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a horror movie written and directed by Rolfe Kanefsky starring Tiffany Shepis, Heather Rose, Parry Shen, Brad Dourif, and Brooke Burke.

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"I don't like computers and I hate video games."

  • Mar 3, 2009
Rating:
+4
I love me some horror comedies, so how could I resist reviewing this little gem which was directed and written by Rolfe Kanefsky and released to an unsuspecting, and mostly unappreciative audience in 2001. THE HAZING tells the story of a group consisting of three fraternity and two sorority pledges who are undergoing that cherished titular right of passage. Theirs consists of a scavenger hunt followed by the required night in the town's local haunted house, "Hack" House, where one Mr. Hackford murdered his wife and her lover in a rather nasty fashion.

The film itself begins in a most promising manner with a voice over the credits telling us the history of an ancient tome known as the "Savior of Souls". How it had first been found in the ruins of an ancient monastery, "a gift from God, or the Devil himself... filled with pages of blood rituals that could free the pure of soul from the bonds of the material world, indeed from death itself. Corrupt monks twisted the Book's purpose and began using its passages for unspeakable rites. A lone Brother opposed them. He attempted to destroy the Book's power, but by then it was too late and the Evil consumed him. The entire monastery perished in a terrible fire. Miraculously the Book survived, its dark purpose now fulfilled. Its passages created a gateway allowing lost souls to travel freely between the dimensions of the living and of the dead." Cool. The man reciting the Book's history is Professor Kapp (Brad Dourif) and his real audience is his student Jill (Brooke Burke) who seems to be trying to get a few points added on to her grade by sucking up to the good Professor by whatever means necessary. She coyly excuses herself to change into a costume for a Halloween party she plans to attend, and emerges just in time to become the Professor's first sacrificial victim. As he politely explains to her before delivering the coup de grace, "It's all true." The Book has merely been awaiting the unhurried sacrifice of human beings, and she was in the wrong place at the right time.

OKAY. I can put up with a certain amount of collegiate bull shit if we have stuff like this added to the mix. Looks like it could be fun. Speaking of our potential frat boys and co-eds it looks as if our stereotypes are all in place. Yes, they've donned Halloween costumes and divided into two teams for the scavenger hunt. Team One has Doug, a semi-obnoxious take-charge kinda guy and Marsha (Tiffany Shepis) a seriously strong chick who IS in charge. Team Two consists of Roy the good-natured, beer-swilling, sex-crazed stereotype, Delia (Nectar Rose) the dumb blonde in the Playboy Bunny outfit, and Tim (Parry Shen) who is Chinese, enough said right? Team Two is going for the small point items on the scavenger list, but Doug sees the Book of Souls on the list and recognizes it as belonging to Prof Kapp and decides not to sweat the small stuff and go right for the Big Ticket Item. This one is worth 30 points! Marsha's past dating history has left her with some knowledge of breaking and entering, so they clamber in through the kitchen window, split up, find the professor going about the slightly tawdry business of human sacrifice, and accidentally impale him on one of his own collectibles. Being basically good kids who don't want to get expelled or imprisoned they call 911, leave the phone hanging so the call will be traced, grab everything they have touched, and exit the way the entered. Marsha's right to his jaw convinces Doug that they should not tell the others about what has happened.

Now all our characters are finally at Hack House and the fun can REALLY begin. The audience all knows, as do most of the characters in the film, that Jacob and Justine the heads of the Fraternity and the Sorority, have rigged the house with all sorts of little things to scare them. But we know something they do not, that the Book, and maybe even the Professor, are going to cause some problems that no one has anticipated. The only question remaining is does this film have anything to offer that the scores of other films of its type do not? The answer is, most definitely!

What do we want from these films? Scares some say. But who really gets scared by this sort of stuff anymore? There aren't any "truly frightening" moments here although there are some weird and interesting ones. Gore you say?  Sex? Well there are a couple of characters who are covered with the red stuff, there's a very nice beheading, and one fairly imaginative sex scene that I would put in the gore/gross category--in fact it was one of the highlights of the film for me. And since it's a Rolfe Kanefsky flick the girls get topless in short order. Special Effects? Enough to get by on with at least one effect being wildly creative, rather in the vein of RE-ANIMATOR. (Some have criticized the possession scenes, but I don't think they realize that the victims are not being possessed by a demon per se.) Where the film really scores points  however, is with its very welcome sense of humor. Some of the humor is situational, some of it is character related, a lot of it is adolescent at best, but most of it should give you a laugh. I know I certainly thought it was funny. But then I laughed at STREET TRASH.

What may surprise you are the characters in this flick, all of whom start out as the usual horror film stereotypes. Now I'm not saying that what we have here is a great cinematic study of the nature of personality development in college students. I'm simply saying that we get to learn a little bit more about some of them that we might normally learn in the average hack and slash, and that some of them change in unexpected ways. But toss all of that away and just have some fun, because the photography is more than adequate, the lighting enables you to see what you need to see, the girls costumes are skimpy, and the cast is likeable. Given my prejudices, I can't say enough about Parry Shen. I'd like to be able to see him in more serious roles of course, but being Asian, you're often lucky if you can even land a role in horror flick. And Brad Dourif is always a joy. No one past or present can chew scenery the way this man can!

