I seem to be on a roll, Bastards. A bad one.
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THE TENANT started out promising. The typical dark and stormy night. A delivery of stolen heads to a creepy sanitarium in the middle of nowhere. A mad doctor. All the hallmarks of a fun horror flick. And for the first twenty minutes, that’s exactly what I got.
Unfortunately, THE TENANT is ninety-six minutes long.
“Hello! Hello!! HELLO!!!”
After some decent exposition regarding the origins of the monster, we segue into an uninspired slasher flick. It felt like the filmmakers gave up: “This is getting complicated. Flash forward a few years, put some unlikeable assholes in a poorly-lit hospital, and let’s play Ten Little Indians.”
But like I always do, let’s accentuate the positive. The beginning is solid. Dr. Walter Newman (credited on IMDB as Randy Molnar, though I’m pretty sure it’s James Lipton) is the director of an insane asylum, but his true passion is developing a serum to cure genetic mutation. Apparently, he has a freaky foot, though we never get to see it. As far as special effects are concerned, less is more, right? RIGHT?!!
This is Michael Berryman’s cameo. In its entirety. Enjoy.
Anyway, though his intentions are honorable, his methods are less than exemplary. Dr. Newman utilizes everything but the kitchen sink: the aforementioned human heads, spinal fluid from a cannibal, eleven secret herbs and spices – you name it. All in the name of SCIENCE! His wife Olivia, on the other hand, could give a fuck less about genetic freaks. And once she becomes ripe with child, the spoil sport insists Walter give up his wacky experiments and focus on more kosher subjects: like impending fatherhood and running the loony bin.
Dr. Newman’s assistant Emily, however, has other plans. She believes Walter’s research is bigger than any marital strife the new parents might be experiencing. In a brief flash of genius, she decides to inject the dubious serum into Olivia’s baby-maker. Wackiness, of course, ensues.
“The road ain’t no place to start a family.”
HUMAN RESOURCES TIP: Whenever you’re looking to bring on a new employee, DO NOT hire the bitch with crazy eyes. Please see the above paragraph as a reference.
Many years later, a group of deaf kids (cheaper than actors who require dialogue!) find themselves trapped inside the same (now defunct) sanitarium. One by one, each piece of nondescript monster fodder is knocked off in a variety of mundane ways. The only somewhat memorable characters are Jeff, a former convict/current asshole who looks like a strung out Steve Perry (seriously guys, ponytails are not sensitive!), and Liz, who (SURPRISE!) has a connection with the rampaging beast (though I shan’t give it away…OK, it’s her brother).
When the dust finally settles, we tie everything up with a contrived twist at the very end that doesn’t make a lick of damn sense. Thanks, movie! You build me up, you let me down, then you shit on my face. I usually pay good money to prostitutes for such services.
And let the record state: Despite second billing, Michael Berryman is only featured for about ten minutes. THE FUCK?!
VERDICT: SKIP IT!
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