In addition to the usual reviews and comments you would find on a horror movie blog, this is also a document of the wonderfully vast horror movie section of the video store I worked at in my youth.

Friday, August 1, 2008

Crazy About Munn

I may have mentioned before that I am an avid watcher of the G4 Network and as a result have become very fond of Olivia Munn, co-host of Attack Of The Show. Her on-air unpredictability (she’s prone to sudden outbursts of profanity), her acute fear of loud noises (hence said cursing) and never being afraid to look like an idiot for the sake of comedy are just a few reasons I find her so endearing. Oh, and she also happens to be incredibly easy on the eyes.

When I found out she was appearing in an upcoming horror flick called Insanitarium, I was naturally excited to have two of my worlds collide. Sure, it was a direct-to-DVD title likely to be shit on a stick, but at least Olivia had fifth billing, meaning she had more than just a walk-on part. Last night, I was finally able to sit down and watch Insanitarium. With the all the exhaustive G4 coverage of E3 & Comic-Con over the last few weeks, you’d think I’d be tired of her by now. Not a chance.

After Jack (Jesse Metcalfe) loses contact with his institutionalized sister Lily (Kiele Sanchez), he gets himself committed so that he can break her out. Once inside, he discovers that head of staff Dr. Gianetti (Peter Stormare) is performing radical experiments on his patients – and Lily may be next!

Right up front, yes it’s true, Insanitarium isn’t a particularly good movie. The first half is pretty rough, due in no small part to Peter Stormare. This fucking guy, man! Does he miss meals so he can chew more scenery? I can only think of two movies (Fargo, where he basically does a low rent Mr. Blonde and Dancer In The Dark, his one saving grace) where he wasn’t a complete fucking cartoon. Also distracting was the gore work. Did they have two different companies working on this? I say this because some shots were solid and others… not so much. Who knew catheads screwed off as easily as bottle caps?

I will say that Insanitarium improves substantially in the last act, though that may have just been because I was into it by that point. I was clinging to hope that Olivia Munn’s character Nancy was going to make it, even though I was well aware that horror logic dictated she was the expendable character in the remaining group of four. She holds her own though and does well in her first substantial role in a feature. It was refreshing to see Olivia outside of her usual environment of baby oil slides and dangling hot dogs.

Olivia kicking ass and taking names.

In addition to Olivia, there were several other people of note in this. Armin Shimerman (Buffy’s Principal Snyder) plays a Hannibal Lecter type character in the maximum-security ward and I also recognized Kiele Sanchez and Carla Gallo from their time in TV’s Lost and Carniv├ále respectively.

Without the Olivia factor, Insanitarium would be fairly forgettable for me, but you could do a lot worse. Like I said before, it really does go a long way to redeeming itself during its climax.

I hope to see you again soon Livie. Maybe next time you’ll even be the Final Girl!

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