The Damned Thing (2006, Tobe Hooper)

Time to trudge through the rest of MoH season 2, since season 3 (now called “Fear Itself” and moved to a network) isn’t due till summer (or later, thanks to the writer’s strike). Looks like Gordon, Carpenter and Anderson will be back along with Mary Harron and Ronny Yu, all very promising. But for now, there’s nothing better to half-watch while I pay bills and wrap ebay packages than a TV movie by Tobe Hooper.

It’s hard to say if this movie is worse than “Dance of the Dead”, but I think it might be. Inconsistent, blurry storytelling (patched over, but not enough, by character voiceover, even after that character has died) with that annoying overlapped visual effect used in “Dance”, and a story that leads nowhere and explains nothing, and not in a “increase suspense by withholding information” way. At least the inexplicably-acclaimed “Pelts” was a straightforward story, and at least “Dance” had that beautiful end-of-the-world rain-of-death moment. This has got none of that.

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Either this one dude or the whole town (or a neighboring town?) has a history of violence. Once every generation, they go berserk and kill each other. Or some of them do. And this is related to a demonic force or possession and/or oil in the ground and drips from the ceiling. Traces of the infectious family violence plot in “The Screwfly Solution” but to no purpose. Sometimes the damned thing is under the ground, external force, and sometimes it’s inside someone

One effective horror bit has a guy killing himself in the head with a hammer. It’s not clear why he turned on himself instead of the people around him. Ted Raimi is cast as a killer priest, but he can’t help much. A mess of a flick. That’s okay, I didn’t expect it to be very good.

Ted Raimi:
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