Sunday, October 21, 2012

This Wind Doth Blow: "The Wind" (2001)

When you make a bad film called "The Wind," you invariably invite viewers to come up with their own fart jokes describing the offending product..."The Wind" reeks.

Clair (Carolyn Camburn, a dead ringer for Bridget Fonda) has a trio of college boys wrapped around her finger. There is studly jock John (Scott Parrish), nerdy Billy (Philipp Karner), and brooding Mic (Zeke Rippy). Clair accuses dumb guy Bob (James Thalman) of stalking her, and the boys decide to beat him up in the nearby woods, where Mic delivers a fatal blow to Bob's thick head.

Clair is downright delighted about Bob, and wants to see the body. The problem is Bob was not dead, Bob's brother Earl (David Mikaels) wants to be the group's new amigo, and Clair and her boys begin to turn on each other as she begins to receive mysterious phone calls.

With an attractive cast in a cross between "Cruel Intentions" and "I Know What You Did Last Summer," screenwriters James Charbonneau and Michael Mongillo (who also directed) should have had a tight suspenser on their hands. Instead, the three main male characters muddle together to the point where extra attention must be paid to tell them apart. Clair is easy on the eyes, but the viewer is not given good enough reasons why anyone would kill for her.

The characters' ages were hard to pin down. Everyone lives with their parents, so I thought "badly cast high schoolers" until John mentions finishing college. Unfortunately, some of the dialogue sounds like a middle schooler's interpretation a grown up script as painfully clicheed sounding speech is yelled and hissed by the cast. Couple this with a terrible opening involving a lot of wind metaphors that say little, and this begins sucking from the start. You will probably find this in the Horror section of the video store, but trust me, it ain't.

Mongillo's direction is alright, but any style he shows (a nicely shot stunt jump into a lake) is overshadowed by the script (there are more people wandering the woods that at your local mall food court...and did the easily identifiable scary voice on the phone just ask Clair if her refrigerator was running?!).

"The Wind" had promise, but eventually dies down to an unmemorable faint breeze. An ill wind, indeed. (*) out of five stars.