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Malevolence
Malevolence
Actors: Al Bertolone, Courtney Bertolone, Keith Chambers, Jay Cohen, Danielle Cunetta
Genres: Horror, Science Fiction & Fantasy, Mystery & Suspense
R     2005     1hr 30min

It's ten years after the kidnapping of Martin Bristol. Taken from a backyard swing at his home at the age of six, he is forced to witness the unspeakable crimes of a deranged madman. For years, Martin's whereabouts have re...  more »

     

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Movie Details

Actors: Al Bertolone, Courtney Bertolone, Keith Chambers, Jay Cohen, Danielle Cunetta
Genres: Horror, Science Fiction & Fantasy, Mystery & Suspense
Sub-Genres: Horror, Science Fiction & Fantasy, Mystery & Suspense
Studio: Starz / Anchor Bay
Format: DVD - Color,Widescreen
DVD Release Date: 04/19/2005
Release Year: 2005
Run Time: 1hr 30min
Screens: Color,Widescreen
Number of Discs: 1
SwapaDVD Credits: 1
Total Copies: 0
Members Wishing: 0
MPAA Rating: R (Restricted)
Languages: English

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Member Movie Reviews

Barbara F. (dragontoes) from HUACHUCA CITY, AZ
Reviewed on 7/10/2010...
This is an okay movie, not anything like I expect. It was rather slow moving and the characters, especially the female, bitched a lot. Four people rob bank, one takes woman and child hostage. Drive to creepy old house. Everyone meets there, most die by wierdo next door.
2 of 2 member(s) found this review helpful.

Movie Reviews

Not bad at all
Mark | Madison, Wisconsin | 12/22/2006
(4 out of 5 stars)

"I saw this movie and there were quiet a few scarey parts that I didn't know what would happen. I found it very interesting and it held my attentiion until the last minute of the movie. If you are into a psychological horror, not necessarily a gore movie, try this one."
Old school slasher or unoriginal ripoff? The world may neve
HorrorMan | The Marsten House | 03/01/2007
(2 out of 5 stars)

""Malevolence" is a slasher flick which borrows significantly from "Halloween", "The Texas Chainsaw Massacre" and "Friday the 13th Part 2". The fact that this plagiarism is so evident leads one to believe that the makers of this film were paying homage to the classics. Maybe, but the most glaring problem with "Malevolence" is not so much its formulaic slasher mentality, but its monotonously generic and artificial quality created by the poor acting and poor execution that consequently results in a lack of a cohesive horror movie atmosphere which is essential to any horror movie's success. "Malevolence" is big on plagiarism of classic horror movies, short on substance and nonexistant when it comes to style. Still, the easily recognizable slasher flick formular is bound to draw a smile from slasher flick lovers.

"Malevolence" is about a group of bank robbers who plan on robbing a bank and meeting at an old house out in the middle of nowhere to split up the money. However, things do not go according to plan. When our bank robbers finally end up at this old house, something much more dangerous than the cops await them. At this point, killings begin to occur by a madman.

What "Malevolence" does not have is character development, suspense, or any real originality to it. This is a clear result of the lack of acting ability and consequent poor execution so clearly evident in this film. Sure, the bank robber slant to the plot is a little bit different, but the actors are so inept in the way it is executed, who cares? It's easy to see where this movie is going. The bank robbing part of the plot is clearly incidental to the typical slasher formula so clearly evident in this film.

The actors in "Malevolence" are clearly below average, and this shows easily from one scene to the next. It's almost like the actors were performing in a high school play at times. The acting comes across as artificial, lifeless and against the grain so to speak. They really struggled with the making of this movie, apparently. The result is a rather poorly executed movie overall that does not flow well from scene to scene. It's fine to be a low-budget slasher flick, but it's hard to make them work unless you have a great director who has a harrowing vision of what he wants.

That being said, "Malevolence" does just enough with what it has to be referred to as a typical slasher flick, and a very fair to average one at best. Ironically, perhaps what saves "Malevolence" is its attempt to get back to the basics of the slasher flick formula. Indeed, while "Malevolence" has little originality to it, the movie does borrow from some of the classics causing the viewer to be interested in the movie from that basis alone. Therefore, it's not so much the easily recognizable slasher flick formula that brings "Malevolence" down (although limitations with this formuala are inevitable), but it is the acting, execution of the plot and screenplay and the artificial and unnatural flow to the movie itself which brings the movie down.

That said, "Malevolence" stays within itself and does not try to do too much, perhaps realizing the limitations of its cast and the movie in general. "Malevolence" borrows from "Halloween" some variation of the theme music at times. For instance, when the camera hits the slasher-villain, that little evil tune starts, a la Michael Myers in "Halloween". Obviously, "Malevolence" is not nearly as effective as portraying this sinister quality of the villain. Sometimes, you just have to smile and laugh about the plagiarism. Also, the viewer will notice that the slasher-villain shows up in the background at times just outside of the characters' peripheral vision, another steal from "Halloween".

