And Then They Were Dead... (2004)

   
Written & Directed by: Ray Schwetz

Starring:

Tina Krause ... Sara
Ray Schwetz ... Lance
Devon Mikolas ... Hunter
Joseph Zaso ... Dr. Mark Reibolt
Sarah K. Lippmann ... Anna
Willie Hill ... William
Frank Gagliardotto ... Leo
Darian Caine ... Gabrielle
Lynn Macri ... Rebecca Reibolt

Release Date: Direct-to-DVD: May 4, 2004

*Images courtesy at: www.cinempire.com

 

 

 

Rating:

 

A couple named Lance (Ray Schwetz) and Sara (Tina Krause) are mysteriously invited to a lavish dinner party where five other strangers are invited too by an unseen host who is supposedly going to greet them after dinner time but instead the host is in a private room watching them with surveillance camera's.
The meet a French maid named Gabrielle (Darian Caine) who doesn't speak english and seems to be an attention grabber for the guests.
During the middle of dinner time Gabrielle takes a shower and is brutally slayed by a killer wearing black who apparently killed a guest that was supposed to have arrived there earlier. Meanwhile an eccentric Doctor Mark Reibolt (Joseph Zaso) while peeking at her taking a shower in another bathroom through a peephole accidentally kills his wife Rebecca (Lynn Macri) by making out with her afterwards. He then hides her body in the bathroom shower but when her body was found Mark becomes a suspect.
Soon, the guests realised that their cars won't work while trying to escape in order that they stay put at the mansion.
Soon, the guests are all driven to lust, murder and madness.
While these guests try to survive from whoever is trying to get them, they are being slaughtered one by one by the killer and it seems that the food that's served isn't what they think it is.

 

There's a very trashy introduction to the film with the killer attacking the first victim as there were interesting camera shots on the killer but at the same time the moments with the attacks and everything else looked terribly bland to watch and seriously needed more inspiration plus it took place in the daylight as night time is always better for a killer to attack someone in a horror flick.
Then we have moments with people entering the mansion as the butler William greeting them as it was written to be mysterious as to why they're brought there but it doesn't do the trick due to two things, bad production quality and poor performances by all that were involved.
There is a neat brief moment when the main character Sara stares at a picture and then sees a hallucination of a man as she thinks she's hallucinating and that piece was well done.
Then we have a camera panning around the food which is supposed to leave a sickening feeling that it's not your everyday meat and almost does the trick but this looks too obvious at the same time as well.
A lame moment with Gabrielle taking off her clothes to take a shower which was overly long as well as her taking a shower and then Dr. Mark Reibolt looking through a peephole and getting his jollies as this looked incredibly lame to watch and seriously needed more going for this scene. Then we have his wife coming in and catching him in the act as their dispute looked incredibly annoying to watch as well as him trying to get it on with her as this also looked stupid and boring to watch as well. Plus during this moment there's the killer slaying Gabrielle away with a small hand blade as a better weapon could've been used and a lame slashing moment. But yet nice camera shots on this.
There's great timing with the mysterious host watching everyone through his surveillance camera as it makes the film truly mysterious as these two scene's mentioned were one of the only moments worth watching.
There's also a funny moment when the people freak out by seeing a decapitated head fall out of a fridge and they boot it around which was done well too. Yet we have a gruesome moment with someone firing his rife at someone else in which the effects looked terribly fake.
A nice shot of the killer placing a pillow on the supporting character William's face and then stabbing him through the pillow.
We have a nice fighting scene between Lance and the killer but the picture is very dark.
There's a nice scene with Sara and Hunter when they search around the mansion in the dark with flashlights as well as when they explore a cellar of the mansion and a camera is watching them. This saves the film from bombing while watching all of this happening. Yet, the camera isn't focused too well during many scenes which wrecks the film a bit.
Also a good moment with Lance outside having a smoke and then the killer facing him as well as the showdown between the two of them as this works in greatly as it was about time the makers did something right for a change.
Also the confrontation between Sara and the host wasn't too shabbily done since the surroundings looked fairly good to watch and the insanity going on.
Bottom line is that this
film is made on a terrible budget but indie films are tough when it comes to money and the picture quality is a little dark but not as dark as alot of underground films I've watched that makes it to those Bad Taste Cinema or Sleazy Slasher DVDs. The audio is terrible as you have a hard time hearing on what the people are saying in this flick. This film tries to be original as possible using the right horror chemistry with lots of comedy too but it doesn't quite make it. It gets a bit better towards the end but overall a bad movie to be blunt on things.

