Dir. Dave Payne
Reviewer. Dan Cook
Dave Payne’s REEKER begins as a fairly standard yet fun splatter movie - with a bunch of people stuck in the middle of the desert only to be picked off one by one by an unseen yet ruthless (and rather smelly) force. So far, so predictable. However, in its final 5 minutes, it pulls a surprise ending out of the bag which brings new life to one of the genres most well-worn clichés, thus making a keen-eyed re-watch almost inevitable.
Having cut his teeth with such exploitation fare as sci-fi schlocker’ ALIEN TERMINATOR and straight-to-video erotic thrillers like CONCEALED WEAPON and CRIMINAL HEARTS (the film which incidentally marks the debut appearance of future comedy star Will Ferrell), director Payne then made a name for himself with this low budget slice of squishy silliness.
And for its limited cost and lack of star power - B movie legend Michael Ironside does make an appearance, albeit a very brief one - REEKER is a pretty accomplished and often creepy movie, with some good performances from the cast, a number of memorable horror set pieces and some rather spectacular death scenes complete with impressively nasty gore effects.
At times, the purposefully grimy cinematography can make the action a bit of a chore to watch and the musical score written by the director is replete with harsh stings which accompany the movies myriad of predictable jump scares. However, despite its flaws, I enjoyed REEKER and am eager to check out its 2008 sequel as soon as possible. It’s not perfect but its nonetheless a nice package of distended entrails and severed limbs all tied up with a nice little twist finale as the blood-spattered bow on top.