Lead actor: Julie Streckle, Barry Piacent…

Director: Antonio Panthoa

Okay, so here’s the thing, I guess.  1 MUST FALL.  Yes.  It’s done.

Let’s see what we have to say about this movie.  Written and directed by Antonio Pantoja (who also wrote and directed HAND COVERS BRUISE, a title that bothered me for two days until I realized I hadn’t seen this movie, it’s the title of a song from Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross’ soundtrack), 1 MUST FALL is Sarah’s story.  Recently fired from her job as a saleswoman, she and her best friend Alton take a job on a crime scene cleanup crew when they are called to clean up after the latest ruckus from an unknown serial killer in an abandoned building in Louisville, Kentucky.

The killer is still in place, and Sarah and the team aren’t even aware of it.  And he’s one of those opportunistic killers who see the new group as an opportunity to commit more murders.

In the right hands, it’s not a bad idea.  I mean, think about it.  A cleaning crew arrive at Myers’ house in Haddonfield to clean up after Michael’s latest tirade and discover he’s still there.  I watched this movie (similar to Halloween: RESURRECTION) where the Camp Crystal Lake cleanup crew finds Jason still at the camp when he breaks through.

A very feasible idea.

Antonio Pantoja’s hands are the wrong hands.  At this stage of his career, Pantoja had already directed 4 short films and a video. 1 MUST FALL is his first feature film.  It’s an ambitious idea.  I know Slasher seems like a given at some point, but I just watched the movie, and if the end result is any indication, it’s much more complicated than it seems.  Maybe start with something simpler for your first feature film.  How about putting it all in a supermarket and just catching the life of two clerks whining about their jobs and laughing at customers who come one by one to get cigarettes or a carton of milk.  Trust me, I’ve seen it too, and it’s a much easier first outing.

And the more I think about it, the more I feel a little insulted by this movie as a horror fan.  There is a tension that needs to be built into a horror film, especially a slasher film. The tension here is different than in a haunted house movie, for example, where all his parasites are evil.  In a killer movie, evil is flesh and blood, deadly and infallible.  He could just as easily be killed as one of the nameless victims.  So not only does the director have to build this aura around the killer, like Michael Myers looking through the bushes, or Mrs. Vorhese, hidden under the bed, with an arrow at hand, but also the script has to be right.

Anyone can give their killer a superiority complex, with a monologue about the futility of life, but they can make their killer a psychopath, one of those people who can talk a good game, but in the end you don’t know what they’re capable of.  The killer in this film, never known for anything but murder, takes the time to build the so-called torture chair.  We never really looked at it closely, so I don’t know if it matches the efforts of a John Kramer, but there’s a rope on a winch that he somehow uses to kill a man by slitting his throat.  I’m not sure ROPE would have had the power to do what happened to this guy. Maybe use a thread next time, but either way, suffice it to say we’ll only see the torture chair used once, so if Killer had big plans for this, if this was supposed to be his ultimate calling card, it’s a pretty minor effort, I have to say.

And nobody cares because this killer is nobody.  The only time he shines is when he tells a character that he will let him live in case God comes to save the man who has been praying tirelessly for, say, days for this to happen.  When that doesn’t happen, you hear The Killer (played by Barry Piacenta, The Outsider) talking about how HE is God in that murder room, and before he even finishes his sentence, I fall asleep.  Seriously, I had to watch the last 20 minutes of 1 MUST FALL again this morning because it couldn’t captivate me last night when I tried to watch it the first time.

Oh, so you’re God here.  That’s all I’m saying.  YAAAWWWWWWNNNN, wake me up if you have an original idea or line of dialogue.

At one point he tells another potential victim that he saw a beautiful woman when she was young and wondered what her insides looked like.  Sounds like a line I would write… when I was 18 and started writing.

Look, the lines here are supposed to be scary and sassy, but they’re just tired of repeating other mediocre fare, and as Madeline Wunch says, when she sees deodorant, I don’t believe it.

A movie like this lives or dies by the killer, and the killer in this movie…. My God, save me!  Not the same intimidating man who approached me with a bad accent and a leather apron and saved me the agony of listening to him.  Shut up and kill someone already.

Don’t get me wrong, 1 MUST FALL is made for greyhounds, there is a lot of blood in it.  That’s all I didn’t like.

Check this out, I’m almost at 1,000 words and I haven’t mentioned any other character names and I haven’t even mentioned Sarah, our last daughter, since the beginning.

1 MUST FALL is not the worst movie I’ve ever seen, nor the worst MADE movie I’ve ever seen.  It’s not even the worst movie I’ve ever seen.  But if I set aside one night a week to watch a movie with my wife so I can watch it in the morning, I’d at least enjoy keeping myself awake NOT….

To all the future filmmakers who think they can sink their teeth into a stupid slasher movie because they’re stupid and easy and nobody cares: Watch this movie and study what they did wrong (LOTS!), then go back to the drawing board and make a better movie out of love for our holy Lord John the Carpenter.

Damn, I just checked the IMDB page and this movie is described as a horror comedy.  Was that supposed to be funny?  Man, that guy was wrong on all counts, wasn’t he? You can broadcast 1 MUST FALL for free (with ads) on VUDU, but why?

Angle of the mirrors

# Teeth # Sneaky # Gerald’s game #

C. Dennis Moore is the author of more than 60 short stories and novels in the genre of speculative fiction. More recent versions can be found in the anthologies Dark Highlands 2, What Fears Arise, Dead Bait 3 and Dark Highways. His novels include Revelations, Angel Hill, The Man in the Window, The Third Floor, Flip.

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