Cut (2000)
Trimark Home Video
Cast: Molly Ringwald, Jessica Napier
Extras: Theatrical Trailer, Bonus Trailers

If you are like me, you’re always on the lookout for a new ass-kicking horror film that will change the face of the genre as we know it. Well, don’t get your hopes up, because ’Cut’ isn’t that film. As a matter of fact, ’Cut’ takes a giant leap backwards, by mining slasher-film territory previously mined by the likes of ’Return to Horror High’, and that’s definitely scraping the bottom of the horror barrel. ’Cut’ deals with a group of plucky film-school students who decide to purchase the rights to an unfinished feature film, hire the star of said film, and complete the picture. (For those of you who don’t know about film school, this sort of thing happens all the time. Not!) The film in question is entitled ’Hot Blooded’ (please), and shooting was originally abandoned due to a series of murders on the set. And, it’s said that the film is cursed and that anyone who views it will die. Undaunted, director Raffy (Jessica Napier) recruits original star Vanessa Turnbill (Molly Ringwald…yes, Molly Ringwald) to face her demons and finish the film. Much to everyone’s surprise (except the audience), a killer descends upon the set and begins to kill the crew. Who can it be? Will the film be finished? Will you finish watching this film?

Probably not. ’Cut’ is a perfect example of everything, which is wrong with the horror genre today. Just as the film students are imagining fame and wealth from making a slasher picture, you can hear the producers of ’Cut’ thinking the same thing. The movie starts out as a murder-mystery, but once the killer is revealed, at the one-hour point, ’Cut’ becomes more of a dark fantasy. This only helps to confound what is already a bad movie. The acting is below-average and there is little visual flair to the film. There are some nice gore effects and the killer’s mask is creepy, but that’s not going to save the film. Even when the characters are discussing the positive aspects of horror films, I couldn’t help but wish that I was watching a well-made one. I’ve seen ’Cut’ described elsewhere as a ’parody’ or ’spoof’ of slasher films, but it isn’t. It attempts to be dead-serious, but only ends up being dead-on-arrival. If your idea of entertainment is watching Molly Ringwald curse a lot, try to be sexy/bitchy, and kick several guys in the gonads, then ’Cut’ is the movie for you.

’Cut’ comes to DVD from Trimark Home Video in exactly the kind of lackluster edition that this film deserves. The movie is presented in an anamorphic widescreen and is letterboxed at 1.85:1. The image is clear and sharp, showing little grain and no defects from the source print. However, the digital transfer only enhances the fact that this was a low-budget production. There is a constant problem with picture brightness that one would think could’ve been tackled during the transfer. Some shots are too dark, whiles others are overly-lit, perpetuating the bargain-basement look of the film. On a positive note, the Dolby 2-channel Surround mix is quite effective, as it offers a nice use of the rear speakers, spotlighting distant sound effects and musical cues. The dialogue is clear and audible and the predominantly rock soundtrack sounds fine. The only true extra on the disc is the theatrical trailer for ’Cut’, which is letterboxed at 1.85:1. It’s humorous tone makes it much better than the actual movie. We also get bonus trailers for ’Attraction’ and the killer-croc film ’Blood Surf’ (which looks like good fun, but I’m not going to chance it).