Sunday, November 4, 2012

Terror at Baxter U (2003)

Pack: Tomb of Terrors
Disc: 1

Subgenre: Comedy, Monster

Year: 2003

Rated: Unrated
Length: 85 minutes

Director: Jeff Burton
Writer: Bill Vincent
Starring: Johanna Lixey, Phil Van Wagoner, Rob Blankenhorn

Synopsis: A group of anthropology students at a Michigan college try to stop a Chupacabras from eating their classmates.


Turns up late for class. Blames chupacabra for eating students.

Me gusta!

Next day's Facebook status: In a relationship.

It's not easy being green.

Review: Oh. My. God! Terror at Baxter U has to be one of the worst monster films that I've ever seen in my life. You don't even get to see the monster!!!

At the beginning, the hot couple promised at least a great looking cast, but that didn't happen either. I don't think I've seen a plainer bunch of non-actors since the last indie horror movie that I watched yesterday.

When the first stiff headless body appeared, it was obvious that the budget couldn't have been more than $100 for the whole thing. I highly doubt that anyone got paid to be in this anyway so I commend them for turning up to do it. It's just a pity that they didn't know what to do.

Basically, what you have here is a college student's project using his friends and acquaintances (who think they can act) all trying to outdo each other but failing. I'll give the director/cameraman some credit for the Batman-style angles and his use of colour to differentiate the rooftop (orange) from the basement (green), but that's about it really. The lighting is bad, and the framing of the shots is quite disastrous in most cases.

The acting is atrocious. You can tell that most of the "actresses" are only in this for either their hot bodies or pretty faces even though there's no real nudity or anyone who is more than average-looking even with youth on their side. I had trouble deciding on a "hot actress" for this one although I was torn between the female cop named Barbara (Amy VandenBerghe) and the professor's assistant Irene (Suzanne DiBiazio) for most of the movie. None could beat the blonde in a bikini from the first scene though.

Nobody really stands out except perhaps for the nasty female Professor, Cassandra Dregstone (Janet Lockwood), but only because she's vile. Marty (Rick Kunzi) comes a close-second though when he's dressed in his Hallowe'en costume as a clown and drunkenly wanders around. There is some intentional amusement for a fraction of a millisecond when he screams after getting his willy caught in his zipper.

The very predictable "romance" between Jason (Ryan Gaffke) and Jill (Kimmi Voight) has no chemistry to it. She's a hot kisser by the looks of it, but she's still a little bit chubby, and he could do so much better. I'll give that relationship zero for believability, and minus marks for the one Jill is supposed to be having with asshole Marty.

The story of an old Professor (Bill Vincent) who believes in the chupacabra (or "chupacabras" because it's female!) which nobody else does is the old "Cassandra" trope. The stereotypical hard-nosed detective (Rob Blankenhorn) who suspects the wrong guy, the Scooby Doo-style antics of the students, the creepy janitor (Tom Ultz), and the final "surprise" twist are all so formulaic as to be boring. So much for innovation in indie movies.

Apart from a tomahawk to the head and a decent gunshot, the kills in Terror at Baxter U mostly occur off camera with only the aftermath and pools of corn syrup blood to provide the gore. There's no suspense to any of the scenes, and the "terror" of the title really ought to be replaced with the word "boredom".

Even without a dog, this was a live-action Scooby Doo adventure for the most part without any intentional or even unintentional laughs.

Most Memorable Moment(s): Marty, dressed as a clown, urinating in the bushes.

Originality: None.

Best Line(s): "Goatsucker... cocksucker... cough... whatever..."
Worst Line(s): "I must not tell you that. It's too dangerous for you to know."

Best Effect(s): Snapes the janitor getting shot in the head.
Worst Effect(s): The headless corpse being thrown over the balcony.

Goriness (out of 10): 1
Sexiness (out of 10): 2
Profanities (out of 10): 2

Hottest Actor/Actress: Johanna Lixey who plays the ill-fated blonde, Mary Lewis, in the first scene.

Hot girls get eaten by monsters too.

Picture Quality: Below average (4:3 ratio)
Audio Quality: Average

Rating (out of 10): 2


IMDb or Wiki:

Final Thoughts: Someone likes Dario Argento.

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