A group of girls trapped in an institution suffer the wrath of a serial killer on the loose. This campy thriller pays homage to Friday the 13th.
Holy crap! I’m on a f*cking roll with these so called “Movies” as of late. “30 Days To Die” is an insipidly made, clumsily acted, terribly written movie about a group of girls “Trapped” in an institution that is besieged by a serial killer. I put the word “Trapped” in parenthesis because there doesn’t seem to be anything keeping them in this “Institution” which is just a series of cabins with no fences to keep them in. The doors are locked at night but they have windows they can open and just traipse off into the night (Or day) if they like. And get this, the place is called “Crystal Lake Retreat”. HOO HAH!! That is some funny sh*t there, isn’t it? Who would ever notice the “Friday The 13th” reference? I guess they though it would be funny to name the place where Jason plies his trade, too bad the only funny thing about this movie is that it got made.
Director Griff Furst has some bigger (But still bad) movies to his credit. He directed “Lake Placid 3”, “Swamp Shark” & “I Am Omega”. He’s also acted in a slew of films although mostly in bit roles. So he obviously has a bit of talent, I mean the aforementioned movies sucked but they were at the very least…watchable. “30 Days To Die” is so bad it nearly killed me in 30 minutes.
The film begins with a sultry blonde ambling about her home when she gets a knock on the door. It’s Sheriff Bobby Neeley, who wants to let her know he’s running for mayor before clocking her on the skull & dragging her back inside the house. Yeah, that’s right acolytes, I just spoiled the whole friggin’ movie for you. But since you’d better not watch this abomination I don’t think it matters much. I mean, the film just out & out tells you who the killer is right in the first 3 minutes of the movie. When our blonde victim awakens, she finds herself ties across a table on her back & our killer has for some odd reason, put on a George Bush mask. Why? She already knows what he looks like & he’s going to kill her anyway. It’s not like she’s gonna be able to drop a dime on the dude. Anyway…he turns out to be the dreaded “Infinity” killer. Why infinity? Because he carves out a small “Infinity” symbol from his victims skin before killing them. After he gets his little symbol carved out, he also carves the skin off of her face, which we see after the fact. The sheriff then conducts a interview in front of the victims house where he calls the killer
Cut to a household where a young girl, Madison, is being harangued by her parents (One of them played by an unbilled Stephen “Flounder” Furst). They want to put her in the “Crystal Lake Retreat” where there is some great “Swimming & Rock Climbing”. Madison yells that she doesn’t want to “Rock Climb with a bunch of crazy chicks”! but she ends up going anyway. What she did to make her parents want to send her away is never said but apparently she did get arrested for it. She’s transported there in a non descript van with one chair in the back where she is strapped in. I guess they were right to do it though because she tries to make a run for it as soon as she gets a chance but she’s caught & punched in the eye before she gets tranquilized for the rest of the trip. She wears the bruise under her eye for the remainder of the movie.
Now mind you, this is supposed to be a serial killer movie. That’s how it’s promoted on the cover art but there is no serial killing going on after the beginning of the movie for a long while. A loooong while. What we get instead is a sort of ultra cheap “Girl, Interrupted” with Madison being pushed around by the other “Tough” girls at the retreat. It’s sort of becomes a “Women In Prison” movie for awhile at this point with a bit of nudity & a lesbian shower sex scene. I think they threw that in to wake up anyone who might have fallen asleep while waiting for something, anything to happen. But besides what I just described and one girl fight scene. there ain’t much else until the last five minutes of the movie when the Sheriff comes by the retreat & puts on his mask & starts lopping off heads (Actually only one head gets lopped off). There is an absolutely nonsensical twist to the movie at the very end that’ll make you scratch your head in disbelief & then it just sort of ends. Oh, there is a quick scene after the end credits that also makes no sense whatsoever.
So what’s wrong with this movie? Basically everything! It looks like it was shot on a camcorder (You can actually see the camera reflected in windows a few times), it looks like it was edited with a machete and the boom mike comes into view a time or two as well. The film goes in & out of focus a lot and the sound mix is ridiculous. Sometimes the actors are yelling when they should be talking Ans whispering when they should be yelling. I literally could not make out half of what they were saying & I blasted the sound on this mutha. Meanwhile the (Terrible) soundtrack just blares away whenever it gets a chance to. The acting is on the level of a high school production except for oddly enough, the actress who plays Madison. She’s pretty good & attractive as well, she sorta looks like actress Rachel Bilson with shorter hair. Actually, her hair seems to change length a few times during the movie but I might have just gone into an incoherent haze. But guess what? I don’t know the name of the actress who plays her! The end credits just give the actors names in order of appearance & I checked on IMDB & the character of Madison, the lead in the film, isn’t even listed. Perhaps she wanted her name removed from IMDB’s listing because if I’m correct & I counted off the actors who appeared before she did in the credits properly, she lists herself as “Iwanna Killu”! Which is actually pretty f*cking funny & probably aimed at her agent or whoever got her into this mess of a f*cking movie.
“30 Days To Die” (The title really doesn’t make sense either since it’s never established how long she’s going to be there) seems like a weekend lark of a movie to me. Something director Furst decided to do really quickly during a boring weekend or two. It certainly looks, sounds & is acted in that way. It’s a terrible movie by any stretch of the imagination & I’m giving it one shroud for whoever the f*ck plays Madison (Iwanna Killu? I’m just not sure). Whatever her name is, she’s cute & can act a bit. I’d love to know what her real name is & keep an eye on her in the future because she is talented. But she’s the only thing this movie has going for it and quite frankly, she ain’t enough to give it a better score than that.
30 Days To Die (2009)