanity plate and actually procure a driver’s license? I wonder if he wore the mask at the time? At least he smiled in his picture. And is “Chrome Skull” really the best name they could come up with? That worked for “Leatherface”, but Jason isn’t called “Hockey Mask” and this guy is as unimaginative in his kills as he is in naming abilities. In all honesty, they should have called the movie Chrome Skull, at least to let us know what we are in for. The mask itself looks ridiculous, Jason was scarier with the burlap sack than this guy is, and it looks like he actually put time into his mask. This guys MO is to kidnap women, put them in coffins, and then kill them and put them in dumb positions in the coffins. But he must get bored because he just ends up killing people with knives. Also when you have a killer who can be easily knocked down by a crippled guy, you don’t have too much going for yourself. He’s the Charlie Chaplin of serial killers. Also they never give this guy any reason for killing people. I’m not the kind of person who needs a back story for every villain. I usually hate them. But with this guy, they add all these weird touches which never come into play in the movie. Like he attaches a camera to his shoulder to videotape his victims (actually this does play a small but stupid role later in the movie). It would have at least added something interesting to the movie if you found out why he has no nipples.
Anyway, back to the movie. DG and Cane Man make their way down the road (they almost run out of gas of course) so they stop at some random guy’s house. Now first off, if a crazy killer is after you, you should never bring someone else into that mess. And this guy is dealing with his elderly mom who just died. He’s, obviously, a computer nerd and able to place an email to 911 (?) which also, obviously, is how people contact the police these days. They all hop in the car and go to the police station, where the killer (who must be able to read emails in his chrome skull) is there waiting for them after killing all the cops with his knifey powers. So if this guy attacks you, don’t try to shoot him, just push him down. Anyways, Dumb Girl convinces them to go back to the funeral home. Cane Man locks them in the chapel part of this place and goes off to wait for his brother to come to his house (why would he do this?). So DG decides waiting around won’t help them so she leaves. Nerdy Guy sits in the car they parked next to a hearse which contains his dead mother. Chrome Skull is waiting in the hearse and takes the time to use Nerdy’s dead mom as a puppet to scare him (as if a serial killer wouldn’t scare you enough this guy has to defile a dude’s dead mom).
Behind the funeral parlor, is a gigantic barn for no reason. And that’s where Chrome Skull keeps his victims! We learn that he’s been going all down the east coast killing, and apparently brings all his corpses to a barn, BEHIND a funeral home. Instead of using the morgue, he decides hiding them in coffins (all in plain sight) in a giant barn is the smartest move to make. This is where the movie flashes back to let us know that the old man from the beginning knew that Chrome Skull was doing this, but he gets fed up and tells him to keep it down in there. I guess that’s why he gets killed by Chrome Skull days, weeks, and years later? Which is a good way to draw attention to yourself by killing the guy who let you bring bodies to his barn, who is also the owner of apparently the only funeral parlor in the state of Alabama. This guy is dumb. Don’t bite the hand that lets you get away with homicide, is the message of this film.
So they go into the barn, I think Nerdy Guy gets killed, I was on my 5th beer by this point and paying attention was getting difficult. I do remember the ending though, because it was horrible. The girl watches one of the killer’s tapes and it shows her on it, she was a prostitute (no surprise there) and he hired her, She asks him what he wants and he hits her on the head. I think the point of this is Chrome Skull sees women that are having a rough go of life and decides to do to them what heroin would anyways. He’s like Jigsaw, except he just kills people instead of trying to get them to see that life is beautiful (I hate Saw by the way too so they aren’t getting off the hook here). Chrome Skull drive DG to a convenience store for snacks or something. She goes in, by herself, and tries to get the people in the store to help, 2 wild and crazy guys, and the shop-keep who looks like the kid from High School Musical (he gets his head blown off which is at least good). Cane guy comes back, gets stabbed, but in the meantime makes a superglue/acid mix which they use when Chrome Skull gets his mask pulled off (you don’t see his face). They put it on him again, and like an idiot he pulls it off, tearing off all the skin on his face, and then kind of melts. The girl then walks out of the place and the cops show up (who can apparently resurrect from the dead) and the credits roll, and the heavy metal starts back up. What? The girl who at the start of this movie couldn’t even use a telephone is able to outsmart (I use that term only because it’s there) a killer and walk away unscathed.
I may have made this movie sound interesting because of the weirdness, but it isn’t, trust me. I actually read a lot of people giving this movie good reviews (I’m looking at you Bloody-disgusting!), saying that this movie is a throwback to the good horror movies of the 80’s. They must have just crawled out of a “box” if they think this movie has any redeeming value in it. This movie makes Ghoulies 3 look like a masterpiece.