Perhaps like director ‘Alan Smithee’ I, too, should have disowned Old 37 .
In the opening of the film, we meet brothers Jon Roy and Daryl who are watching their father shove his hand into a dead woman’s wound and then lick the blood off of his fingers. After all the violence and abuse the two boys endured over the years, as adults they are sucked into their father’s psychotic ways. Now, Jon Roy and Daryl patrol the open, backwoods highway, posing as paramedics so they can torture wounded victims who call 911. As the viewer you will constantly hear, “Don’t worry, I’m a paramedic”.
The majority of the story revolves around an insecure teenager named Amy whose friend Angel was killed in a car accident at the hands of a guy named Jason (who Amy is hot for). Despite Jason’s involvement with a skanky girlfriend who wears a bad wig, Amy still wants to be with him. She eventually finds out that Jason is responsible for her friend Angel’s death as well as the death of another woman. As the viewer we’re forced to watch Amy for the majority of the movie. Amy decides that in order to feel comfortable with herself (aka to date Jason and be popular) she needs a full makeover which involves a boob job. It’s just kind of ridiculous that she knows this guy is murderer but she still wants to be with him. Throughout the film, more corpses pile up, but truth be told there really isn’t any explanation as to why.
We were all teenagers once, however were we really that dumb? I think not. Let me just state Amy’s makeover was awful. First off, Amy’s mother was totally fine with her 16 year old daughter getting a boob job for the attention a guy. Ok, Kris Jenner! Although her mother wasn’t full developed in the film, she seemed like she only cared about securing dates for herself. Once Amy had her so called makeover there were scenes of her in the salon getting her hair and make up done but the crazy thing is Amy just had on Jason’s girlfriend’s wig. Seriously, the exact same wig because the girlfriend dyed her hair (aka took her wig off). Really? There had to be enough money in the budget for a second wig…
Fortunately, whenever Jon Roy and Daryl are on screen, things are pretty entertaining, especially their backstory. My problem with this film isn’t it’s a low budget but that there was so much going on. The teens in this film are so stereotypical, in one particular scene there’s a couple driving at 70 mph while the girl is sitting on the guys lap while her is driving, sucking on his face. The guy isn’t even watching the road but he’s still driving at full speed. The girl even says to the guy “Please don’t kill me I haven’t even been to California yet.” Um…what? Is it really too much to simply pull over the car? It’s just ridiculous. The story line around Jon Roy and Daryl has potential because the idea of paramedics torturing wounded accident victims is terrifying. But it’s never fully explored.
Old 37 was supported through crowdfunding which has become a progressively popular tool for independent filmmakers. Independent horror films are prevailing. Just take a look at It Follows, The Babadook and We Are Still Here! These films prove that horror fans are craving a well developed plot that brings something fresh to the table. A limited budget is no longer the hold back it used to be. People are doing more with less and the results are often brilliant.
Personally, I have always been a fan of low budget films because I believe it enhances creativity and resourcefulness which ultimately leads to a more entertaining finished product. However, when it comes to Old 37 this film was a major disappointed that lacked creativity, particularly in terms of character development.
Overall, Old 37 is a brutal and bloody slasher but it isn’t written well nor is it well paced. Bill Mosely and Kane Hodder completely carry the film and unfortunately everyone else is irrelevant. I wanted less teen drama and more Jon Roy and Daryl causing bodies to pile up.
WICKED RATING: [usr=3]
Title: Old 37
Director: Alan Smithee
Writer(s): Joe Landes, Paul Travers
Stars: Kane Hodder, Bill Moseley
Studio/ Production Co: Big Picture Media
Length: 84 Minutes