If the goal of "Lake Dead" was to be tasteless, then mission accomplished. If its goal was to be entertaining, better luck next time. This is one of the most dreadful horror films I've ever seen--so dreadful that I'm not sure it was made with the horror genre in mind. I say this because, so far as I can tell, it's not about scaring the audience, but about being excessive, and not in a way that's campy or satirical. I saw this movie late at night, with a small but dedicated group of people who actually laughed, cheered, and applauded all throughout. I immediately knew that I was out of my league, but since it's a league I have absolutely no intention of signing up for, I guess it's okay.
This film functions on a few basic levels: (1) it crams in as many slasher movie clichés as possible; (2) it erases the fine line between scary good fun and indecency; and (3) it creates completely one-dimensional characters and uses them in a plot so contrived, predictable, and disgusting that it would work much better as a parody (but even that's pushing it). If you can imagine a cross between "The Texas Chainsaw Massacre" and "Friday the 13th" with a little bit of "Psycho" thrown in, you still wouldn't come close understanding what "Lake Dead" is all about, simply because the first three films are much better. And since I'm no fan of "Friday the 13th," that really must give you an idea of just how much I hated "Lake Dead."
The plot: three sisters--Brielle (Kelsey Crane), Sam (Tara Gerard), and Kelli (Kelsey Wedeen)--find out that they have a long lost grandfather, who just died (under circumstances I won't reveal). His will states that they're to be given ownership of a family-run motel located in a remote wooded area. As the product of an alcoholic father, the three sisters are at odds with their family. Sam is the worst of all: a boozy, foulmouthed drug addict who wants nothing to do with anyone, least of all her father. When Brielle and her fiancée, Ben (Jim Devoti), tell her that they plan to go up to the motel after the grandfather's funeral, they open up to the possibility of selling the property and walking away with handsome sums of money.
Brielle and Ben meet with Bill (Alex A. Quinn) and his girlfriend, Amy (Vanessa Viola). They also meet with Kelli, and she brings along her friend Tanya (Malea Richardson). They all gather in Bill's RV and begin the journey to the motel. Almost as soon as the trip begins, Tanya and Bill begin eyeing each other, and this is bad because Bill has a reputation of cheating on his girlfriends. I guess attractive young women are too irresistible, which is interesting since every female character (with one exception) fits that description. There seems to be a rule in slasher films that at least one of these characters has to be a flirtatious nymphomaniac, and for "Lake Dead," that role is assumed by Tanya, who at one point jumps at the opportunity to help Bill collect firewood for camp; to collect wood means having to leave the group, and leaving the group means a few minutes alone, etc. etc.
But it isn't until the villains appear that the film really nosedives. Running the motel is an old woman named Gloria (Pat McNeely), who proves once and for all that a horror movie character with a Southern drawl is always a part of some insane, inbred family. There's a tradition, you see, of keeping the bloodline pure, and she'll do whatever it takes to ensure that this tradition stays. And then there's her son, Chuck (James C. Burnes), who, of course, is a sheriff. The brute forces of the family are twin brothers who are large, ugly, and mute--they're the ones who actually do the killing, and they usually rely on hatchets. This family begins stalking Brielle and her sisters, and these scenes pave the way for blood, gore, and a ridiculous showdown.
I can't imagine why anyone would want to see this film, and I definitely can't imagine how those who do see it would find it enjoyable. "Lake Dead" is truly one of the worst of the worst, a shameful, unpleasant, sick, hopeless film that doesn't earn the right to go as far as it does. If it had gone in the direction of a spoof, then maybe some of the revolting excess could be overlooked. But this film plays itself seriously, and it actually expects us to treat it as such. To whoever is reading this right now: don't even consider giving this movie a chance. Do yourself a tremendous favor and forget that you've ever heard of it. It's not worth it. I think one of Kelsey Wedeen's lines says it best: "This is bad! This is just ... awful!" Yes. It really is.
Pros: cinematography Cons: nothing redeeming The Bottom Line: “Could sister be a child, Of the dead lake” ~Adagio I’m not one to be squeamish about slasher flicks but Lake Dead, really, rather tasteless. It’s much like Hills Have Eyes & Texas Chainsaw [the originals not the dweeb new ones] where people are killed just because they exist. The other thing they have … more
Growing up a shy kid in a quiet suburb of Los Angeles, Chris Pandolfi knows all about the imagination. Pretend games were always the most fun for him, especially on the school playground; he and his … more
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A trio of sisters travels to their departed grandfather's home to collect on their inheritance, but they get far more than they bargained for. The disturbed family that has taken over his house doesn't want to give it up, and they show the girls something far less than country hospitality.