“We all live in a house of candy.”
Director/Writer: Mike Nichols / Writers: Samuel Freeman, Charles Black, Kohta Asakura & Anthony Masi / Cast: Marianne Hagan, Amy Crowdis, Dan Shaked, Mike Nichols, Darbi Worley, Douglas Nyback, Steve Carey, Alana Curry, Shira Weitz, Zoe Sloane, Jim Barnes, Kristina Klebe.
Body Count: 9
Dire-logue: “The map says go right.” / “Right is wrong. Left is right.”
A curious little endeavour featuring the talents of several genre buffs who worked on or starred in various Halloween-related ventures.
One of those strange experiences; BreadCrumbs starts out so well that I was thinking it could be the first 4-star slasher film I’ve seen since Mask Maker. That’s not to say early scenes (featuring Klebe of the Rob Zombie Halloween remake) will blow anybody away, but once the main crop of characters is introduced, they come with efficient and well-delivered dialogue, and – for once – seem like a nice bunch of folk who DON’T hate one another’s guts. A rarity in modern body count flicks.
Sadly, BreadCrumbs loses the trail just after the halfway point, once the horror begins.
Before that, the group of porn film makers arrive at a pleasant enough chalet in the middle of the woods to, ahem, shoot. Among them, aging adult star Angie (Hagan, from Halloween 6), who is surfing a wave of regrettable decisions about her life and intends this to be her last feature. Her young co-star, Dominick, has a massive crush on her, eloquently outlined by the director’s missus, Jane: “Are you asking me how to fuck the woman you’ve had an erection for ever since I’ve known you?”
Coarse dialogue is fortunately not too overbearing in BreadCrumbs and the porno stuff is approached almost mechanically and like the any-other-job it most probably is for those around it 9 to 5.
The residents are soon frequented by visits from oddball teenage siblings Henry and Patti, who seem content to run around playing childlike games, carrying dolls, or staring in windows. That is, until the violence begins…
Once people start dying, the wheels work loose on the vehicle and BreadCrumbs becomes little more than any other DVD kill-fest, highlighted only by ongoing questions surrounding the brother-sister threat (if indeed there is one) and comparing Hagan’s final girl performance to her likable turn as Kara Strode back in 1995.
The murders are tame, largely off-camera and some are just hazarded – some people more or less vanish into the clutches of the killer and are never seen again. The lack of tension is damaging, especially as the characters worked so naturally in their early scenes. Now, when they turn on each other, stupid decisions are made where it didn’t look so likely before, and the usual “fuck you!” / “No! Fuck YOU!” interchanges ensue.
Eventually, Angie is the one to figure it out or, more accurately, get captured and be told what’s going on. It makes little sense, something about houses of candy, witches, delicacies and porn being the substitute for candy la la la. What mystery there was surrounding the siblings and who might be killing everyone is whittled down into an afterthought that makes a mockery of how well things were going at the start and an unintentional LOL moment where a boy stands yelling “Mommy! Mommy! Mommy!” as Angie runs away. One of those day-job-quit occasions.
And the opening scene (with Klebe) is never again referenced.
A real shame in many ways, but also hopeful that perhaps these guys will work with a higher budget and a more well thought out story sometime in the future that could deliver something really good. But I DID say that about Madhouse as well…