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Dark Ride 2006

A group of six friends on a road trip stop off at an amusement park attraction named 'Dark Ride', unaware that a psychopath who brutally murdered two girls, has just escaped a mental institution and is seeking refuge there...

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The third and final film shown today, Friday the 17th, as part of the "8 Films to Die For" horror event. The best of the 3 shown today in my opinion. So to recap quickly, 2 of the 3 shown today I enjoyed very much. I did get my free t-shirts (2) for buying ALL the tickets for all 9 films, two times over. But was disappointed to find that the largest size shirts were Large. Oh well, nice collector's items now I guess. Full review coming later...
Dark Ride (2006)




Don't know who Craig Singer is? He's the mouth-breathing douchebag director of one of the worst films of all time. Which one? Guess . . . no, not Waterworld. Not Ishtar. Not Dr. Giggles either, but you're getting warmer. Give up? It's Dark Ride.

The film starts off with twin sisters, both atrocious actresses, deciding to ride the dark ride in Asbury Park, NJ. They die. Anyway, a crazy murderer in a mental hospital, and nearly two decades later, (though there seems to be some discrepancy with the freakin' writers), typical dumbass teenagers take a detour from their New Orleans Spring Break trip to ride the dark ride. They pick up a hitcher, a Sheri Moon knock-off, and proceed to steal more of our lives from us as this crap unfolds. Dark Ride is a hackneyed, painfully banal, and unbelievably unoriginal film, filled with inept actors, made by inept filmmakers. And the supposed 'twist,' or 'shocker' at the end? The ugly kid's the younger brother of the killer. Weak, predictable, and bad enough I'd rather watch an NFL game.

So I watched the special features. I love how the co-writer, Robert Dean Klein, clearly believes this film to be completely amazing. I point this out because I hoped that the filmmakers were only joking, and the movie was terrible on purpose.

They weren't joking.

The 'Making of' isn't a making of at all. The correct title for that little slice is Interviews. The cast and crew go on and on, boring the hell out of any viewer. Susan put it best: "It's like a f#cking high school production." Truer words were never spoken.


My pledge to see all of After Dark Film's 8 Films to Die For series continues with my viewing of Dark Ride. The last film I watched from this list of films was Wicked Little Things, a film that I didn't care too much for. I had little hope for Dark Ride, since I figured these 8 "never meant to be seen" films seemed like they were so bad that no one wanted to distribute them. I wouldn't say that Dark Ride is a great movie, but it does work to some extent. And it did have enough going for it to garner this passing grade.

Dark Ride sounds like a porno film title, but it actually references a theme park ride that was closed down after two little girls were brutally murdered there. The killer is institutionalized, and the ride is shut down. Flash forward 20 years, the killer escapes and makes his way back to Dark Ride at the same time as a group of sexy teens... is there ever anyone else who foolishly stumbles into their own demise... decide to make a trip and spend the night in the ride. Why? Who the hell knows why anyone thinks this is a good idea? I know the ending of the film explains it, but really! Is spending the night in a un-condemned former site of a brutal murder that great?

The film offers up a pretty lousy villain, and none of the characters who are being hacked away are that interesting. But the film has a really great atmosphere to it. I wasn't scared, but I will admit that I was genuinely creeped out during most of the film. Sure the deaths aren't anything special, nor are they anything new. But the build up to most of them is what had me hooked. This movie had some great thrills to it.

The acting is decent, but films like this don't seem to care too much about landing the best performances out of their actors. Truly they are just pretty faces to stare at. I did get a kick out of seeing Patrick Renna in a film again. I know he's done a lot of work since then, but he will always be Ham from The Sandlot to me.

Overall, Dark Ride is a standard horror flick. Nothing new to it, but nothing too boring either. It sure beats the hell out of all of these pointless remakes coming out. While watching it I couldn't help but think of 2006's god awful Black Christmas movie. Dark Ride is the sort of film that pointless remake wishes it could have been. A bad film, but an enjoyable one.

Diary of a Cannibal is a horror movie? It barely even qualifies as a movie, period. Utterly bafflingly bad. I'm still a little traumatized by how dumb and boring it was. It hasn't even ended and I'm in here tearing it a new one.

OK, this is hilarious. I just looked up the only review on RT of this piece of shit and the reviewer says the exact same thing I said--this does not even qualify as a movie. Good god. This movie makes me want to kill myself. It's got to be the worst movie I've ever reviewed and it's probably the worst I've ever seen.


