Reel Advice from the Video Store Guy

Killer Pad | Borderland

By Steve Anderson
April 1st, 2008

Killer PadKiller Pad
Directed by Robert Englund
Written by Dan Stoller
Starring Daniel Franzese, Eric Jungmann, Shane McRae, Andy Milonakis
Produced by Wayne Rice, Avi Chesed

Now, I will admit--freely admit!--that I had mixed feelings when I slipped a copy of "Killer Pad" into my DVD player. More on that in a minute---first, we've got to talk plot.

Three idiots are dumb enough to move into a house at 666 Perdition Lane, sold to them by Bobby Lee in drag. Despite the unheeded warnings of a friendly Mexican continually shrieking about "el diablo"--which the idiots mistake for references to hot sauce--they move into the house, which they later discover is a portal to hell.

Now, about my mixed feelings--I was confused. For some strange reason, they brought in bizarre man-child Andy Milonakis to handle some starring duties. As an occasional watcher of his self-titled MTV show who is regularly baffled by why this little asshole even has a show to begin with, why they would expect him to actually, you know, act is beyond me. The little peahead surely has better things to do with his time, and all of them make even less sense to rational thinking people than his show does.

I was horrified. Stamped right across the top of the box in big white letters on a field of red was the ghastly phrase: "From a Producer of Dude, Where's My Car?". This horrifies me. They WANTED to call attention to this. They wanted to connect this to "Dude, Where's My Car?". If you don't remember that one, the best thing about it was Ashton Kutcher. And that's like saying "The BEST part of my trip to Somalia was the dysentery".

And then, just when my hope as at its lowest...a bright light out of nowhere. Four very simple words you've already read: "Directed By Robert Englund". Robert "Freddy Krueger" Englund himself. The man has not done a bad movie yet. He was even good in that Mangler sequel, and that had no business being good!

Of course...when there are bona fide shit jokes in the first hope just boils off into a giant cloud that smells vaguely like burning plastic. But then along comes Bobby Lee in drag...that's never not funny!

Which is the scariest thing about "Killer Pad"--it's a riot. An almost continual riot. It's self-referential, it's full of jokes, it even knows when it's being stupid and will go so far as to make fun of itself. It's the funniest horror movie I've loved since "Idle Hands", and clearly, Robert Englund was the guy to handle it!

The ending manages to show that, somehow, the power of KISS will save the world. Which makes absolutely no sense, but it's funny, so I'll go with it.

The special features include English and Spanish subtitles, audio options, a making-of featurette and trailers for "Killer Pad", "Highlander: The Source", "Catacombs", "When Evil Calls", "The Legend of Butch and Sundance", and an advertisement for

All in all, this...this was just a riot. This was a laugh beyond anything I've seen lately, and that's good enough.

Directed by Zev Berman
Written by Eric Poppen, Zev Berman
Starring Brian Presley, Rider Strong, Jake Muxworthy, Beto Cuevas
Produced by Lauren Moews, Randall Emmett, George Furla, Elisa Salinas
105 mins

Okay, o my readership, I am ABUNDANTLY excited by what I'm doing right now. Seriously. Because THIS is the time of year--vaguely, anyway, it's not as though it's the same time every year even though you'd think it should be--that I get to bust out the newest copy of the After Dark Horrorfest for you all, and over the next few weeks, we're going to carry right on with the best and the brightest and the least of the greatest.

And we're kicking off this monster block of joy with "Borderland", based on a true story. Three Texas University students go over the border to celebrate their imminent graduation, only to run afoul of an ancient cult looking for human sacrifices. And the three students definitely fit the bill.

First off, let me say that I love the drive-in feel of the menu select screen. It's a great angle and a downright joy to behold, easily on par with last year's king of the menus, Gravedancers. And of course, there really aren't enough movies involving footage of people getting stoned and driving bumper cars. Though "Borderland" is packed to the gills with bloodletting and brutality, it makes a surprisingly good cautionary tale. Granted, some will cry "cliche" at the sight of the drunk, stoned American kids getting dragged off to be human sacrifices for some Mexican cult, and anybody who compares this to "Hostel" will not be merely whistling Dixie, but still. It's somehow appropriate, though. Better than "Hostel" by a long shot, a great movie to show the kids before they bug out for spring break, and still a little scary with some action on the side, "Borderland" is a lot better than it should be. Of course, it's a little less than believable to find that some of the cultists are involved in drug smuggling, and using "shields of blood" to make their drugs invisible to border guards, but this is a minor detail fairly easily overlooked. The ending, an excellent presentation of siege warfare and survival horror, is a shining point in the whole affair.

The special features include English and Spanish subtitles, audio options, a commentary track, a making-of featurette, Miss Horrorfest contest webisodes and a feature about the investigation into the various cultist murders that brought this all about.

All in all, I'm seriously impressed by "Borderland", a film that was, in all reality, better than it had any right to be. A fairly solid story with some great action and a few minor slow parts, it's definitely one to watch.

Want to receive an expanded version of Reel Advice as an E-Newsletter?? Email to with "The Advisor" in the subject line.  Steve Andersen, much to his own chagrin, is a five-plus year veteran of the direct to video market. He has spent an alarming amount of time in video stores and seeks to provide the public with advance information on all the video releases that they may never have heard of...whether they want to hear of them or not. Steve appears in one way or another weekly, biweekly, or monthly on such fine entertainment-related ezines as Film Threat, Dream Forge, Reel Horror, Acid Logic, Chaotic Culture Magazine, Malicious Bitch webzine, and many others. Readers, agents, or editors can email Steve at

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