Insight of Evil
The Asylum, working its way toward being the Full Moon of the new millenium,
brings us a murder mystery intermingled with vengeance from beyond the grave in
Insight of Evil.
First off, I give The Asylum some due credit for making a truly foreboding menu
for Insight of Evil. The music is very appropriate, and the distorted nature of
the footage running behind the menu options lends that extra note of terror to
Even the distorted voice overs in the background force one to wonder, just what
IS it we're about to watch here?
If only the movie could have lived up to the high expectations the menu
So what we have here is the story of a troubled high school, which pretty much
sums up the whole state of public education these days. But Watertown High
School has more troubles than the ordinary. All of Watertown's troubles start
when one of Watertown High's students, Tanya Beach, loses her twin sister. And
the girl's not dead...not that we know of, anyway. She's disappeared under
But Tanya's not letting the vanished sister get in the way of high school
antics, no sir or ma'am as the case may be. Tanya packs it up, against her
mother's wishes, to go to a party with her friends in the midst of a lakeside
We all know where this is going, don't we? High school kids having uncondoned
parties unsupervised at lakeside cottages never ends in a body count of less
This will be no exception.
This cabin is the site of a really nasty murder scene that took place a few
months prior, and currently holds one very pissed-off ghost.
And this ghost isn't going to be in a mood to drink 151 Rum and shake the
proverbial ghostly booty to the newest Eminem song. No, there's going to be
killing, and lots of it.
It's truly a wonder that, by now, movie studios haven't managed to think up any
better premise for slaughtering promiscuous and rebellious teenagers. It's
always some ghost / monster / maniac lurking in the woods / empty lot /
abandoned amusement park / creepy roller disco looking to avenge the wrongs /
slaughter the living that remind it of a past injustice of months / weeks / one
thousand years ago.
You'll notice a lot of slashes in that last paragraph. No coincidence, because
there are also a lot of slashes in Insight of Evil.
Never mind that the cast includes such bold type archetypes as: "The Troubled
Teen," "The Party Girl," "The Drug Dealer," "The Player," The joke is, I'm not
kidding. The characters are introduced by brief placards of text inserted in the
I'm going to admit, though, that there are a couple of good, solid shocks built
into Insight of Evil. Bloody footprints just showing up for no apparent reason,
things jumping out from behind, that sort of thing. They're scares, and despite
their ultimately trite nature, they never really go out of style.
Strange how cheap shots never die.
The worst part is, I can't even TELL why the movie's CALLED Insight of Evil. If
they really wanted to give us a better idea of what the movie was about, they
could have just called it "Moron Teenagers Who Never Learn Killed By Yet Another
But then, that wouldn't fit on the box very well, now would it?
The ending is a strange moulange of events, and while it's not exactly the best
way to end things, being a bit on the confusing side, it does have a lot of
unique charm to it. There's even a mild twist ending that'll leave you a little
At least until the music video kicks in.
Seriously, folks--the credit roll has a music video running in the background.
What an incredibly STUPID move this was. Running a music video over the end
credits is a move that verges on pandering, and it's a slap to the face of the
audience to have to sit through this self-indulgent crap.
The special features include a promotional trailer and teaser for Insight of
Evil, a theatrical trailer (this was apparently in theatres at one point!) the
music video again, deleted scenes, and trailers for "Red Right Hand," "Pandora
Machine," "The Fanglys," and "St. John's Wort."
All in all, Insight of Evil is really just the same movie we've all been
watching for the last twenty or so years. Sure, it's a well-done ripoff, but
when you come right down to it, it's still just a ripoff.
Hide and Creep
Okay, so we all knew this had to happen eventually.
What Southerners have been ranting about ever since they got their collective
ass handed to them back in the mid-1800s has finally come to pass.
The South...Has Risen Again.
And it's hungry for people meat.
So what we have here is that, indeed, the South is rising again, at least in the
town of Thorsby, Alabama. And it's what you expect--the zombies are hungry for
human flesh, and attacking the living to get it. So now the town's video store
clerk, a recently fired (for gross incompetence) deputy, a Homeland Defense
agent, and a naked guy, must now rise up to defend the town.
I'm not kidding about that naked guy.
Indeed, the beleaguered video store clerk, God bless the video store guys of
America and abroad, thank you all to pieces, is pretty much right. There ARE
only three truly good American zombie movies, and George Romero made every one.
The rest are a collection of Romero ripoffs--some of which are better than
others--and stuff too baffling to try and discuss even in THIS column, which
every week confronts and rants about the most baffling parts of the video store
But at any rate, I've got to applaud "Hide and Creep" for being one of if not
the first (that I can remember, anyway) to make a video store guy a major hero.
No, I'm not counting "Clerks." Though Randal is the ideological hero of the
video store guy profession, he does not count as a hero, even as an antihero,
because he doesn't actually do anything. He's a convenient foil for whatsisname
at the Quick-Stop. You know, whiny Mr.
But anyway, back to "Hide and Creep."
I could go through, and list every single crack-up moment that's in "Hide and
Creep," but I'd need a two-part column just to do the job properly. Everything
from our video store guy explaining the plot ("So what we've been hearing on
talk radio about a conspiracy of aliens or the military to produce a race of
flesh-eating ghouls to feed on the living is true, and people are renting zombie
movies to learn how to defend themselves? Yeah...I can't rent to you any more.)
to the unpleasant sight of a man waking up in the woods without pants or
girlfriend ("Gail? Where's my car? ...where's my PANTS?) all in the first
three minutes makes "Hide and Creep," without question, the single funniest
full-length zombie movie I've ever seen.
The single funniest short zombie movie I've ever seen goes to "Snow Day, Bloody
Snow Day," which I hear is making the film festival routes.
But anyway! Focus, dammit!
I can't believe it, but Harry Knowles actually got one RIGHT for a change. He
said this was good stuff. But then again, with the crew at Film Threat backing
his play, and even Kevin Smith's outlet nodding its assent, it's hard not to get
"Hide and Creep" is unbearably good stuff. It's funny, it's bloody, it's
violent, it's even a bit of social commentary, it's pretty much everything you
could want in a zombie movie.
The ending is pretty much like the rest of the movie. Good, and funny, and
pretty much what you could hope for. The one problem with indeed all zombie
movies is that they stop, but they don't really end. The nature of the movie is
that the problem is never really over--it goes on until all the participants are
dead. But the movie has to stop somewhere.
That and I don't know HOW zombies suddenly got to be afraid of the dark....
Plus, there's a couple of absolutely fantastic twists to the ending that'll just
amaze you. I'm not kidding.
The special features include audio options, feature commentary, a behind the
scenes featurette, and a short film, "Birthday Call. that comes with some
interesting pre-show commentary in the form of text. It's also surprisingly
good for a three minute black and white film that doubles as a Coke endorsement.
Product placement, anyone?
Plus, we get trailers for "War of the Worlds," "Frankenstein," "Jolly Roger:
Massacre at Cutter's Cove," "Hide and Creep," and "Lethal Eviction."
All in all, "Hide and Creep" is a terrific addition to the American zombie film
landscape, joining Romero among the greats.