tisdag 5 januari 2010

The Orphanage ... No, not the one in Mexico... or Norway... or Sweden...

It is not very often I buy  DVD films at RRP but last time I did it was at the local Hemmakväll store when I got hold of Låt den rätte komma in (Let the Right One In)... This time I ordered Swede Daniel Lehmussaari's The House of Orphans (2009), distributed by Dark Disc's own company Sick Films. I watched it yesterday night and you know what you're going to get and it was exactly got...

Once, in the 1800s, there was an orphanage headed by two respected citizens, a brutish man and a woman with quite a talent for casting spells of black magic. Behind the polished facade the children are brutalized and beaten and even killed by the couple, all in the process of selling them into a life of forced labour and prostitution. However, when the two culprits are exposed they are executed and their orphanage burnt down... but not, of course, until the horrible woman has been able to put a terrible curse on the community.

Then, another house is built upon the ruins of the old orphanage... and more than hundred years later, in present time, a father and his family buy the house -- but there's something evil hidden away in the basement of their new dream house...

Usually with these projects, there are a handful of happy, enthusiastic amateur performers with varying talent in acting and ability speaking the English language. All this is perfectly all right and ultimately more enjoyable than having a professional crew of native speakers or letting the actors speak Swedish while subtitling in English. What makes it a bit of a let down is -- 1) the way the director so blatantly wants the story to take place in The States that he put in a few frames of the New York skyline, right in the middle of our Swedish roadsigns -- and 2) how the film tends to have too much dialogue; the way the characters always speak every scene takes away a great deal of atmosphere and suspense (but I'm certain this film is not the only one of its kind suffering from this...)

On the positive side though, there is the unmistakable feeling of what's always called "the love of the art" (and suchlike comments...), shared with all the actors and crew members. And there is a lot to love in here: It's the usual, dedicated handiwork from the entertaining and spontaneous acting to the crafty, bloodspattering gore and the token cgi-effects. All right, it's not a very good movie by some standards. But it's fun and games in many ways -- trashy, goofy fun! I've seen School Night Massacre (before its fame turned it into Death Academy *lol*), but I believe House of Orphans is the better film of the two. Hence, I would love to buy and see yet another movie from this infamous guy Lehmussaari in the future.

Speaking of  "the love of the art" I cannot refrain from revealing my memories of the very first, genuine Swedish B-movie I ever saw. It was some years ago now and it was in the local theatre I had the pleasure of relishing the one and only Camp SlaughterFor me it's still the best work of this kind of movies that's been made in Sweden; but, then again, I don't have a lot of experience in the field and yet not as many titles under my belt to actually be able to make such a claim... Despite this, I have to be true to myself, so there you are. I even wrote a small review on Camp Slaughter at the old Darkdisc.com site, in the old days... and if I remember correctly I took some liberties in both the personal taste and real facts department. See if I have a copy of that essay hidden away somewhere on the harddrive ;-)

5 kommentarer:

  1. Really? Camp Slaughter may be a lot better than Death Academy (aka High School Massacre), but it's still a helluva bad, lousy movie. Directed by an insomniac. The only good thing is that it looks good, but then it was a good producer to. Personally I'm ashamed of being part of it.

    Do you know I was suppose to play one of the leads in Death Academy? :) Bisarre.

  2. Perhaps it's so bad it's good? At least it was an experience of a lifetime to see Camp S. one way or the other... I don't think you have to be ashamed of anything. And when I say B-grade, I really mean it - it's not exactly comparable to the likes of Kraftverk, for instance that has a lot of substance... it's just that CS and Orphans have a certain feeling of ... you know... ;-)

  3. Yes, I think that would be it... Extra spicy cheese that smells so good ;-D

  4. Varför hittar jag inget om den här på imdb?