Blood Born Feature: Scarred

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You can’t go wrong with a good Slasher movie.  Ever since the success of classics like The Texas Chainsaw Massacre, Black Christmas, and Halloween, the trend was apparent in the 70’s that Horror films were taking a new direction.   Audience were not just showing a need for a more gruesome film on the silver screen, they seemed to become attracted to psychopaths killing off young people.  It wasn’t until John Carpenter’s Halloween gave fans a real boogeyman, and a good scare became a good time no matter how far the shadows stretched into the night.   Texas Chainsaw Massacre was the more disturbing film, but like Black Christmas and Halloween the kills were visceral and left most to the imagine, and these films mainly focused on dark atmosphere.  The movie that brought the term Slasher to life was Friday the 13th,  giving the viewer viscous kill scenes through the eyes of a faceless killer. It may have been a gory treat for some, while others were simply terrified .  The kill scenes were so realistic many thought they were watching a snuff film.  Nonetheless its success had spawned many sequels,  even inspired John Carpenter to take Halloween 2 to the next level with kill scenes.

IMG_3106Over the years Slasher movies continued to bloody the big screen, and horror icons have become idolized.  Horror fans love the wise cracking child killer Freddy Krueger haunting their dreams, Haddonfield soaked in blood every Halloween, and a bad ass killer slaughtering teens in the woods with a hockey mask on.  But then studios have been feeding the audience over done torture porn films, remakes, first person point of view, and constant supernatural films.  Fans haven’t lost their love for these sub genres of Horror, it just seems the big studios have forgotten about the boogeyman.  Although there had been some worthy killers born though independent filming such as  Chrome Skull, Victor Crowley, The Collector and The Orphan killer are to name a few.  But since then the idea of a boogeyman has died down, and the only successful slasher to hit the big screen was Your Next.  Horror fans are hungry for a villain to love again, to watch slash through young careless people partying and taking life for granted.  Well now they can welcome a new villain to the catacombs of their blackened hearts!  Meet Jonah Kandie, and he doesn’t like the pretty people.

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Fright Teck Pictures presents Scarred (aka Kandie Land),  directed and written by Eddie Lengyel.  This independent horror film brings back the golden days of classic slasher films.  A good ol’ simplistic blood bath.  Instead of chopping up camp counselors or  baby sitters, our would be victims to die at the hand of our killer are four models whom camp out nearby an area that is known to the locals as Camp Kandie Land.    Comically, we watch as the models party out, test each other’s friendship by berating one another behind each other’s back, competing on who will have the best photo shoot, call dibs on who was going to sleep with photographer, really truly showing the ugly side of the modeling business. And Joanh Kanide is seeing it all.  This truly sets the audience up, knowing the killer is lurking in the woods somewhere, just patiently binding his time before he unleashes his wraith upon them.  There are plenty of memorable and entertaining performances, these include the return of a Horror Icon, the original Jason Voorhees Ari Lehman, joining by his side to play as his wife  Pornstar Lisa Neeld. IMG_3112IMG_3113They add to the comedic flavor of the movie with their quirky telling of Jonah’s brutal back story, but also send a cryptic warning that things may not be as quiet as many think at the campground.   The character Bo, has some brilliant one liners  “ Crazy retard fucker running around the woods.”  And “ Psycho killer Dwarf” that are a few that’ll raise a chuckle or two.  Scarred welcomes  a big shout out to Friday the 13th’s  crazy Ralph’s spooky warning of camp blood by sending in  their own crazy elderly character barking her own cryptic warning that the campground has a death wish while she wizzes on by on a golf cart. Fans will appreciate the humor and catch the hidden gems while they wait anxiously for the kill scenes that are spread out through the films slow and steady pace.

The strongest characters are Tiny’s family, her mother Luna and father Roscoe.  Tiny is a young woman with dwarfism plagued by dysfunctional home. Roscoe is an abusive father and Luna, maybe a mother in denial but knows more than she shows and has a strong exterior which is the glue that is fighting like hell to keep her family together.  The father is the typical angry drunk type, but his punishments that he inflicts on his daughter he believes are to be justified,  that his righteousness would snuff out her wild imagination upon believing she has seen Jonah Kandie who has been dead for so many years.   Putting a stop to this behavior will cease any rumors and protect an already  damaged town.   Luna works at the bed and breakfast and has also heeded her own warnings to models the importance of keeping things quiet.  IMG_3115The chain of events that unfold between this family, the models and Jonah Kandie reveals a strong protagonist like Donald Pleasance in Halloween.  But will it all be enough to stop Jonah’s reign of blood? Will Tiny’s family dysfunction push her closer to her dark infatuations towards Jonah?

The soundtrack and score to Scarred varies.  At one moment hard rock music is played to add to the playfulness  of the models and the work hard, party hard atmosphere.  When we get to the scenes with Jonah the score goes to an eeriness like most of old school horror movies would use to tell the story of the killer.  Moments you hear this disembodied voice that is almost alien like that seems to explain what kind of noise is going on in Jonah’s head.  This influence definitely has a Jason Voorhees feel to it, where the audience would normally hear the infamous Cha Cha Cha Kill Kill Kill that warned us he was around.  One of the most effective ways the score is when certain scenes the audience would hear the crashing of symbols, thunder of drums, expressing the sound of dread was on its way.  These sound effects utilized so well has the paralyzing of fear the original Texas Chainsaw used when audience would hear the polaroid camera go off.  These sounds also add to the incredible use of natural light to the film as we reach the conclusion with night falling, giving the intention that the worst is yet to come.

Now let’s get to why everyone loves the Slasher genre, the kill scenes.  The question that’s always asked, how many different ways can someone die in a horror movie?  After countless films with countless death scenes how can you entertain an audience without them feeling they’ve seen it before?  Know your kill scene text book and be creative!  Just to give you readers a little taste without spoiling the film, there are some scenes that definitely take the gore to another level.  One particular scene adIMG_3102ds a little torture porn to the mix, with a model screaming her head off while her mouth is forced wide open with a strange contraption that could only be found in some Dentist torture chamber, once the torment begins even the most desensitized gore hound will cringe, her screeching screams will add to the mounting discomfort.   While most of the kill scenes are more memorable than some, you can tell the FX team work extremely hard on producing old school practical kills for passionate fans within themselves as well as fans who watch the film.  While the effects are great, some kills are visceral before showing the end result, allowing people to use their imagination while they watch Jonah Kandie hack his way through a body part and all you see is the motion of him killing and the blood covering him from head to toe.  And yes there is a chainsaw, why wouldn’t Jonah Kandie have a chainsaw?

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Jonah Kandie, played by Don Kilrain is a menacing force to be reckoned with.  His debut Villain status is a breath of fresh air in the Slasher genre, bringing back the silent killer that hacks his way through his victims.  With a strong simplistic back story and a mask that reflects the face that hides beneath it, this fictional killer reminds us what we loved about Slasher movies.  Throughout the film we are mislead to believe there is no explanation to yet why this dark soul would kill anyone who enters the camp site, for that we the audience await for that hero, the strong male character or that final girl to end the reigning terror that has become a blood soaked legend.  In the end we could be looking through the eyes of the killer the entire time, seeing him as he sees himself, as the hero cleansing the world of the materialistic and vain. Scarred will please Horror fans, leave them hoping for a sequel. Maybe we will learn more of Jonah’s tale, maybe we’ll see his ruined face. Either way Jonah Kandie is upon us in the horror genre, dragging behind him bodies of mangled models.  Giving us a friendly reminder: he does not like the pretty people, and those who survive Kandie land will be Scarred!

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