Friday, March 20, 2009

Autopsy: A Movie Review

Director: Adam Gierasch.

Writer(s): Adam Gierasch, and Jace Anderson.

"After Dark Horrorfest III," is the production team behind "Autopsy," a slightly independent horror film from late 2008. Making a DVD debut March 22, 2009 this film definitely has a low budget feel, but after multiple viewings the film begins to grow on oneself. Despite an early plot hole involving a mysteriously appearing ambulance "Autopsy," holds together on a logical level even with a low approximate budget of $8 million. Utilizing Adam Gierasch from Dario Argento's "Mother of Tears," as director, the surrealness of "Autopsy," has a definite haunted house feel.

Beginning with five core friends drinking and drugging during Mardi Gras, the film moves along to an off-screen accident, and then to Mercy Hospital, the central setting for the remainder of the film. Even with the difficulties of there being " cell service...," an ambulance appears out of nowhere, lights flashing, and the plotholes begin.

Once this loose group of partiers make their way to the hospital they are quickly broken up, in order to create for several smaller stories with most of the camera time focusing on Emily (Jessica Lowndes) looking for boyfriend Bobby (Ross Kohn).

Surprisingly, Robert Patrick (T2) makes a lengthy appearance as Dr. David Benway along with Jenette Goldstein (Aliens) as Nurse Marian and Ross Mccall from "Band of Brothers." A seemingly all-star cast would seem to deliver an A class picture, but unfortunately this only partially the case. The deliberate focus on gore sequences, with the addition of appropriate bloody floors and ghastly looking hospital rooms, takes away from the actor's time to deliver effective characterizations. Breaking up the interactions between the characters, the low brow scare attempts come off, often as comedic while some of the lesser known actors appear amateurish. Check out an early scene, inside an ambulance while a screaming man creates smiles on the actor's faces, where the tone of the film is meant to be horrific.

One of the strangest aspects of the film is the various lightings in the corridors and hospital rooms of Mercy Hospital that creates for a haunted house feel to "Autopsy." Changing from greens, to reds and oranges Gierasch seems to be taking a page out of Argento's playbook to create for one of the most bizarre movie atmospheres in recent horror history. Similar to an amusement ride, first time director Gierasch manages to set the proper tone for the film, but an uncomplex storyline means that this film will shortly be forgotten a few minutes after a viewing.

A very linear plot and unspectacular scare events in "Autopsy," means that viewers will have to delight in the gore of the film or the campy approach to acting from several of the actors. Only a few scenes that involve dangling body parts will shock and a gas canister impacting on a head will generate some strong emotions. Not staying in a completely serious tone Gierasch, with help from partner and fellow writer Jace Anderson deliver a few comedic lines, or shots with often type cast Robert LaSardo carting around a tray of body parts. Unspectacular, but sometimes fun "Autopsy," comes off as only slightly above average in the horror genre amongst a slew of more mentionable films.

From obscene gore to appropriately lit backgrounds "Autopsy," does its best to deliver an exciting feature despite the foils of a low budget. The acting from some of the lesser known actors is given support mainly from Jenette Goldstein, AKA Pvt. Vasquez from "Aliens," and periodically from stable, mostly supporting actor Robert Patrick. Not shying away from the blood and guts of horror storytelling Gierasch hits most of the notes; yet, "Autopsy," with some poor help from a 35 mm camera does not go the extra mile to create fascination or awe.

A few scares and some comedic sequences, primarily from actor LaSardo are not enough to give "Autopsy, a strong recommend. A lukewarm thumbs up is the best this reviewer can give a movie that relies too heavily on visual morbidity to entertain audiences. Worth a one time watch "Autopsy," will then, likely remain on DVD collector's shelves to collect dust and leaves viewers wondering, where was the autopsy?

5.5 Damaged Skulls out of 10.


Autopsy at IMDB

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Anonymous said...

Hey, Mike. Ontheflix is back online. Cheers!! I sent you an email to your soccerpro email. I went with a better host, I got the site back up on Friday. Also my andre@ontheflix email works again. I appreciate all your concern. I 've got a whole bunch of new storys up. Some pretty good ones too.

Michael Allen said...

Hey Andre,

I got your e-mail, but where is the link to your website?