In short, there's no reason not to give this film a try and every reason why you should!
Rating--4.5

HYPE FACTOR: none, just my lone voice in the wilderness.

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April 15, 2010
Great review, Karen! I haven't seen a decent horror in a long time. Sounds like I will be closing my eyes a lot on this one, lol. I love horror, but I am a wuss when it comes to gore!
April 15, 2010
This one has a pretty low gore factor, thankfully. I've found that the more i watch the LESS desensitized I get, although that's not supposed to be the way it works.
April 15, 2010
*yay* I was thinking I would probably close my eyes during the sex scene since you said it was in the "gore/gross category." Yeah, I get nightmares from horrors that I watch. I'm not desensitized, that's for sure! We must be the odd balls out!
April 15, 2010
Compared to most of what I've seen it's a little on the tame side, but it has it's moments!
 
April 15, 2010
Sounds like something I need to see, great review.
April 15, 2010
If you like horror comedy it's great. A really nice take on the old slasher flix.
 
January 05, 2010
Sounds delightfully twisted and sick. Out of curiosity, how do you find these little films that go under everybody else's radars?
January 08, 2010
Easy. While they're all fighting over the 200 copies of AVATAR on the New Release shelves, I pick up the single copy of the movie sitting next to it.
January 08, 2010
"Avatar" was actually quite good once you get past the totally obvious plot and the hypocrisies embedded in the film's philosophy. You might even like it.
January 08, 2010
Once you got past the fact that it was bad, it was good?
January 08, 2010
No, the story was entertaining and the special effects were gorgeous. It's basically "Pocahontas" with aliens and anti-gravity ships. The planet Pandora and its flora and fauna are stunning. The problem was that it lacked multiple perspectives, as most big budget sci-fi films do.
January 09, 2010
I thought it was basically DANCES WITH WOLVES.
January 09, 2010
It has more in common with the "Pocahontas" story. Watch the Disney version, then watch "Enemy Mine" and you pretty much will have seen "Avatar".
January 09, 2010
It has more in common with the "Pocahontas" story. Watch the Disney version, then watch "Enemy Mine" and you pretty much will have seen "Avatar".
January 09, 2010
I think I've read at least 2 reviews here that cited DANCES WITH WOLVES.
January 09, 2010
Weird. Had more in common with Terrence Malick's "The New World", which in itself had some similarities with "Dances with Wolves". Personally, I didn't care for "Dances with Wolves" mainly because Kevin Costner's hair was way too modern and distracting. Same issue with Mel Gibson in "Hamlet".
January 09, 2010
Both Trashie and Woop refer to DWW along with a couple of other flix. Either way, there you are.
January 10, 2010
Here's a little different perspective on the matter.
January 12, 2010
The more I hear the less I want to see this flick. SFX just don't do that much for me. The last 2 flix I thought I should see on the big screen were SPIDERMAN 3 and KING KONG. I rest my case.
January 12, 2010
This makes both of those look like pissants. Really, it's much better than either of those separately or combined.
January 12, 2010
Probably ONLY in the looks department.
January 12, 2010
No, it's smarter too. Just not as smart as many of the novels that it takes its ideas from. Best sci-fi film of the past two years though.
 
March 21, 2009
Nope, original release. Its not quite up to the quality of NIGHT FEEDERS but I think you might fing it amusing. I hope so anyhow.
 
March 08, 2009
This one is a lot of fun even if it does sound like the same old same old. And not just because of Parry Shen either. He's so cute. He looks a little bit like he could be my son in law's younger brother. No I haven't really added anything much to my ammie's that I can think of. I've been seeing a lot of films but they've all been so mediocre that there's simply nothing that I can say about them. Its been like going to one loooong Chuck Norris film festival. After you've said "unrealized potential" and "identity crisis" so many times all your reviews tend to sound as much alike as the films were. Know what I mean? I may just have to resort to pulling some of my old favorites off the shelf instead of relying on Netflix for material to review. Although the next one in line has possibilites. Its called GANDHI, MY FATHER and its about one of the Mahatma's son's who completely turned his back on his father and even converted to Islam. But I want to review B-movies!
 
March 06, 2009
This sounds like the usual ancient evil unearhted that wreaks havoc but you make it sound really interesting! Also, I see you mention Parry Shen, which by itself is a treat for you! (as with me with Bai Ling and Gong Li)Great review. Have you also been expanding on your reviews from amazon? I'll be back to visit everyone this Sunday, I plan on doing a lot of reading...
 
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Quick Tip by . February 15, 2010
posted in Movie Hype
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Nice reworking of the old fraternity-initiation-in-the-haunted-house cliche with some good laughs, neat effects, and a likeable cast.
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karen ()
Ranked #18
I am the poster child for inertia. Where ever I am is where I plan to stay FOREVER.   So much so in fact that it took me decades to understand the punchline about why   the chicken … more
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This horror/comedy released director to DVD in 2004 was written and directed by Rolfe Kanefsky. It starred:  Nectar Rose, Tiffany Shepis, Parry Shen, Brad Dourif, Philip Andre, Jereny Maxwell, David Tom, Charmaine De Grate, and Brooke Burke.
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Horror Movie, Low Budget Films, Independent Films, Horror Comedy, Parry Shen, Brad Dourif, Written & Directed By Rolfe Kanefsky

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