This is one of those After Dark Horror Fest Films...one of the 8 Films to Die For. It's only the second I've seen (the other being Gravedancers), and I definitely liked this one better, even though it's nothing great. In fact, it's pretty much your typical slasher/teenagers wanting to have fun so they do something stupid type movie. But, the introduction was pretty good, and nothing really pissed me off. So, a 5 it is.

I'll be viewing my third film in this series tomorrow, Penny Dreadful. :)
I used to make journals like this to rate films that you couldn't rate directly on the page. Now, it seems you can rate films without enough reviews directly on the page but I will still continue this tradition for the hell of it. After all, I'm sure these opinions will all be interesting once I'm famous.

Ilsa: The Wicked Warden- It's absolutely awful, but I guess I shouldn't have expected more from this series.

Dark Ride- Though it's an astoundingly compelling symphony of terror, it's far from perfect; however, given the fact that it's a modern-era teen horror I don't see how more I could possibly expect from such a film.
This flick serves to deliver a whole new meaning to the term, "Dumb and Dumber". With no acting and no plot, it goes from Zero to Stupid in less than 60 seconds. So please... dont waste your time. Chewing on ice cubes is more exciting!!!
Six college kids decide to spend the night inside a diliapated carnival ride that was the scene of more than a dozen gruesome murders some 15-20 years before... just in time for the insane killer to escape from a mental instution and return to his old stomping grounds. Much screaming, bleeding, and dying ensues.

"Dark Ride" is a by-the-numbers slasher films that features better-than-average cinematography, decent acting, a nice musical score, and decent set design... to a point. Unfortunately, that decent set design doesn't quite extend to what feels like a logical layout for what supposedly is an attraction designed to be experienced while sitting in tracked carts, there isn't a single truly likeable character to root for in the film--yet none are so repugnant that the viewer roots for their death either--and the script is so lazily written that the events of the film come to pass through a convergence of coincidences so ludicrous that even the biggest believers in a Grand Design will be rolling their eyes. The fact that not one, not two, but three totally unconnected circumstances had to come to pass for the events of the film to occur also make the obligatory twist ending seem more obnoxious than shocking.

Hardcore fans of the slasher genre will undoubtedly get a kick out of "Dark Ride". The more casual horror fan will probably find themselves wishing that a little more thought had gone into the script.


Dark Ride
Starring: Jamie-Lynn Sigler, David Rogers, Patrick Renna, Alan Solowitz, Andrea Bogart, and Jennifer Kelly Tisdale
Director: Craig Singer
Dark Ride is one of the After Dark Horrorfest movies from 2006. And, I gotta tell you, it's just not that scary. A group of college kids who never utter a word of realistic dialogue, take a detour from their spring break vacation to visit a carnival ride in the middle of the night. Great idea. The kills are sort of good . There are a couple of creepy moments, but this was pretty much one ridiculous thing after another.

Penny Dreadful is another of the After Dark movies, but this one is actually really good. A girl who has an intense fear of cars takes a trip with her doctor to try and over come her terror. They pick up a hitchhiker and things go very, very wrong. This movie is creepy and extremely tense. The acting was pretty good. Rachel Miner ("Tooth & Nail") really sold the anxiety and the fear. Loved it.

Night of the Iguana is based on a Tennessee Williams ("The Yellow Bird") play. So, of course, it's quite a bit messed up. A minister, Richard Burton ("Nineteen Eighty-four"), freaks out on his congregation and ends up leading tours of Mexico for church groups. A young girl in the group keeps coming onto him, and , despite his efforts to rebuff her, her crazy, harpy guardian is sure he's taken advantage of her. Burton hijacks the tour and they end up at a remote villa where things come to a head. The acting is top notch. The dialogue is great, and the emotions are out of control. Very interesting, but not always easy to sit through. People freak out a lot.

Poltergeist II: The Other Side is actually pretty good for a sequel. The original players are back and the story picks up right where the first film left off. The ghosts have gotten a taste of Carol Anne, and they want some more. Creepy, creepy man (Julian Beck, "9 1/2 Weeks") who is enough to give me nightmares, comes after the family and Will Sampson ("Firewalker") who always plays the sage Indian, tries to protect them. The effects at the end of the movie are pretty dated, but everything up to there is quite good.

No End in Sight tries to tell the story of how the U.S. got into the Iraq war, and, once there, how we botched the operation. There's a lot of information to examine. The filmmakers did a good job of presenting it and of trying to be fair. Many of the top people involved in the Iraq decision making declined to be interviewed for the film, and I think that would have made it a more enlightening experience. As it was, the film made me think. And that's always good.
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