When Zoe inherits the magical protection of a bewitched Gnome, she quickly realizes that he isn’t your garden variety gnome, when he begins eliminating her enemies in extravagant displays of revenge.
What a wasted opportunity.
You would expect a film about a killer gnome going out exacting revenge for his unsuspecting master to be a grand campy time. Starring that guy (Verne Troyer) from Austin Powers i.e. mini me. Gnome Alone begins with a prologue about a witch stealing a leprechaun’s gold, to be cursed but then to create her own small creature (a garden gnome) to be able to protect her from the leprechaun. Yes, this is obviously some tacked on crap to make some sense of the plot. Saying that though the animation used to tell this far fetched story is quite inventive and was enjoyable to watch. The plot then jumps to present day showing how the witch’s line has been transferred through to a old homeless woman who then passes on the ‘curse/protection’ of the gnome to a clueless high school student. I hope that makes some bar of sense.
Plot aside, a good silly horror film doesn’t need to spend time on it’s narrative if it rather focuses on being a fun ride. Gnome Alone decides to do neither. It feels like directors Timothy Woodward Jr and John Michael Elfers were bored by the premise and had the attitude of ‘this will do’ for most of the film. So much of the film does rely on it’s premise and is god damn dare I say it, boring most of the time. While watching I wanted to skip forward because I knew exactly where the film was going and it did little to veer from the slasher stereotypes. The kills which are quite few and far between are quite inventive and gory though which is nice, including one deliriously twisted sexual encounter the gnome has with a tied up teenage girl.
The two leads played by Verne Troyer as the gnome and Kerry Knuppe as the final girl both carry the film well. Knuppe especially is very charismatic and it’s a little sad to see a talented actress in a film of this calibre. Troyer does okay as the gnome but some of his ‘funny’ lines fall flat when used in the film and don’t have the bite I’m sure he was hoping for. The other actors in the film are odd, playing to camp or underacting in most of their scenes. No one really knows what kind of film they are in and it is obvious to the viewer.
The way the film veers towards the end indicating that Knuppe is the one behind the murders that the gnome is committing is quite interesting and the final scene is sort of enjoyable but the lead up and transformation of her character seems tired and untrue. There are hints of domestic abuse at her home which seems out of character to the rest of the film, I mean we have a gnome running around chopping peoples hands and scalps off and then for the film to put Knuppe’s character in danger at home of being molested by her step-father, it all just seems odd and out of whack to me. Throw in A LOT of lesbian and stripper scenes, it’s hard to take anything serious in the film especially when none of it is done very well at all.
And let’s talk about the title Gnome Alone, obviously a funny pun on a well known film however it has no tie in to the film whatsoever, apart from the fact that there is a gnome in the film. Film makers: Don’t use a title for the sake of it to draw people in without it actually making any bar of sense towards the film. Naughty naughty film makers. Look if you are having drinks with friends maybe watch it but then again you should probably switch on some good trash like a Troma film instead, at least they know what they are doing over there. Gnome Alone is a waste of a good campy premise.