Also, "The Texas Chainsaw Massacre" is represented by the old farmhouse with human bones so clearly evident along with bones of a bull and other animals. If you listen closely, the viewer can hear the pans clanging in the background, a clear homage to "TCM", or dare I say, highway robbery??

Finally, let's not forgot the hood from "Friday the 13th Part 2", which is the least borrowed from horror movie, but it's clearly evident that the makers of "Malevolence" borrowed this from "Friday the 13th Part 2" because the killer almost looks exactly like Jason with the hood on.

Notwithstanding, its generic slasher formula, almost unbearable acting flaws, and plagiarism of some of the all-time great horror movies, "Malevolence" is not so bad that it is unwatchable. In fact, if you find yourself up really late at night, you could do a lot worse than this slasher as there are some fairly good death scenes with some brutality and, well, if you're like me, you like slashers and you will watch them for what they are and understanding what they are not.

Therefore, if you do not like slashers, STAY CLEAR from "Malevolence", but if you are in the mood for a rather amusing but NOT scary slasher flick you might want to check "Malevolence" out for its blatant plagiarism of the horror classics of yesteryear. One really has to assume that this was homage being paid by the makers of "Malevolence" to the aforementioned classics because it was such a blatant rip-off. I'd like to give "Malevolence" the benefit of the doubt. After all, how many people do the makers of "Malevolence" thing are going to watch this movie that have not seen "Halloween", "Friday the 13th Part 2 and "The Texas Chainsaw Massacre"? That being said, do not expect much than an ordinary slasher flick, and you may not come away to disatisfied. Expect anything more especially with regard to the acting and execution, and you will want to throw your DVD copy of "Malevolence" in the garbage can.


"
A bank heist gone wrong. Slashing gone right.
Dead Kev | www.allthingszombie.com | 06/08/2008
(3 out of 5 stars)

"Well, well, well. Maybe slasher flicks aren't quite as dead as I thought they were. Or more specifically, 'good' slasher flicks. While big studios are busy remaking every old horror movie, checking them off as they go down the list, first-time director Stevan Mena poured himself into the neglected subgenre with his independent film, Malevolence. The hard work paid off, and Mena's seen his film make a successful limited theatrical run and a nice release from Anchor Bay.

Has there ever been a movie where a bank heist goes well? You'd think by now that someone would get it right for a change. In MALEVOLENCE, apparent seasoned law-breakers Max (Keith Chambers) and Kurt (Richard Glover) team up with Max's sister Marylin (Heather Magee) and her boyfriend Julian (Brandon Johnson) for a high-stakes robbery. The four of them do a better job than most Hollywood capers, but to balance out their (relatively) good work at the bank, they picked a very poor spot for their arranged meeting place. Like in real estate, hideouts are all about location, location, location. The abandoned house in the woods they chose makes for a poor one since it's a hop, skip, and a jump from a really irritable neighbor...with a big knife.

It's hard for me to believe that this is Mena's first feature film, but it is. The low budget isn't even noticeable. The first key was to film in 35mm, which automatically gives it a leg up on many indie movies these days. Mena then surrounded himself with a very good crew and a solid cast. I think it's safe to say that the director of photography, Tsuyoshi Kimoto, has a great career ahead of him. The movie 'looks' great all the way through and lighting is never a problem, as it seems to be in a lot of low-budget stuff. Production values look very high, mainly due to the great locations they found to shoot at. The slaughterhouse is an actual slaughterhouse that was shut down many years back, so its dilapidated state is absolutely perfect.

No gratuitous nudity. No excessive gore. No special effects bonanza. No deep underpinnings. Yet, a sack over the head hasn't looked this scary since FRIDAY THE 13TH, PART 2! Why does it work? The script may be a little lukewarm, but Mena knows what he wants. It's simple and straightforward and a serious attempt to make a scary film. It doesn't try to be funny. It just wants to scare you. And often it does. It's the direction. It's the camerawork. It's the great sets. And it's the music, which Mena composed himself. The music is responsible for some of those jump scares, but those aren't the only scares. There's genuine tension being built up.

What doesn't work? Sure, the killer seems really attached to his knife. Really attached. He could have been a tad more inventive. Maybe just once he could have tried a hacksaw. Maybe a screwdriver (flat-head of course). How about a coat hanger? That'd be neat. Something else besides the knife! Other than the killer's reluctance to try new things, there's the obligatory I-don't-want-this-to-be-a-brainless-slasher explanation portion at the end of the film which was far too lengthy. It's making up for everything it didn't bother to explain earlier in the movie, but it didn't really need to. Or at least it could have been done a little more tersely. Just minor qualms, and nothing that should keep you from seeing it.

By the end of it all, MALEVOLENCE is sure to have conjured up images of HALLOWEEN and THE TEXAS CHAINSAW MASSACRE, but you won't mind the similarities. What the cast and crew accomplished with the buget they were is amazing, and should be recognized. They should feel very proud. Many of them should go on to bigger and better things, and I'm anxious to see them."