Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Into the Lion's Den - Review - @BrandonCSites

Into the Lion's Den (2011) *
D: Dan Lantz
C: Ronnie Kroell, Jesse Archer, Kristen-Alexzander Griffith, Michael Mcfadden, Jodie Shultz 

Plot Synopsis: Three best friends, on a cross country road trip, make a stop at a sleazy roadside bar, but end failing prey to the owner and his demented wife who force them to participate in their sadomasochistic ways. 

Review: Into the Lion's Den is built upon the reveal of a S&M set piece that involves a character bound & gagged to a table where they're forced to have sex with a perverted couple who have a penchant for murder.

Two thoughts that instantly came to mind is, why doesn't this couple flat out ask people whether or not they want to participate in kinky sex? If that doesn't work, why not post an ad to Craigslist? I'm sure they'll find some takers either way, then they wouldn't have to go through all this trouble. Then again, if that kind of logic had been applied, we wouldn't have a film, would we? 

Making the transition from reality TV & the world of modeling is Ronnie Kroell. In the most effective moment, some nutso injects Kroell's penis with a concoction from a big, shiny needle. It's fair to say that all men are protective of their penis and they certainly don't want anything sharp coming near 'em. That's why this scene has such a squirm inducing affect, because it taps into an inherent fear that most of us aren't even aware of. There's just one problem. The entire movie is centered around this one scene.

It's as though writer Philip Malaczewski had an idea for a great set piece and then tried to create a story around it. A good story has to come from either a good premise or, at least, one that involves viewers. While this set piece is a stand out, it's not nearly enough to hang an entire plot onto. As such, things drag from one scene to next until they reach an ending that tries to sentimentalize all of the various proceedings. Moments of sentimentality, S&M and a man's penis injected with chemicals, sounds like a logical combination, huh?!? 

While Ronnie Kroell has likable on screen presence, his performance is in service of a story that has no real point other then to shock viewers with dangerous objects coming near nether regions. This whole enterprise is one empty charade trying to masquerade itself as a feature length film. [Not Rated] 84 mins.

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  2. You must be so infatuated with Ronnie Kroell that it has left you blind to see how bad this film really is, from writing, directing to acting. Although Kroell does bring some legitimacy to his role, it can't and doesn't save this film from being bad. The acting, except for Kroell's performance is terrible contrived and what is stereotypical of gay culture in the 70's. The only horror I was in this film was to allow writer Philip Malaczewski and director Dan Lantzthe to make this film. When I see "red', I see "red", NOT roses!

    1. Dear Andre,

      I gave the film a * (one) star rating. The lowest rating I use, which is equivalent to an "F". I don't use the zero star rating, because, in my opinion, there is no such thing as an F+ or an F-. If you flunk out you flunk out and there is no distinction IMO.

      Now, for the film itself, you agree with me that Kroell was pretty good in it. However, when it comes to writing reviews, I try to go about doing so in a professional manner and try to avoid making fun of them like a lot of others do. That would be entirely too easy.

      So, I try to find the root cause as to why the film failed and, as I said, the whole film itself was pretty pointless since it was set around the staging of one scene. Whether the acting or direction had been good or bad, it really wouldn't have mattered since the story itself was inherently weak.