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Movies Eddie McMullen Jr. Review by
E.C.McMullen Jr.
the Cook
THE COOK - 2008
The Cook Movie / Red Gourmet Productions
Ratings: N/A
But if it did have a rating, it would probably get an R for language and nudity. Probably a PG-13 for blood and gore. Maybe even a PG.

Hey, there's this nut running around town, slaughtering sorority girls. Can someone get this guy? I don't want him in prison, but could you send him to my local sorority?

It's not that I have anything against sorority sisters, except for the ones in this freaking movie. They are so stifling rude and stupid that the bad slasher guy actually takes on the role of heroic anti-hero. 15 minutes into this flick and I'm nearly getting verbal in my wish for The Cook (Mark Hengst: HAUNTED FOREST) to slaughter them in as gruesome a way as possible. The "them" I refer to are the following:

Amy (Makinna Ridgeway: 666: THE BEAST), is the good brainy girl who is instantly beset upon by the other girls in the house because she is actually going to school to improve herself. Learning to be smart? That's so stupid!

Bunny (Kit Paquin) goes around the house as an aloof and salty pain in the ass, affecting an air of jaded superiority and uber critical of everything she sees. She has no friends here. She also makes a purposefully offensive attempt to seduce the devout christian waif in the flick. So she's a lesbian and it seems that, in this movie, lesbian equates with rude and stupid. Hey, don't hate me for pointing out the obvious in this movie. I had nothing to do with making it.

Anastasia (Penny Drake: YOU'RE SO DEAD) goes around the house as an aloof and salty pain in the ass, affecting an air of jaded superiority and uber critical of everything she sees. She has no friends here, but does hang out with a "Heathers" style clique. She is also a lesbian and so of course, evil.

Brooke (Nina Fehren) goes around the house as an aloof and salty pain in the ass, affecting an air of jaded superiority and uber critical of everything she sees. She has no friends here, but does hang out with a "Heathers" style clique. She is one of two brunettes in the flick who seem to be more foul-mouthed than the rest of the bunch. She is also a lesbian and so of course, evil.

Kristin (Brooke Lenzi), said Christian waif I referred to earlier. She doesn't have much of a role really, and that's saying something in a movie where the role of most of the girls are so interchangeable and no one says anything to define their character at all - ever! She keeps a cross in her room and if given the chance will mention that she believes in God. Don't give her that chance! 'Cause I'm warning you: She'll do it! As Noodle is my witness - she'll do it!

Autumn (Noelle Kenney) is so nondescript that you'd think she'd be the first victim, just to get her out of the way. Instead, she hangs on for an inordinate Sanjay of time.

Michelle (Stefanie Solano): Vaguely interesting and not just because she is one of the few heteros of the bunch. She's also interesting because she is the only hetero who is also an aloof and salty pain in the ass, affecting an air of jaded superiority and uber critical of everything she sees. She has no friends here, but does hang out with a "Heathers" style clique.

Pam (Justine Marino) The other foul mouthed brunette, lesbo, salty, not that aloof, overly stupid, the other foul mouthed brunette, Heathers-style clique. I think you've got the drill now.

You might think these characters are way too interchangeable and you'd be right. Don't worry though, it's not like they are going to say anything worth remembering.

So anyway the girls are having their Holiday get-together at their house and have hired a cook, who makes his abrupt appearance with a chirpy "OKAY!"

The Cook, who apparently cannot speak English, has brought a lot of cooking utensils but most of them are of the cut, slice, slash, and hack variety. Not a lot of pots and pans in The Cook's baggage. The teeny/twenty girls all think he's kind of hot for an older man, though he looks old enough to be their Dad. But hey, when you got it, You Got It!

THE COOK appears to be shot on digital, but the Director of Photography, Brian Crane, does an adequate job of keeping light and color burn out of the image and well as any keystoning and artifacts. That was never as much of a problem as it is today with movies being made digitally. And while I've enjoyed some movies that had these visual problems (NIGHT JUNKIES comes to mind), it's so much better when it doesn't happen.

The actors all appear to do a top notch job with nothing, which kept my interest level teetering on the edge of "So What?" for the duration of the flick. Mark Hengst, as The Cook, brought a lot of verve to his role and occasionally, Director Gregg Simon was able to get the most out of it.

Where this movie tanks and tanks badly is in the horrible script. Holy crap but these guys can't write dialogue! As written by Nicholas Bonomo, Francisco Rodriguez, and Dirk van Fleet, not one of the girls in this hen house are likable. However some are more UN-likable than others. Also, not one of them has anything interesting to say, and they talk a lot. You thought the chick talk in DEATH PROOF was a drag? In THE COOK, their conversation alone could put a Viagra-fueled raging hard-on to sleep: even if they were naked!

For this kind of movie, which wants to be a comedy (and if they didn't want this to be a comedy its even more pathetic), a little actual comedy, instead of a comedic set-up, would have been nice. It's no fun when the jokes don't have a punch line and all end in "Fuck!"

What's more, for this kind of movie that also wants to be a slasher horror (and if they didn't want this to be a... oh never mind), they needed a hell of a lot more gore with a hell of a lot less tiresome setup.

There are a few rare inspired scenes that really underline just how good this movie could have been if only Director Simon threw the script back in his writers faces and went balls to the wall with Mark Hengst. I mean, everything about this movie feels like it is just standing on the edge of The Cook going totally gonzo and running around the house like a freaking madman. And it comes close to that on several occasions - but then it pulls back. As professional comics would say, "It never commits to its shit!"

Of course, Gregg Simon couldn't do that because two of his writers also held the producer leash on this mess. Writers / producers Bonomo and van Fleet also edited this, so its a safe bet that they are the ones who sucked most of the life out of this flick.

Gang, if you're going to do comedy, it helps SO MUCH MORE when you make it a FUNNY comedy. When you do a slasher flick, it helps SO MUCH MORE when you make it a GORY slasher flick! If you aren't going for either of those things, then you shouldn't be writing a comedy about a freaking slasher. Nudity alone won't sell your Horror movie. Comedy alone won't sell your Horror movie. Hell, even Gore alone won't sell your Horror movie. But you've got to have SOME DAMN THING!

You might think that's an obvious statement, but I can think of at least three people who worked on this flick that didn't get it!

One Shriek Girl.

Shriek Girls
This review copyright 2008 E.C.McMullen Jr.

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