The Wickeds Review
The digital video revolution is often held up as a means of allowing anyone to make a movie; the technology is small, simple, easy to use and, most importantly, cheap. Some would proclaim this is as a good thing, yet occasionally you come across an effort so poor that you’d wish DV had never been invented. Indeed, it appears to have allowed countless horror fans to go out and emulate their idols, the results being a series of ugly, poorly acted, unimaginative and overly familiar rip-offs.
The Wickeds is a typical example. A blend of Children Shouldn’t Play With Dead Things and Night of the Living Dead, it places a bunch of teens on a road trip, has them wind up at an old house near a cemetery and then unleashes sundry zombies, vampires and even a ghost. It has a “throw it all in” mentality and the reason for this is simple: it’s run out of ideas before it has even begun. Writer David Zagorski and director John Poague simply have no idea as to how an actual horror film works beyond the fact that vampires suck blood and zombies have a tendency to walk fairly slowly. The bottom line is that the film simply isn’t scary; indeed, it finds it impossible to muster up any interest of any kind. As soon as the audience realises just how tired the entire affair is (which literally takes a few minutes), it becomes a task to progress any further.
As such Zagorski and Poague attempt to bulk things out with a series of laughably inept ideas. They introduce some group tensions between our teens, though this amounts solely to a bunch of appalling actors screaming at each other. They also try to make them act like real people, but this means nothing more than peppering the script with “dude” after every sentence or, if they’re female, pointing their asses at the camera. They’re even given a role to Ron Jeremy, though clearly his decision to become a porn star had nothing to do with acting ambitions as is effortlessly proven here. And they also think that they’re being post-modern because The Wickeds supposedly takes place on the disused set of a horror film. Put simply, they’re not. And with all this, it’s also blatantly obvious that they’re not making a great film either.
Shot on cheap DV by a bunch of inexperienced filmmakers, The Wickeds of course looks absolutely awful. Disappointingly, however, Hardgore have compounded the difficulties by offering a very poor transfer. Even the tiniest of movements is blighted by ghosting and the whole thing is riddled with overt artefacting. As for the soundtrack this is equally poor, though here it’s more likely a problem with the filmmaking process as opposed to the disc. That said, this doesn’t make the film any easier to get through. And needless to say, the extras are near non-existent amounting as they do to a trailer plus various promos for other Hardgore releases.