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Jolly Roger: Massacre At Cutter's Cove DVD Review

Written by Steve Pattee

DVD released by The Asylum

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Just drinking a little, smoking a little dope and all your friends get massacred. Typical day at the beach, right? – Chief Mathis

Directed by Gary Jones
Written by Jeff Miller & Gary Jones
2005, Region 1 (NTSC), 80 minutes, Rated R
DVD released on May 31st, 2005

Rhett Giles as Jolly Roger
Tom Nagel as Alex
Kristina Korn as Jessie
Thomas Downey as Mathis
Kim Little as Lowenstein

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The movie opens with six friends sitting around a campfire. By the way they are sucking face, two are obviously a couple. By the way you can see the coldness separating them, even at six inches, two obviously aren’t a couple. And, by the way they are just hanging out, two are a comfortable couple.

Making everyone nauseous with their displays of affection, the first couple is told to “get a room.” Agreeing with the idea, the two go off to find a more secluded area.

A little ways down the beach, the face-suckers find a chest that was probably uncovered by the recent hurricane that hit the area. Wasting no time, they open the chest, only to find it contains nothing but a skull — nary a gold piece. Doing what every teenager does in these types of situations, the boyfriend chucks the skulls down into the ocean, and turns to more important matters.

Like sex.

The couple get down to it, and in the throes of passion, the girl leans back and promptly gets hacked.

Then her boyfriend gets slaughtered. As well as the two friends that weren’t a couple, as the killer makes his way down the beach.

There was something else came out of that chest when it was opened.

Jolly Roger — a pirate more notorious than Blue Beard himself.

And he wants his gold.

The only two survivors of the massacre are Jessie and Alex, the aforementioned “comfortable couple,” and no one believes their story. Cutter’s Cove is in for a long weekend.

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Jolly Roger: Massacre At Cutter’s Cove has the most basic, stereotypical plot — seemingly unstoppable being, back from the dead, wants something and will kill anything and everything in its path to get it.

But that’s okay. Because unlike most B-movies of similar plot, Roger is a decent one. It certainly is flawed, suffering from a weak script (at times), overacting and the overuse of CGI. The standard pitfalls of most B-movies.

Yet, when the script is on, it’s on. There are times I laughed out loud — something very few comedy/horror movies can make me do. There are quite a few humorous scenes in Roger, one of which, I must admit, I’ve never seen before. At a point in the film, when Jolly Roger is looking for both his revenge and his gold, he chances upon a bar. A strip bar. And gets a lap-dance. Now, I’m a firm believer that everything’s been done before, so this may be an homage to a Friday the 13th sequel I forgot about. But, either way, the scene is damn funny and a good example of one of the times the script shines.

And, like the script, when the actors are on, they shine. Not necessarily in the gleaming, “Oscar-worthy” sense, but in the sense that they know it’s tongue-in-cheek, and they act appropriately. They don’t take the movie seriously, and in the case of Roger, it elevates the film a little higher than just another throwaway B-movie.

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The movie also has more than its share of killings. Roger is a pirate who will not be stopped, and it doesn’t help that the local teens are getting further than the chief of police in the investigation of the rash of slayings. However, while the kills are bloody — and fun — CGI is heavily used, and it shows. I wish lower-budget/B-movie directors would stay away from CGI because, nine times out of 10, it doesn’t look good enough, and, even worse, when it doesn’t look good, it looks bad. Fortunately for Roger, the bad CGI is not enough to completely distract from the movie. It hurts the movie some, sure, but the tongue-in-cheek acting and playful script carry Roger on.

It’s not a perfect movie, but Roger has enough boobs, laughs and blood to keep you entertained throughout.

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Video and Audio:

Roger’s picture, at times, is incredibly soft — to the point of almost appearing out of focus. No grain was evident, but the soft pic was a bit of a distraction. It is presented in anamorphic widescreen.

With a Dolby Digital 5.1 offering, the audio is hit or miss. The bass thumps at times, with decent use of the sides and a pretty good soundtrack. However, on occasion, the actors are hard to hear. It doesn’t happen often, but it does happen. I don’t know if this is an authoring problem, or simply an issue with the mic not close enough to the actors. My guess would be the latter.

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Special Features:

The commentary is worthless if you are expecting to learn anything relevant about the movie, but regardless, it is a must listen if you want a good laugh. The cast & crew poke fun at both the movie and themselves. This is my favorite type of commentary because, like the movie, it is light hearted. The only downside is the producer didn’t have a microphone. Talk about distracting. There were at least three separate occasions where I had to rewind the DVD so I could hear what she said. Keep your remote handy.

The behind-the-scenes featurette is a total fluff-piece, but totally worth a watch, too. Like the commentary, the actors ham it up and keep the whole thing comical.

There are two deleted scenes that, for the most part, should stay deleted. While the bar scene was amusing, it would have only felt like filler if it had stayed. The other scene is so forgettable, I already forgot it.

Also included are trailers for HG Wells’ War of the Worlds, Alien Abduction, Lethal Eviction, Intermedio and Jolly Roger: Massacre At Cutter’s Cove.

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Movie: 2.5 Stars – Roger is not going to win any awards, but it is a fun time.
Video: 2 Stars – While Asylum did a good job putting out a clean picture, the focusing needs some help.
Audio: 2 Stars – The soundtrack is surprisingly good, and the bass rumbles at times. Good stuff for a lower-budgeted movie.
Features: 3.5 Stars – Not a lot, but definitely worth checking out.
Overall: 2.5 Stars – A great weekend rental when you have your friends over for pizza and beer.

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The best thing about Roger is it knows what it is and never tries to be anything more. Often, low-budget filmmakers will be full of themselves, and it shows in the movie. Not the case here. Roger is definitely worth giving a spin once.

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About The Author
Steve Pattee
Author: Steve Pattee
Administrator, US Editor
He's the puppet master. You don't see him, but he pulls the strings that gets things done. He's the silent partner. He's black ops. If you notice his presence, it's the last thing you'll notice — because now you're dead. He's the shadow you thought you saw in that dark alleyway. You can have a conversation with him, and when you turn around to offer him a cup of coffee, he's already gone.
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