Wednesday, February 29, 2012

The Carpenter (1988, David Wellington)

The Terminator, The Exterminator, The Destroyer...The Carpenter?  Hey, why not?  Another oddball horror film under Scorpion Releasing's Katarina's Nightmare Theater series, The Carpenter is part psychodrama, part slasher and part supernatural horror.  The oddest thing about it is just how damn original it is!

The Carpenter starts with an upper class woman named Alice taking a pair of scissors to her husband's expensive wardrobe after finding him cheating on her.  After a short stay in the nuthouse, she is released with her husband who has just bought a house in the country so his wife can rest and things can get back to normal.  The house needs some work and after the hired day crew have left, Alice hears something in the basement one night and finds a carpenter still working.  Obviously still a few fries short of a happy meal, she thinks nothing of this and after a quick chat, lets him get back to work.  One of the day crew who was fired for slacking off decides to sneak in one night, but is slaughtered by the mysterious carpenter after trying to rape Alice.  Who is this carpenter and why does he seem to be protecting Alice?

The Carpenter is a surprisingly original horror film that can't be taken seriously.  Though the tone is straight forward, the story is just too wacky and the characters laughable (and sporting some great mullets!).  I don't know who came up with the idea of a mystical carpenter as a villain in a horror film but I guess given the tools used in the death scenes, it kinda makes sense.  If you're going to use saws and power drills, why not have them wielded by a professional?  The acting here is hit or miss (usually miss), though Wings Hauser does a noble job as the carpenter.  The film has a weird made for TV feel and is terribly dated but overall I kind of liked it.  Not terribly bloody but there are a few good scenes for horror fans.  The DVD comes with an intro by horror host Katarina Leigh Waters and some trailers for other films in Katarina's Nightmare Theater line.

RATING:  6/10

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