The acting is terrible but however Scream/Moan queen Tina Krause (Sara) does fine though as she has alot of energy in it. Also does well with her conversations bringing it to life a little bit. She does a nice job with her split personality too but at times it's a little too much. Seemed to show off great crazy expressions though and the energy seems dead on too. She was one of the best in the cast but that's not saying a heck of alot compared to the rest since they didn't pull their weight too well.
Ray Schwetz (Lance) seems to do okay as her husband with his seriousness but he is too stiff with his lines at the same time and seemed to try hard by getting into character but was just mediocre with what he had to deliver here. Not everyone was cut out for the acting biz unfortunately.
Devon Mikolas (Hunter) seemed almost like a walk on role as he didn't have anyt lines in the very beginning but latrer on became the key role since he almost survived through the massacre's. Man he was over the top terrible and just doesn't know on how to create his role at all. He needed acting lessons big time especially whenever he freaks out or acts anxious. It was laughable but in a bad way. Good thing he chose his career as a filmmaker later on in life as he's better by doing that.
Scream king Joe Zaso (Dr. Mark Reibolt) plays very goofy with his role and seems to do a fine job in most of the shows that I've seen him in but was rusty in his role with this one and can't seem to adjust to his role. He was not at all believeable with his aggressions or acting nuts nor was he believeable as a possible suspect in the film. It was a little humiliating by seeing him play this part.
Sarah K. Lippman (Anna) is the best out of the cast and does well witty as an insecure yet at times arrogant guest.
She was sharp within her speaking and great motives. Showed great energy with her attitude as well as her aggressions by all that she did here. Plus had the right looks and comes off greatly onto the camera as well. Is a worthy character actress and can move on to better stuff.
Willie Hill
(William) is the butler in this flick and offers his seriousness but yet is wooden like most of the other cast members here and needed some inspiration while doing all of this. He needed more energy and enthusiasm into all that he did here. He wasn't over the top terrible like most of the cast mentioned but needed some improvements.
Frank Gagliardotto (Leo) must be the worst out of the cast as he was portraying an outspoken goofball and seemed to show very little effort into all that he did here. He was sloppy with his performance and found that he made a complete fool out of himself. Ho hum!
Lynn Macri
(Rebecca Reibolt) was the second worst out of the whole cast in which she was over the top annoying with her aggressions and nagging attitude. Was way too over the top with all that she did here. She really didn't know anything to tone her role down with her arrogance and was silly within all that she did here and not in a comedic way as she was supposed to have been. Another one making a fool out of themselves.

Scream/Moan queen Darian Caine is fully naked top to bottom while taking a shower as her role is very similar to her shower scene in Nikos the Impaler.

A woman's head is decapitated but it looks very fake
A sexy woman in a shower is being cut by a razor and other gruesome moments like that.
A guy's head is blown off (Another phony effect but blood splurts out)
Theres a gruesome bloody slit wrist
A man's face is bloodied and he spits out blood

The music was composed by Function Zero who did the same for Zaso's other horror flicks like Nikos the Impaler and Machines of Love and Hate. They seem to try and make creepy violin music on a synthesizer but it becomes very annoying such as throughout most of the story in which was terribly amateurish as I was getting a headache. But other times it sounds fairly passable like the final confrontation on who is revealed behind the madness with the wavy synthesizer sounds as this was catchy.

William: You used to date a guy???
Anna: Yes doofus, I do date men believe it or not. I just don't happen to be interested in you. You are a hound. I can't believe you outomatically think I'm a lesbian because I don't shove my tits in your face.
William: You mean you're not???

Hunter: What if you run into the KILLER!? Or KILLERS?!
Lance: I'll be persuasive. That's why I got this (Holds a rifle in his hands)

Hunter (Enters the house after Sara unlocks the door): What in the hell did you do that for?!
Sara: I was on my way upstairs, I didn't hear you. Sorry jerk!!!
Hunter: Oh, I'm sorry. I was slightly terrified!!!!
Sara: Asshole!!!