The Strangers review by Matt Fuerst


I've got some really exciting news for the Coen and Wachowski brothers. They can sleep well again. For a moment, when I picked up the low-budget werewolf yarn called The Strangers, directed by brothers Sergei and Yuri Ivanov, I thought we may have a new brother combo climbing the brotherly charts. Luckily enough for the more established brother teams, and unlucky enough for unfortunate viewers, the end result of The Strangers is an unwatchable mess.

I actually paid attention during the film, and got lost. No, it's not like 2001 either, the storyline wasn't over my head. No, instead, the story is disjointed and fairly nonsensical. I don't think they had much of a script editor onboard to cobble the pieces together. The storyline goes something like this:

Trent (Richard Bent) is a werewolf who used to "run with the pack". He got tired of it and apparently killed the leader of the pack, or something. Jade, a fellow werewolf, apparently wants a were-baby, and since Trent killed the leader that means that only he can use his special Alpha Wolf Were-Sperm to impregnate Jade. Trent is hiding out in the woods to escape the life of werewolfin', but Jade and her non-Alpha Werewolf friend Carson track him down (Carson drives a badass Porsche 911, which is far and away the best part of the film). Trent works as a laborer for Pearl's father. Pearl (Jennifer Marks, quite a hot little number) loves Trent. Creating a reason to introduce some step-sister lesbian sex (Yes, I'm funny. No, I'm not that funny. This is a genuine plot element.) Pearl has a step-sister, Ruby (a far less hot little number Shana Betz) whose sorta-boyfriend Angus (Matt Martin) is an interesting number all by himself. You see, in a low budget film like this, 90 minutes have to be filled, but we don't do any character development, nor does any interesting action or horror scenes actually take place. But for some reason, in the middle of the film, they switch from Trent looking anguished and Pearl pining for him from afar to a basement where Angus is hanging out naked. He then takes a piece of twine, ties up a noose, ties it onto a rafter, puts two clamps on his nipples, and then faux hangs himself. It is the far and away the worst movie hanging I have ever seen, as they obviously didn't want to go through the pain of setting up a real hanging, so they had Angus lead forward, while he's holding the twine. You can actually see the slack in the twine while he holds it, nipple clamps on. He hacks and coughs for a minute, and then, back to Pearl and Trent.

Sorry for the nipple clamp interlude. Trent basically feels the werewolf change a comin' on (I wonder if that means he's a regular guy? Me, I hardly ever get messages from my body like this. I'm sittin' at my desk and next thing I know I feel the freight train comin' down the chute, I have to make the bee line for the head. I guess that means if I was a werewolf I would likely just pop into full werewolf mode freely. Please use the comment section below to guess what kind of werewolf/turd pitcher you would be.) and steals some chains from Pearl's Pa to chain himself up in an abandon house (cause abandoned houses are cheap to decorate). Pearl, of course, follows, and asks Trent what's going down in Werewolf Town. Trent comes clean, Pearl refuses to believe it, and then, loe and behold, Trent has a hideous pair of false werewolf teeth in. At this point I was honestly confused, because I was wondering why Trent put in a pair of $1.99 Gas Station werewolf teeth. Was that to make Pearl laugh? A little comedic levity at this point. But Pearl was "scared" and ran away, so I got the point that those were "real" and it was that time of the month for Trent. Pearl, knowing full curious about some furry love, returns, and finds Trent back in human form (I.E. without silly teeth). Apparently werewolf pheromones should be bottled and sold in the back of Playboy because they then proceed to bump uglies. Right around then, Jade shows up and somehow manages to morph or teleport or pick up and replace Pearl in the stabbin' cabin, cause right in the middle of the act Trent's hump victim becomes Jade, not Pearl! That sneaky werewolf!

Jade now has the naughty were-seed that she was looking for, so she calls upon Carson-dogg to clean up Trent-dogg. Sporting the ridiculous teeth and a pair of Alfred E. Nuemann ears (no wonder werewolves tend to be night owls) Carson, barks at the moon, Trent sees him and throws this ridiculous forearm-like-punch thing at Carson, and through a process call editing we see Carson's now decapitated head on the floor! Wow! And Bruce Lee could only punch people on their ass with his pinky! Jade isn't too happy about this development since she can't drive a stick, so she goes after Trent and plays beat ass for a bit, but Pearl says "I ain't done extracting my seed yet Bitch!" and grabs her Polaroid camera, uses the flash, and kills Jade. Yes. Serious.

That's the end of the movie. You may be confused, and have several questions running through your head at this point, let me try to head those questions off here and now.
So, what am I trying to say? Well, I should have known I was in for trouble when the opening credits roll over the picture of a blood soaked toilet. (Again, I am funny, but not that funny.) The video quality is bad, the rare werewolf action and makeup is laughable, the sex scenes (Step Sister Lesbo action excluded) were lame, and the action atrocious. The sound quality was wildly uneven. At some points the footsteps of the people are literally booing from the speakers, and then they go to talk and you will reach for the remote. Overall, an unsuccessful attempt at the werewolf genre, and one that you can feel pretty safe and confident in missing.

Class dismissed.

1 out of 10 Jackasses
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