When a TV production team gears up to film an episode of ‘Scare Antics’ (Scare Tactics anyone), the victim getting punked snaps, grabs an axe and starts killing off the production team and his friends that are in on the prank.
Every horror fan loves a good thoughtless slasher flick. A fun ride that you don’t have to put much thought into; no plot points to connect, no subplots to follow, just some down and dirty killing. As long as it has some innovative kills, great special effects, and some tension thrown in we’re good.
Lou Simon’s (writer, director, producer) ‘Hazmat’ fails on all levels. You certainly don’t have to put to much thought into this one seeing that every character is a cardboard cutout. You get almost no back story on any of the characters. This leaves you wanting to see them die in horrible ways and that’s a minor flaw (even a good thing) in horror /slasher flicks right? Unfortunately Simon executes the kills very poorly. They are clumsy, poorly cut, and laughable. The makeup Fx is amateur at best. There is a decapitation scene where the head rolls on the floor and the head looks nothing like the cast member it’s supposed to betray.
Okay now for the tension. I don’t think four people against one man with an axe is really all that threatening. If all four people attack the killer at the same time (which they can see where he’s at most of the time due to the cameras positioned throughout the building) one of them may get injured, maybe. But instead they hold up in a secure room with a metal door wining that they will starve to death. Then their resolution is to leave the room one at a time to get help.
There’s even a scene where one of the characters is using a camera with infrared to see in the dark, however the others can see her on the camera as she runs around the building. Obviously she can see in the dark and doesn’t need the infrared, right? Because she’s filming herself instead of using it to see. I am so sick of the cheesy ‘REC’ with a blinking red dot in the upper corners of these character shot films.
These are just some of the issues in this flick. The cast is horrible, picked up from an improv group somewhere or are just friends of Simon’s with little or no acting experience. Giordan Diaz, playing Gary, is probably one of the worst performances I have ever seen even in the lowest budgeted movies.
Overall this movie is just plan bad. It’s unfortunate too because the premise is amazing. You know how many of these punked shows I’ve watched and wanted to see the person getting punked kick the shit out of the people punking them. This movie needed more. The Hazmat suit really serves no purpose but to give us another killer in a mask and a cool image on the poster art.
Stay far from this one!
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