When a group of DINKS (double income, no kids) turn over a huge profit on their hobby of purchasing, renovating and selling houses, they go for the big kill and buy a local, abandoned hotel. Legend has it the inn has over a million dollars stashed somewhere from a bank robbery gone awry thirty years prior. Will our clan of go-to fixer uppers prevail in their toughest challenge to date or is there something more sinister lurking in the shadows to forever foreclose their dreams?
Directed by: Robert H. Gwinn
Starring: DJ Perry, Terence Knox, Lana Wood, Johnny Dark, Fred Griffith, Anthony Hornus, Tommy Lynch, Shawn Rougeron, Dean Mauro, Nathalie Ben-Kely
Deadly Renovations or simply known as Renovations in some circles showed some definite potential. There are some surprising twists and turns and the over all premise of the picture is fresh and new to a genre that is often shunned, criticized or over looked, yes the dreaded Slasher film.
While most serial killer movies are based in a remote, desolate country home or a university frat house or summer camp few have taken the approach of a completely different locale. Sometimes the answer is so obvious it’s right before our eyes. A structure under construction is an ideal environment for complete insanity and bloodshed to wreak havoc. I’m impressed with writer Charles Pisareos vision here.
At the same time why on earth was there not more creative energy sparked in the kill scenes? When you think of the same old tools of the trade used in horror, butcher knife, machete, chainsaw, it’s next to impossible not to get desensitized to the whole spectacle. There are so many possibilities that could have been utilized on a construction set. It’s deeply disappointing that only one or two different weapons were wielded.
The budgeting evidently didn’t allocate for a whole lot of special effects. In most cases I’d agree that it isn’t necessary. Yet when the camera skips from pre-attack scene to post mortem scene it reminds many of us of seventies p*rn where the seduction would start with a kiss and skip to the next sequence. The characters are fully nude and fully enamored. It’s comical mind you, but definitely not in an intended manner. I’d expect to see this sort of thing from a censored version on A&E on a Sunday afternoon, not in post-production glory.
I like the fact the producers and directors capitalized on an already popular idea. There’s no shame in knowing what works and running with it. Studios and publishing houses have been making a rather lucrative living off it for generations. It seems there’s constantly one renovation or home improvement show on television or another. Deadly Renovations of course takes this to a whole new level yet at the same time lures in an audience where it may not have previously.
The cast is attractive speaking in a general sense. At first the shenanigans between the three couples is irritating, corny and on verge of infuriating. Their interaction grows on you and before you know it you’re one of the guys yucking it up and firing obscenities at one another. The character development is sound in this sense, almost a touchy-feely nostalgic kind of thing.
There is some descent acting which can be a rarity in low budget endeavors. Honorable mentions go to DJ Perry who plays Allen. A myriad of emotion is unleashed from this character and it is difficult not to jump from the performance he delivers. Rosa (Nathalie Ben-Kely) is extra easy on the eyes and executes a most believable portrayal of her character. Incidentally the multi-talented Ben-Kely is credited in the soundtrack as well as composing and singing the song “Although Fading.”
Sadly there is also some simply atrocious acting as well. I virtually cringed every time Anthony Hornus playing Donald was in the shot. Mind you the origin of my unease was not from playing such a compelling villain; it was purely from his atrocious acting. His scenes are on verge of unwatchable and think this film could have gone much further if this character was cast differently. One has to suspect he was perhaps a relative of the producer to land a role such as this.
Most impressive however is the final act of our do it yourselfer film. It is evident what the antagonists’ motives were and it’s interesting to piece together all the final pieces. It’s a twist that even Alfred Hitchcock would be proud of.
-Two out of Five tombstones
Deadly Renovations (2010)