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Blood Reaper (2003)

One of many near-homemade kids-killed-in-the-woods efforts slung together and sold to low-quality cable and bottom-rung homevideo distributors, this lacks even a token original idea. In a long, slow prologue, top-billed but soon-killed fading scream queen Brinke Stevens squabbles with her fisherman husband, chats with a passing ranger (director Lory-Michael Ringuette), and gets killed by a knife-wielding madman (Michael Fuller) in a gas-mask. After the credits, a bunch of younger, uncharismatic folks go camping unwisely in an area terrorised by a killer named Jubal - another of the many passing strangers in the region knows a song about him and helpfully sings it around the campfire. That ranger is still loitering uselessly and there's a mad recluse woman who thinks the CIA are after her, but they get sidelined - no more backstory, no surprise revelation of who's under the mask - as the killer shows up and boringly offs everyone. Maybe there is one semi-fresh thought - the 'final girl' is about to stab the prone killer when he shoves a length of wood through her, only for the previously killed hero to turn out to be not dead at all and decapitate the psycho with a spade. Entry-level rubbish.
KIM NEWMAN

First published in this form here.


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