Reel Advice from the Video Store Guy
By Steve Anderson
February 1st, 2006

I Didn't Come Here To Die

I Didn't Come Here to Die
Directed by Bradley Scott Sullivan
Starring Indiana Adams, Kurt Cole, Madi Goff
80 mins

Volunteerism has seldom been considered a bad thing; sure, there are those who look askance, especially when young people get involved--worse if the schools require it--but for the most part, giving of one's time is the kind of thing that's hard to knock. But in "I Didn't Come Here To Die", it takes on a whole new life.

A group of folks in their early twenties makes up both cast and plot of "I Didn't Come Here To Die" as the group is off working on a humanitarian project out in a random stretch of woods. Needless to say, you don't get a bunch of twentysomethings out in the woods without a large amount of chicanery going on after hours. But as is so commonly the case, especially in horror films, you don't get a bunch of twentysomethings out in the woods without several of them dying off. What's behind that dying off, however, is something much worse than any of them could have imagined, and it will leave them struggling for life as they prove, much as the title suggests, that they didn't come here to die.

Undoubtedly this sounds a lot like the standard Class X Slasher flick to most viewers. Monster A into Group of Kids B, several die, Monster A gets its ass kicked however temporarily by what's left of Group of Kids B, repeat when the sequel shows up. In a very real way, it IS like the standard Class X Slasher flick; it's even been shot with the grindhouse or the drive-in in mind. Check out the grain on the title card and you'll see it for yourself.

But the pacing is almost criminally slow here; it takes fully a half hour for the first drop of claret, so to speak, to get spilled on the set. A slasher movie that spends nearly half its run time in setup is setting itself up for failure. It does ratchet things up nicely afterward, but even then it's less a horror flick and more like the single most graphic safety training video on the face of the Earth. It includes such distressingly common sense lessons as "Don't run face-first into trees," "Don't play with chainsaws," and "Don't let people that watch other people die have rope and be by themselves for extended periods of time."

But beyond that, the rest of the movie is somewhat, well, problematic. The ending doesn't exactly wrap up a lot of what happened here very well, and in fact, we're left with a lot of loose ends. Though I do admit that the ending is a sufficiently unique affair for most anyone. Indeed, the last thirty seconds actually packs a comic wallop that I never expected to see.

Special features are limited to just trailers for "I Didn't Come Here to Die," "Vamp U," "A Cadaver Christmas," "Aaah! Zombies," and "My Stepdad's A Freakin' Vampire".

Honestly, I don't know what to make of "I Didn't Come Here to Die." It starts out so cookie-cutter that it's almost beyond belief, but yet, by the time it ends it's done something so spectacularly unique that, for sheer originality, it rivals most anything in the field. But it's going to slog through some woefully familiar and unpleasant country to get there, and worse, large chunks of the map are missing. It's almost certainly going to be worth a try for its sheer uniqueness, but significant flaws in the execution leave a lot to be desired here.