Alice in Murderland aka The Alice in Murderland Murders (2010)
My Synopsis: Somebody watched a bunch of B-rated slasher movies from the 70's and decided they could do one, while sort of adapting Alice in Wonderland.
I love B horror as much as the next person. Hell, I'm even working on the script for one involving zombies as I write this review. What it is I love about them is their over the top camp (Piranha) overacting (Sleepaway Camp I - ??), insane story lines (Toxic Avenger) and ability to be taken seriously as a cult classic work of art (revisit those movies mentioned earlier). Of course there is also those low budgets that blew away all the usual conventions by being amazing on all levels (Halloween). I've always felt it was best to walk into B rated movies with very low expectations and let the film maker play with their low budget in the hopes that they amaze me with something I never would have expected. Usually that's delivered via fantastic cinematography, bad blood and gore, and/or kitchy humor that tells me even the film makers didn't take their subject matter too seriously. That is what seems to be the formula for the best B movies. Either it's brilliant despite it's low budget or it has no problem making fun of itself and the conventions it's playing with.
Alice in Murderland aka The Alice in Murderland Murders (2010) is, without argument, as low budget as one can get. Now I haven't done the research and don't even remember how it came to my attention. But as is usually the case I'm sure the whole reason I got turned onto it in the first place was the title. It promised some inner workings that payed homage to a literary masterpiece that is scary and disturbing. That can't be a bad thing, can it? I'll answer that in a moment. All I'll say at this time is it looked, felt, and sounded like a student project film. Most likely controlled by one of the many women in it. But first, did it really have anything to do with Alice in Wonderland?
As quick as I can, the real synopsis in brief...
We open with a woman being shown a house to buy. The buyer and the seller don't appear to like each other much and we don't know why. Something that has to do with the buyers daughter Alice who is very young. Eventually the seller kills the buyer in the basement. Flash to college aged Alice and her college girlfriends. All of them have issues from being stupid to being morbid. The popular girl is also dating Alice's ex-boyfriend. Each girl pretty much represents a common stereotype. The 'I don't care about anyone' girl is Alice's best friend and is determined Alice gets an 'Alice in Wonderland' themed birthday party, conveniently enough, in the old house that her mother was killed in which is now owned by her professor/uncle. He is the only guy invited to the party which makes him either gay or extremely creepy. The actor does a reasonably decent job convincing as much. As the party progresses, a half dozen girls, one professor/uncle/house owner (all dressed as Wonderland characters, the owner/uncle insisted on being the Mad Hatter, further misdirection), and the ex/boyfriend who sneaks in, systematically get cornered and butchered by the uninvited Jaberwocky, singling out Alice, of course.
Wasn't it nice if me to not ruin the end for you? Well I guess that depends on whether you not you've been keeping up with the reviews. If a movie total and complete schlock I usually have no qualms with giving away endings. Though this one is far from worthwhile i don't feel the need to ruin it further because I strongly believe it does a good enough job for itself. That kind of self destruction is probably worth finding out for yourself. But I do have some criticism before you do.
The cinematography was less that not specially. There were no interesting camera angles or tricks. I'm pretty sure it sat on a tripod the whole time. The acting is best described as future porn stars trying to act. Yea, even creepy uncle/professor guy. The women all played static stereotypical characters. They didn't even play them well, mediocre at best and as stuck into one stereotype as they were they even failed to over act. With the possible exception of Alice, she started out blame and ended WTF? that is partially the stories fault but mostly cuz she wasn't any good. I think she probably wrote the film. Which brings me to story... The Alice in Wonderland connection was flimsy. It only appears in the form of the lead bing named Alice and that hey have a masquerade dressed as characters. The reason I won't give away the end is because it is your basic whose doing it slasher movie that by the end, given the information you're left with, you may find yourself not really caring. I guess what bugs me the most is the brutalization of a literary classic. Nothing concrete connects! I mean, in all reality I think a writer of porn would do better connecting to it. In fact I've probably seen that one, a Cheshire cat and Alice doing things I thought I forgot. Anyway, let's get to the gore!
Usually the use of gorein a B-rated horror is where you can expect to laugh, but in this I think it just comes off as pathetic. In one notable scene a victim is gutted and their innards explode onto the surface without the evidence of a cut even been made. Speaking of cuts, there was a lot if stabbing and spewing blood, who actually got stabbed and where the blood came from is unknown. Now the girl glued to the toilet seat was pretty funny when she got her butt cheeks ripped off.
So rating this one is a no brainer, which only makes sense because making it didn't require one either. With everything I've said I give 2 out of 5. It would be a great film to show to students as demonstration of what not to do. I give it a two because it does have one my favorite lines I've ever heard in a brain dead slasher spoken by the brain dead girl... "I don't see how she could be a Psychology major. She never talks!" isn't a psychologists job to listen? I really hope this was a student film, but hen find myself lamenting the state of film schools. I was in a better short then this and we didn't have any money or blood and gore. But there i go, making myself sound so awesome again. I do apologize, as the makers of this movie should.
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Til next we bleed,