Archive for November 24, 2012

Writer-director-producer Straw Weisman is one of those guys who’s had an interesting and varied career (mostly) on the margines of ultra-low-rent independent film, and you literally never know just where he’s gonna pop up. His professional high points are probably serving as screenwriter on the ultra-mean race-hate exploitation classic Fight For Your Life and as one of the producers on, believe it nor not, the” New Age” documentary mini-sensation What The Bleep Do We Know? Apart from that he’s mostly known, to the extent that he’s “known” at all, for direct-to-video horror and suspense efforts like the one we’re here to take a look at today, 2009’s Trunk.

Filmed in and around the Los Angeles area for just over a million bucks (a figure I frankly find hard to believe — it looks like it could, and probably should, have come in for a fraction of that cost),  this flick features exactly two characters, two sets, and one car.

The characters are Megan, a divorced mother of one and recovering alcoholic, and George, a psycho serial killer who tosses her in the trunk of his car (hence the title, obviously); the sets are the front seat of the car and its trunk (which is most certainly not a real car trunk but a constructed, and very claustrophobic, prop); and the car is a shitty old two-door Lincoln.
To be perfectly honest, there’s not a whole lot more about this flick that you need to know. It was shot on HD and looks it, it “stars” the reasonably attractive but in no way talented Jennifer Day as Megan and the not-in-a-fun-way OTT David Blanchard as George, and the whole movie is a series of mostly rather annoying conversations between would-be killer and determined-not-to-be-a-victim conducted via a two-way Radio Shack speaker set-up installed in the car. She attempts to provide armchair psychoanalysis (difficult to do when you’re not sitting), and he dishes out lamely generic psychotic threats to her person that he never follows up on.
All in all, to say that Trunk promises a lot more than it delivers is a massive understatement. Given that our erstwhile killer doesn’t even manage to rifle through the contents of his would-be victim’s purse, much less snatch it from her altogether, before taking her captive it’s pretty obvious from the get-go that its contents are going to hold the keys to her makeshift salvation, and truth be told the ending of the movie is telegraphed to viewers almost immediately, thus rendering the 90 minutes or so between her capture and ultimate escape a complete waste of time. There’s moments of mildly interesting dialogue between the two of them here and there, but mostly it’s all mind-numbingly stupid, predictable stuff, and hardly worth paying attention to.
If you must, Trunk is available on DVD from an outfit called Maverick Entertainment. Widescreen picture and 5.1 sound are both perfectly serviceable, and there are no extras to speak of. It might make for decent background noise while you’re cooking, cleaning, clipping your toenails, or just watching the paint dry or the flagpole rust, but honestly, you can probably do better even in that regard.