The morning after is acutely uncomfortable for Ray (Henrik NorlĂ©n), who engages in a one-night stand with innocent-looking Tara (Natalie Dickinson) and then tries to move on. Tara doesn’t see things his way, and she takes lethal measures to keep the passion alive. In this horror-thriller directed by Patrick Johnson, tortured soul becomes torturing avenger as Tara sets about obliterating from Ray’s life anyone who might compete for his attention.
Written & Directed by: Patrick Johnson
Starring: Natalie Dickinson, Henrik Norlen, Keith Malley, Caitlin Wehrle
Girl-next-door Tara has a terrible secret. Actually, itâ€™s really no secret at all (just sounded like a great opener to me) â€“ in reality, sheâ€™s merely batsh*t crazy, which is what Ray finds out after a drunken one night stand that heâ€™d rather just forget about and move on from, especially since he was most likely too drunk to remember if Tara was any good or not. Oh, and the fact that heâ€™s already got a girlfriend that he thinks heâ€™s in love withâ€¦thereâ€™s that too. But Tara, you see, is not very willing to forget, and even less willing to forgive, as she sets about making it her lifeâ€™s mission to destroy anyone that Ray holds dear in his life, or that holds Ray dear in their lives, in order to prove her undying and unmatched love and devotion to him. Man, some chicks just canâ€™t take a hintâ€¦.
Ok, gentlemen (and ladies â€“ thereâ€™s been plenty of â€śpsycho stalker dudesâ€ť type of movies out there in the last couple of decades too, so listen up!) â€“ let this serve as a cautionary tale to youâ€¦in this day and age of indie horror it seems that one night stands are punishable by death and thereâ€™s no longer such a thing as the f*ck-n-run. I really donâ€™t have a problem with that, as thereâ€™s many very entertaining â€śpsycho ladyâ€ť movies out there â€“ as weâ€™ve learned from everything from PLAY MISTY FOR ME to MISERY, infatuation can be a homicidal bitch.
Although, and to those of you who know me, this wonâ€™t come as any shock since my tastes can run towards the odd; and for those of you who donâ€™t know meâ€¦wellâ€¦try to hold on â€“ I am a firm believer, still to this day, that FATAL ATTRACTION is one of the worst, most overblown and over the top f*cking silly/bad stalker movies ever made, but yet I still to this day really dig on Alicia Silverstone in THE CRUSH, of course the extremely hot at the time Jessica Walter in MISTY, and my personal favorite, MALICIOUS, with Molly Ringwald. I know, I knowâ€¦reading that last part back just now makes it seem f*cked up even to me, and itâ€™s my life. Probably has to do with her finally taking her clothes off in a movie, but I digressâ€¦
So given the fact that I love some of the more jeered in the subgenre and absolutely hate the one thatâ€™s considered the benchmark for crazy chick flicks, youâ€™d think Iâ€™d be all up into this one, right? Wellâ€¦.no. SHEâ€™S CRUSHED is actually the indie horror version of FATAL ATTRACTION to me. I canâ€™t blame the actors at allâ€¦.after all, every scene that Natalie Dickinson (Tara) is in had me glued to the TV with her beauty and presence. Henrik Norlen (Ray) is a good actor, although he seemed a little out of place and miscast here.
But I have to say it was Malley as Rayâ€™s horny/obnoxious workmate and sidekick that truly kept me from just fast forwarding to the endâ€¦he really was the filmâ€™s saving grace for me. Imagine a Yuppie version of Jason Mewesâ€™ character Jay from all of Kevin Smithâ€™s View Askew-niverse flicks â€“ always talking about either whacking off, f*cking, or both â€“ and there you have it. Malley was hilarious, and I hope he does more movies soon.
So what, pray tell, went wrong? Well, if you wind up watching it and feeling the same way about it that I do, then I guess youâ€™ll have to ask writer/director Johnson someday. Sure, thereâ€™s no shortage of blood what with stabbings, slicings, a gratuitous foot torture scene, and some homemade lobotomies with a drill, and thatâ€™s all well and good. But what thereâ€™s also no shortage of is unanswered questions; like for instance, why is Tara so batsh*t crazy? Is it because her daddy (or stepdaddy, donâ€™t know for sure) is nailing her on the side? Is it because her mommy is all Jack Nicholson post-lobotomy in a psych ward? How does Tara find out so much about Ray in such a short time as to know where to hit him exactly where it hurts and keep him from going to the cops everyâ€¦singleâ€¦time he gets a tiny little bit of balls and confronts her?
Which leads me to the big one, Elizabeth â€“ how in the almighty f*ck are we supposed to be cheering for a character who is such a complete and utter whining, crying PUSSY???!!! Why Ray, a former soldier of all things â€“ trained in combat and self defense, among many other things – didnâ€™t roundhouse kick the bitch in the head Chuck Norris-style and haul her crazy ass into the cops at the end is waaaaaaaay beyond me. Honestly, Iâ€™m all for suspension of disbelief in my horror movies, just so long as two simple rules are followed; one of them being, give me SOMEONE to root for. OH, waitâ€¦I take that back. I did have someone to root for â€“ Malleyâ€™s character â€“ but he wasnâ€™t even given the chance to score with Tara before the inevitable happenedâ€¦poor bastard.
To me, it just seems like this particular film would have worked much, much better as a 20 minute short as opposed to an 85 minute feature. I say that because thereâ€™s only so many times two characters can have the same confrontation under different circumstances and yet have the veryâ€¦sameâ€¦exactâ€¦confrontational dialogue dragging on over and over and over and over and over before it becomes classified as nothing more than lazy writing. I swear, if I had heard, â€śWhy donâ€™t you love me, Ray??â€ť and, â€śWhy wonâ€™t you f*ck me, Ray??â€ť one more time, I was all prepared to go all Elvis on the TV and put a bullet through it.
Constantly repetitious dialogue and the total Billy Bitchcakes wuss our â€śheroâ€ť turned out to be just ruined the experience for me and made it seem to drag on forever. But in the end, I suppose SHEâ€™S CRUSHED is worth watching once for the acting, the blood, and the humor of Malley. Iâ€™m told by my inside source, Huggy Bear (whoâ€™s never led me astray before), that this flick hits On Demand on Feb. 1st and streets on DVD a couple of weeks later on Feb. 16, so if youâ€™re curious, give it a shot. My one shot is done, and Iâ€™m moving on to multiple shots of Jaeger in an attempt to forget the experience. So until next time, remember folks â€“ if your significant other isnâ€™t putting out and you get any urges that canâ€™t be suppressed with hard liquor, use your hand!