Run time: 78 mins
In Theaters: Tuesday 7th April 2009
Distributed by: LionsGate Entertainment
Contactmusic.com: 1 / 5
IMDB: 2.4 / 10
Director: Ulli Lommel
Producer: Ulli Lommel, Nola Roeper
Screenwriter: Ulli Lommel
Baseline Killer is so bad that it's not even a movie. It more resembles some punk adolescent's deliberately lame home video that he makes with friends over a long weekend and stops finding funny after watching it more than once. The only difference: Baseline Killer was actually made for profit. And it takes itself seriously. And it is actually being released on DVD. The horror inflicted upon innocents who view this "film" is far worse than anything that happens to the Baseline Killer's victims.
Horror films are a dime a dozen nowadays -- Hollywood churns out a slew of them each year, and the vast majority of them are absolute garbage. The formula is the same: Put some slick visualist in charge of shooting attractive twentysomethings having sex and then getting slaughtered, and then just watch the opening weekend tally. It works in spite of -- or perhaps because of -- its utter rejection of morality, human decency, and common sense. Following that trend, Baseline Killer represents something relatively fresh and new -- a film so badly conceived, so embarrassingly shot, so hideously acted, so lacking in any trace of cognizant filmmaking ability that the inherent ugliness of its content is the least of its problems.
Want a plot? The movie apparently centers on a large group of young women who meet for a "reunion" (of what, the film discreetly leaves out) at a random "warehouse" (of what...well, you get the idea). They exchange inconsequential and incomprehensible bits of vapid dialogue for about 20 minutes while the titular villain stalks them in strange patterns (one second he is 50 feet away, then he is curiously watching from above). Then, suddenly, the lights go out, screeches are heard, and one by one the women disappear, only to be found minutes later with their faces splattered with ketchup. This pattern is repeated for the next 55 minutes.
Why does a movie like this exist, and why does it qualify as a "movie?" Any distributor's purchase of a film this heinous could surely have nothing to do with quality, since there is literally none on display. The cinematography is so atrocious it would give most film lovers a stomachache. The characters are so abhorrently drawn that they don't even qualify as stereotypes -- the only two I remember are the poor girl with the garish, trailer-park blond wig, and the lesbian character, who can be identified by her black vest. Frequent dialogue stutters and mistakes go unedited, even though most of the film is edited as if a simple dialogue scene was a blood-curdling action set piece, with whirling cameras and angles that switch so often that it barely makes sense.
Ulli Lommel, who is at least smart enough to found his own production company, which he dubs the "Hollywood House of Horror," is the writer and director of Baseline Killer. He may never make a legitimate movie in his life, but he might have a promising future in the porn industry, since he clearly has a penchant for writing sexist slurs and making women suffer. Too bad his writing is so poor that it lacks the conviction of even hardcore porn. Lommel has at least opened my eyes to a whole new world, a world I have scarcely witnessed in my life: the dark, ugly slums of direct-to-video horror.