Wednesday, September 27, 2006

Tamara (2006)

There must be something about the democratic nature of horror fandom that attracts more hopeless no-talents per capita than any other genre. Blame it on the supportive scene and the DIY ethic of the modern slasher film -- the message goes out as anyone can make these films, regardless of budget, and someone will like it if you do. Knowing that, I can hold out the teensiest bit of begrudged understanding for something like The Butcher, seeing as how the filmmakers were by all evidence working with fifteen dollars and a Kodak FunSaver. More befuddling to me is when the paucity of imagination evinced in films like The Butcher gets coupled with a healthy budget, thereby signifying to the intelligent viewer that this film was made not out of misguided love for the genre but because someone was looking to steal money out of the pockets of eternally gullible and optimistic horror fans. So goes the story with Tamara, as low-down and witless a freshly-polished turd as I've yet seen. The story is typical wallflower's-supernatural-revenge stuff (the title character, an aspiring teenage witch, is killed during a prank gone wrong but comes back from the dead as a lethal hottie) rendered with as little panache as possible, the acting is awful, the tension is nonexistent, blah blah blah. All the usual complaints apply. What makes this worse than the average DTV shitheap is that the filmmakers go out of their way to ruin any chances the film has at becoming rude, nasty entertainment. Whenever Tamara starts to use her powers in interesting ways, director Jeffrey Haft either cuts away before the going gets good (I'm thinking the queer sex scene in particular) or hasn't the wherewithal to push it far enough. On the latter, I'm thinking mainly of the black chick's curse -- compare her ravenous hunger, which results in her devouring a hors d'oevres plate and chewing on her fingers a bit, to a similar but far more grotesque bit in The Eternal Evil of Asia, then explain to me why Haft even bothered. There's nothing here in this crass commercial product for any but the most undiscerning horror fan. Tamara was made by mercenaries.

Grade: F


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