are not exactly the Garson Kanin & Ruth Gordon of horror movies. Frankly,
the one thing two would-be screenwriting partners lack more than talent is
inspiration. However, a quick stay at an artists’ resort will provide the
latter, in the worst way possible. The bodies pile up, as well they should, in
Steve Kopera’s slasher-spoof The Cabining
screens during the seventeenth Dances With Films.
is the hopelessly irresponsible one, while Todd is the earnest sad sack. Neither
can crank out a halfway watchable scene, even by slasher movie standards. On
the plus side, they have a tentative investor lined up for their first film,
but if they cannot produce anything reasonably filmable, Todd’s uncle will put
his money in a cousin’s heavy metal recording instead. After having their egos
handed to them by their writing group, Todd reluctantly agrees to Bruce’s plan,
regrouping for a few days at the Shangri-La retreat.
so Shangri-La is a luxury cabin deep in the woods. You know what happens next,
except for the surprisingly spirited courtship between Todd and the sarcastic
Mindy, a real literary-grade writer also staying at the retreat. Meanwhile,
guests act suspicious and/or dead, while Bruce recklessly pursues the
disinterested but not completely unwilling Celeste.
is no getting around the fact Cabining is
a meathead movie, but it is an oddly ambitious one. Kopera and co-writer David
Silverman get a lot of mileage out of approaching the brink of shopworn horror clichés,
but doing a 180º at the last moment. As a result, there is quite a respectable balance
of smart and dumb laughs.
brother and co-producer Mike demonstrates solid timing and an easy likability
as Todd. He also develops some appealing chemistry with the scene-stealing
Angela Relucio’s Mindy. The film really hums when they are bantering. Conversely,
Bo Keister’s Bruce is all about clumsy shtick, but Richard Riehle brings some on-target
lunacy as Todd’s uncle, Sarge.
is no Blythe Spirit, but if you
have seen your share of crap-goes-down-in-the-woods movies than you will find
it consistently entertaining. It’s a scruffy indie, but it’s funny. Recommended
for midnight movie patrons, The Cabining screens
this Friday night (6/6) as part of this year’s Dances With Films, in Hollywood,
Labels: DWF '14, Horror Movies, Movie Spoofs