Cold Grip

Director: Javier Barbera (2004)
Starring: Anna Lluch, Juan Sola, Alejandro Cardenas
Find it: IMDB

Tied with Bill Zebub's thick, pornographic Kill The Scream Queen as the worst movie I have ever seen. And speaking as someone who's seen Twilight, I do not use that superlative lightly. Unlike Kill The Scream Queen, Javier Barbera's movie actually bothers with a plot. AIDS carrier Greta (Lluch) picks up unwitting men, infects them with her disease and runs off, the cheeky scamp that she is. She's having a whale of a time with her joyous AIDS spreading until she crosses paths with travelling businessman Robert (Sola), who takes his infection in a less than understading manner. Quite miffed at the whole AIDS thing, Robert kidnaps Greta and does vengeful torture on her.

Cold Grip is a movie so indescribably and utterly bad that this review is as redundant as its director and actors hopefully are now. Literally nothing I can say could possibly ever convey the sheer fucking atrocity that is Cold Grip. Four or so years have passed since I first watched Cold Grip. I've seen a lot of movies since then, and Cold Grip remains tied as the worst of them all.

As can be particular to STD cinema, much of the screen time is made up of endless filler with no relevance to the plot: Robert making telephone calls (10 minutes), some guy talking about pitching a tent (5 mins), Robert walking around a warehouse (10 mins), a young couple talking about how much they love each other (5 mins). Never before has a film so short (not even 80 minutes) ever felt so very long.

The torture scene is the movie’s main event. Unfortunately, it's as terribly awful and incompetently done as everything else in the film. Robert kidnaps Greta by running her over with a car and whisks her away to his newly aquired torture warehouse. He chains her up, hoses her down, and proceeds to beat her to death with a baseball bat.

Presumably Greta wasn't born with AIDS; presumably she has a motive for going around infecting random men. But none of this is ever touched on by the movie or its woeful script. Greta is as thinly drawn as the urban legend which this stupid story was inspired by. But Greta is The Bad Guy, and presumably we're supposed to feel good when Robert takes to her with a baseball bat. To be fair, Robert doesn't fare much better. This archetypal businessman takes to murder like a paedophile to babysitting. Once he's decided to do away with Greta, not once does he look back. No hesitation, no regret. Robert's a killer now, because that's the way the world works.

Following Greta's death, we have to watch Robert dispose of the body. Around this time, he turns from a stressed businessman into Michael Myers himself. Dumping the body, he happens across a young couple camping nearby. Robert thoroughly kills the boyfriend and chases the girlfriend about for a bit. And then it ends. Thank god, it ends. The memories, however, never go away.

Cold Grip is without a doubt one of the worst movies I have ever seen. It looks and feels as if it has been made on home video. Where a good bit of budget horror would cover the cracks with wit or invention, Cold Grip takes its crappy story and plays it utterly straight. The quality of the picture is horrible, looking like the results of that one time I tried to record Babestation off've the TV using a mobile phone camera. There are constant dips in sound, and the actors are all wooden and ugly. "Save your breath," the tagline runs. I wish everyone involved in the production of this bollocks really had.

Scar 3D

Director: Jed Weintrob (2007)
Starring: Angela Bettis, Kirby Bliss Banton, Christopher Titus
Find it online: IMDB, Amazon UK

By far one of the best examples of everything that’s wrong with modern horror cinema, Scar is an execrable piece of torture bullshit that’s about as much fun as being strapped to a bed whilst a crazy type does unmentionable things to you.

Angela Bettis stars as Joan, the survivor of a particularly harrowing torture session which saw her best friend die at the hands of a Beret-wearing, scalpel wielding loon. Years later, she returns to her hometown to visit her brother (local cop Jeff) and niece. Before you can say “horror cliché” teens start to go missing, and it looks as if there’s a psycho on the loose again. Is her tormentor back from the dead? Is there a copycat killer about? Or is Joan going crazy? A similar story which was told reasonably well in My Bloody Valentine is completely cack-handed here, thanks to inept direction, crappy acting and interminable scenes of near-unwatchable torture guff.

If you get your rocks off by watching teenage girls having their various bits lopped off, chances are you need help. Oh, and you’ll also love Scar. Everyone else, meanwhile, will either be bored by the constant screaming and squirting or utterly disgusted; this seasoned reviewer was a heady mix of both. Aside from the torture scenes, everything else is by-the-numbers, predictable and stupid. It’s as if they filmed the nasty bits first and then padded it out with whatever ‘plot’ the writers could be bothered to plagiarise from elsewhere.

Scar: the only 3d film that's actually better if you watch it without the glasses. Or eyes. Or at all.

The acting ranges from passable to horrible. Bettis is on whimpering/traumatised autopilot, whilst Christopher Titus, as her brother, distracts everyone from his bad acting by looking like Michael Beihn a lot. The teenagers are all universally terrible.

How stupid is Scar? In the final beat of the movie, Joan enters a room in which she finds her niece strapped to a table; her mouth duct taped shut. She sets about untying the poor girl, but doesn’t bother to remove the tape (“shut up, I’m trying to untie you”), thereby allowing the killer to get the drop on her.

It was filmed in 3D, by the way, which grants Scar an extra dimension of stupid.