No Man’s Land: The Rise of Reeker

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SPOILER ALERT!

For those of you that missed Reeker we have a recap. Group of twenty-somethings end up at a desolate rest stop in the middle of the desert. Insert a decaying monster with cloaking technology stolen from the Predator a roto-router with a taste for blood and an offensive smell. With the exception of extremely strong and entertaining gore effects Reeker is mediocre.

Now Writer/Director Dave Payne has returned with a sequel. Apparently he felt Reeker deserved a back story, so here we go. This movie starts off strong much like the original with some cringe-worthy gore effects and a rich desert landscape. Reeker started his life as your average run of the mill serial killer, the Death Valley Drifter (Michael Robert Brandon).

The voices in his head have prompted his bloody and surgical killing spree to prepare him for the position he will hold after death. After a run in with local law enforcement and the cowardly Deputy Reed (David Stanbra) the drifter turns himself in and is promptly executed in the least believable gas chamber ever committed to film.

We jump to the present day some 30 years later. A new truck stop/motel and a new group of fodder. Three casino bandits stop to fill up their tank and visit with an old flame. We’re introduced to the gruff Sheriff Reed (Robert Pine) and his estranged son turned new deputy (Christopher Boyer). The bandit’s girlfriend/ex-girlfriend Maya (Mircea Monroe) is introduced as the big city girl having a hard time adjusting to small town life. We also get a look at the doctor who happens to have no sense of smell (Valerie Cruz), what? The three bandits including Maya’s boyfriend/ex-boyfriend are spotted by the sheriff, there is a gun fight and the gas pump and getaway car explodes.

The main characters are now in a dimension removed from normal time and space “between light and dark” (this leads to a funny bit of physical comedy as the deputy attempts to throw him self through the invisible barrier). This is explained briefly by a native character who wanders into the diner, offers some exposition and then wanders out into the night to be slaughtered.

One by one they are killed off by the Reeker who suffers from twitching that puts Max Headroom to shame. The Reeker is meant to move in an unsettling fashion, unfortunately it irritates, it doesn’t unsettle.

This movie excels in the gore effects which leads to classic lines like “Look who’s being nice now that he doesn’t have a face.” The injuries suffered by the cliche and unlikeable cast are done fantastically well and require a stronger stomach. This included a severely fractured leg, a mutilated face and missing section of skull and the deputy’s bloody face explosion. The grisly ways in which the participants die make this movie worth a watch, once, and only once.

Recommended for gorehounds and those who can find redeeming qualities in even the worst horror movies…like me.

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