July 27, 2014

SUMMER OF BLOOD, Day 57: Laid to Rest (2009)

Directed by Robert Hall. Starring Bobbi Sue Luther ("The Girl"), Kevin Gage ("Tucker"), Lena Headey ("Cindy"), and Sean Whalen ("Steven"). Rated R.

Source: Region 1 DVD (Anchor Bay/Starz)
Running time: 01:29:55 (Unrated Director's Cut)
Country: USA

This is another Summer of Blood re-watch. Again, I wanted to check out the sequel, which I haven't seen, so I thought I'd brush up on this one. I first saw LAID TO REST when it originally came out and hated it. I remember it for having one of the most (if not the most) annoying Final Girls ever. But, as a slasher fan, I love keeping up with as many as possible, especially if they follow the old-school formula of a masked killer preying on a damsel in distress, with an emphasis on creative kills and body counts. Even though I didn't like LAID TO REST the first time around, that didn't stop me from wanting to check out its sequel. That review is coming tomorrow though. For now, I get reacquainted with the original.

LAID TO REST has a pretty strong opening. It's a cold open consisting of a montage of the film's soon-to-be-introduced killer carving up female victims with his trademark knife. We're also seeing this opening sequence through the killer's point of view; part of his gimmick is that, aside from having one of the coolest masks in the history of slasher movies, he has a camera attached to his shoulder that looks like the Predator's shoulder cannon. For whatever reason, the killer records all of his crimes, probably because he's a sick fuck.

As far as the plot, a young woman (known only as "The Girl" or "Princess") wakes up in a morgue with amnesia. She's pretty much on the run from that point forward. She knows someone's chasing her but she has no idea who or why. She's eventually picked up by some good Samaritans. With the killer hot on their trail, it's not long before the good Samaritans (plural) become a good Samaritan (singular). Another potential victim is added to the mix, and it's pretty much just the chick and the two other characters (the surviving rescuer and the character who's introduced later) running and hiding from the killer while she attempts to overcome her amnesia.

First and foremost, it should be said that LAID TO REST has some awesome gore effects, which doesn't come as a surprise considering the writer/director works primarily as a special effects guru. Not only that, but the kills themselves are quite the spectacle. If there were people following the killer around with score cards, there would be a lot of 9s and 10s. It should also be said that, unlike the killers in pretty much every other slasher movie, the one in LAID TO REST - "Chromeskull" - drives a car instead using the old foot-mobile. He even switches back and forth between a rather nice car and a tricked-out hearse with a custom air-brush job. Perhaps Chromeskull should've taken some of the money he invested in his cars and bought a strap for his mask so the motherfucker doesn't keep falling off! Just sayin'. Instead, he resorts to crazy-gluing the mask to his face. Hey, whatever works I guess.

Apparently, with the Final Girl's memory loss, she also forgot how to speak the English language coherently. Either that or she was mildly retarded before the amnesia. For example, when asking someone for help and referring to the killer, she sums it up by saying "He wants to make me dead." Really? She also calls a tire iron a "tire stick". Bitch, if you're that dumb, maybe Chromeskull is actually trying to do the world a favor by killing your dumb ass and removing you from the Earth's population to keep you from reproducing and spreading your dumbness around, dummy. Maybe Chromeskull is the hero after all? Just a thought.

The highlights of LAID TO REST are easily the creative kills and gore effects. Director Robert Hall and his special effects team really went all out. It's almost like if someone with the creative and sick mind of Tom Savini knew they were making their last movie and wanted to go out with a bang. That's what the gore in this movie is like. We do get moments of CG gore, but it's mostly practical effects. The CGI looks decent, though, and hey, if CGI is what it takes to get a couple of good headsplosions, then by all means. And of course the look of Chromeskull's mask is awesome. It reminds me of Frank's mask from DONNIE DARKO without the rabbit ears. Otherwise, though? Eh. It's a decent slasher and a good time-killer but not a great movie as a whole.

Score: 6


  1. I wasn't crazy about this one, either. I bought it or rented it. That's all I remember about it, lol.

  2. "He wants to make me dead."

    "tire stick" LOL

    I agree with you on this one. Bland movie but some awesome gore. Great mix of practical with CG touches. It's basically just a showreel for Hall's fx talents. And yes, Chromeskull looks very cool.

    1. Indeed. Can't hate on Hall and his team for wanting to go crazy with gore effects and get it out of their system. Have you seen his other movie Lightning Bug? A lot of people like it but I thought it was decent.