Movie Reviews 223 – The Legend of the Psychotic Forest Ranger (2011)

Legend of the Psychotic Forest RangerWith a title like The Legend of the Psychotic Forest Ranger, I couldn’t resist getting this DVD when I saw it. (In fact I accidentally ended up buying it twice, but that’s another story.)

I don’t mind film makers using the same cliché storyline of kids going to a remote cabin for a little innocent (and not so innocent) fun, but it only works when they bring something new to the table and don’t just retell the same story over and over. Aside from some Smokey the Bear and Yogi Bear jokes the rest of the film lacks any bite (Smokey, Yogi or otherwise) and was barely (bearly?) tolerable.

A dimly presented preamble of some forest ranger having gone a little insane a few years in past, we cut over to the kids making their vacation trek. Instead of ending at their intended destination however, they get lost, run out of gas, and stumble upon a conveniently isolated and empty house in the woods. The mismatched foursome are soon joined by another group where each of the kids in group A conveniently match with a counterpart in group B. And then the loonie, excuse me, psychotic, ranger starts taking them down one after another.

There is an over reliance on fake scares coming in a steady stream, followed by one lame joke after another. Most of the gore is splashback blood from psycho’s kills although there are one or two where they actually spent a bit of budget to show some FX.

The psycho ranger (Michael G. MacDonald) maintains a smirky grim at every appearance delivering at least one corny line of dialogue before every kill. I’ve got to admit that he does come off with a slightly chilling demeanor, but even that gets tiring and repetitive after a while. Once you’ve seen his evil grimace a few times it becomes a ‘by the numbers’ performance without any change.

The movie doesn’t live up to the great poster art (as so few do), although there are some nicely lit shots of the Ranger is shadow. Another odd thing about this movie is that most, if not the entire movie, seems to have been re-dubbed and voiced over. Not sure if this was intentional, due to problems recording, or maybe even due to some quirky sound editing which only made it sound re-dubbed, but it just added to the list of annoyances.

Instead of a “Hi ya Boo Boo!” this one gets a “Bye Ya Boo Boo” from me.

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