Tuesday, February 23, 2016

Pledge Night - Review - @BrandonCSites


Pledge Night (1990) *1/2
D: Paul Ziller
C: Todd Eastland, Dennis Sullivan, Craig Derrick, David Neal Evans, Lawton Paseka, Michael T. Henderson, Will Kempe

Plot Synopsis: As a silly frat boy prank, Young Sid is boiled in a tub of acid. Years later, he returns to wreak havoc on the new generation of brothers in his old fraternity.

Review: The premise, involving a fraternity initiation that results in the death of a college student and how that student returns as a ghost to avenge his death, could have made for a considered examination into hazing. However, from the get go, it's pretty obvious that isn't what they were going for.

There's gore, nudity, sex, an array of creative deaths, raunchy humor, a villain that's reminiscent of the more comical side of Freddy Kruger and even a bit of homo eroticism as the guys have their bare butts spanked with paddles. This is a film that aspires to be trashy entertainment. There's nothing wrong with that. In the right frame of mind, who doesn't want to watch something just for some cheap thrills?

When it comes to trashy entertainment, it requires precision. The gore, sex, nudity & death scenes all require intricate staging. The humor requires exact timing so that the joke hits right when it should. The editing has to be tight, so that the proceedings don't drag and so that they can constantly one up each of the trashy antics. Finally, the score has to bring momentum to it all so that things don't get boring.

While Pledge Night has plenty of trash at its disposal and the cast & crew seem game, the film collapses under its own weight. The camera placements are flat and do nothing to highlight the death scenes, makeup effects or gratuitous nudity on display. The editing drifts from one scene to the next, failing to build any kind of energy or to showcase the humor. The score is nondescript and does nothing to play up to the razzle dazzle of the gore & sex. The whole production feels flat & lifeless even though they pushed the boundaries of taste. 

There's nothing worse then watching a girl flash her tits or a halfway decent looking guy bare his ass and finding yourself bored by it! [R] 90 minutes.

AKA: Death Night

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