Today fellow fiends, we look at DreamWorks' Blu-Ray re-release of The Ruins.
The first words spoken in this little gem is "Help Me" over and over, and let's face it the first 15 minutes made me want to scream the same thing, and run to the nearest liquor dispensary. I was presented with a dash of the usual bull shot consisting of drunken youth on Mexican holiday and female angst over selfish boyfriends. Of course it would not be complete without references to oral sex, and gratuitous nudity shots. Ok, so maybe it was not so bad except for the total lack of plot beyond little Jeffrey going to Medical School and the girlfriend being pissed off about it. (Men are such pigs...) And then things actually get interesting with the arrival of a German Archeology enthusiast who invites our little troop of heroes to help excavate a Mayan Ziggurat. The movie is called The Ruins, I guess because only a dork like me might think a movie called ziggurat might be cool. Now if this was an Indiana Jones film, it would have been over in about five minutes after the German invite. But lucky for us carelessness and evil win the day in the form of moronic, reckless good times, and Mexicans who don't speak Spanish. Seemingly without cause the locals who live around this huge ruin force the group up the pyramid like ruin with deathly warning without acknowledgement of the young med student's meager attempt at Spanish with the native peoples.
Well, finally the shit hits the fan, and hence the movie begins. It was like waiting for a check in the mail, but I must admit it was worth the wait. The Ruins takes the form a modern day Blob or 50's era science gone wrong film. Our Young German archeologist student finds his poor brother (also a ziggurat enthusiast apparently) under some weeds eaten alive! Finally a bit of cool factor to see here. Well since the natives won't let them down off the Ruin, they figure to go exploring and make the best of the situation and climb down into the ruin. Right off the bat, the poor German guy has his rope snap and into the darkness he falls with a laugh my ass off thud. What a schmuck! So while poor Fritz is lying in the dark all jacked up with a broken back, the girls being lighter are volunteered to bring him back up. They build a makeshift rack, and without concern for his pain, they twist his clumsy ass up, make him scream a few times, and up he comes. End of act 2.
It turns out after a bit of lamenting for our Fritz, they have worse issues than pissed off natives or falling Germans. Someone in the previous party dropped an active cell phone down the ruin, that works, while no else's does. They obviously need rescue, and a phone would be nice. Well after a good night's sleep they realize that one of the girls has vines growing under her skin. Talk about V.D..... Also our proud German scholar has had his legs eaten down to the bone. Sucks for him, because now we see why the swift end is coming for our friends here. It seems as though we have man eating plants here folks, now aint that a bitch? And this isn't the Little Shoppe of Horrors either! It also turns out these suckers make mimic voices and other sounds like ummmm, cell phones! Long story short this little family fave ends with one escaping, maybe.... and two new jackanapes showing up for games, laughs and cartoon fun!
Overall a fun romp of gore and mayhem especially the amputation scene and suturing. Maybe I'm just mad, aren't we all, but this movie was actually pretty damn enjoyable to watch as these clueless people (used loosely) take three forever to find out what's eating them. Literally.
Movie: 3 out of 5
I watched this on a Sony 1080HP240hz monitor with lossless 5.1 Dolby Audio. I was very impressed for such nice treatment for such a middle of the road outing. The bright lush green jungle was sharp and vivid. The pitch blacks of the ruins and night scenes were true black, and devoid of grays, or poor quality. While not exactly reference quality, it's not a bad choice either. The creepy noise of the jungle and murderous playthings of our protagonist's nightmare scope of amazement were pretty impressive, and crystal clear.
Audio/Video 4.5 out of 5
Overall: 4 out of 5
What saves this film from rental only shame is its damn good a/v presentation. It turns the otherwise average horror film into a pretty fun ride for all involved. It will never be confused with a classic, but if you find a clearance sale, what the hell eh?