Reviews: Cut!

Andrew gives an ever elusive score to the latest in a slew of horror movies we've received for review.

"Green. It's scary."

Derivative, tiresome and ultimately pointless, writer-director David Roundtree’s Cut! aims high for meta movie-within-movie horror but shoots itself in the foot through its increasingly idiotic scenarios. 

What could have been a clever horror premise is squandered both by its infuriatingly nonsensical lead in and even more exasperating denouement. Basically, Cut! cheaply drags its poor audience through two hours spent with two insufferable yahoos who genuinely think the key to breaking it big in tinseltown is to make a snuff porn film of themselves murdering prostitutes. Granted, a lot of serial killers film their crimes in action. Very few of them are dumb enough to edit it together into something resembling a movie in the hopes of selling it to distributors.

Opening with all the shaky camerawork and jittery edits of your typical Alexandre Aja exercise, Cut! sticks us with Lane (David Banks), an ex-con who should never have set foot in a special effects props department let alone a job where other normal people work. Enter Travis (played by Roundtree himself), an aspiring film director intent on making a horror film. Both of these jerks have no money, no script, but the ambition to make a horror movie anyway and the sociopathic notion that the most effective way to do so is to regularly commit homicide. Neither a character study nor a comment on Hollywood savagery (watch David Cronenberg’s Maps to the Stars for that), Cut! gives us characters we don’t want to be around yet we learn nothing from association with them. Then it gets into average Joe torture porn with no money for believable gore and fake sound effects including but not limited to the clich├ęd and overused Wilhelm scream. Where the Wilhelm scream is a most welcome sound emitted when a stormtrooper falls off a railing when Luke Skywalker hits him with a blaster, it’s just aggravating here.

"Now THIS is one weird porno."
Late into Cut!, to amp up the scratchy pseudo-industrial score aiming for scares, shock or whatever Roundtree thinks he can muster to resemble a horror film, I couldn’t help but notice entire lengthy passages of original music by Abigail Mead from Stanley Kubrick’s Full Metal Jacket were used in the soundtrack. While this would have been acceptable for temp music, left in the finished product as is, it’s so obviously lifted from Kubrick’s film that we can’t help but think of Private Pyle killing himself or the sniper sequence concluding the film, diverting our attention away from the cheaply rendered torture porn playing out in front of us. It just goes to show that when you steal from a master and stick it in your own wannabe movie, we’re already thinking about watching that infinitely greater and timeless masterpiece instead of this stupid crap.

-Andrew Kotwicki gives this thing the dud.