Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Bad Movie Endurance Test 11: By The Devils Hand: The 666 Killer

The penultimate movie in the Freakshow Cinema Collection, By The Devils Hand: The 666 Killer, despite its lack of titular apostrophes, has much better production values and acting than most of the others. If only the same could be said about the plot. The flick begins with the only-ever-seen-from-the-shoulders-down 666 Killer's murder of the final victim of his killing spree from 25 years ago. During the opening credits, we learn from a news reporter that he killed 6 women over 6 days in 6 different ways and buried them in a mass grave with a 6 carved in the last victim's forehead, which would by my count make him the 6666 killer, but apparently their grammar expert is also their math expert. 

Oh, and the 666 Killer's kid was watching him murder his victims. If we allow that the series of events in this movie constitutes a plot, that's important to it. 

After the credits, some random bimbo gets kidnapped and then the movie moves to what seems to be a completely different movie about office politics at an office that does something unspecified but very office-like. The characters in this...I'll say drama...are: 
  • Jamie, The Survivor Girl: Despite a consensus around the office that she's incompetent and the fact that she's been showing up late to work looking strung out, has just been promoted and given the company's most important account for whatever it is they do there. This seems like a bad business plan, but mine involves magical hobos and ponies with lasers, so I'm not going to throw stones. 
  • Kevin: Kevin might not be his actual name, but it doesn't matter. I'm not going to look it up, so I'm going to call him Kevin. Kevin is Jamie's boss and may be a sexual predator. Despite Jamie's widely-lauded inability to do her job or even show up for work, Kevin has risked his career to go to bad for her, possibly due to the the "probably a sexual predator" thing. 
  • Marnie: The office bitch, who wanted the job Jamie got but didn't get it because she used to fuck Kevin. 
  • Scott: The office geek who knows everything that's going on. 
Early on, we find out that Jamie is having stop-motion hallucinations of a guy in a BucketHead mask (or maybe an Edward Cullen mask painted white, Mike Myers style), which is why she's having sleep issues. Apparently that's where this will intersect with the whole 666 Killer thing. We also meet The Guy From The Gym Who Is Obviously The Killer (at least after the second scene he's in) and discover that Jamie's hallucinations and oversleeping are happening because the killer is drugging her water, and that Marnie is in cahoots with the killer. It's never really made clear what Marnie thinks the killer is getting out of the cahooting; if she knows he plans to kill Jamie, she must really want that promotion. 

While this is going on, we also see the killer kill five other women. In a lot of movies, there's at least some kind of token attempt to make the viewer identify with the victim in some way so there's a sense of loss when they die. This movie doesn't have time for that shit. Except for the chick who got kidnapped right after the credits, we don't see these women until they're chained up and scantily clad in the torture dungeon about to get killed. This could be a clever statement about the role of women in horror film, but I kinda doubt it. At some point we find out there are two killers, probably the original 666 Killer and the kid that was watching 25 years ago. 

After a long loop of scenes where people do stuff in the office, Jamie has trouble sleeping and hallucinates, and the killer kills random chicks, the killer finally goes after Survivor Girl, but when he takes off his BucketHead/Edward Cullen mask (which is a serious breach of masked killer union rules, I might add), he's not The Guy From The Gym Who Is Obviously The Killer! WHAT A TWIST! . Luckily, one of the EMTs who comes to haul the killer away is The Guy From The Gym Who Is Obviously The Killer, who reveals himself to be the killer's brother before hijacking the ambulance. When they get back to the torture dungeon, The Guy From The Gym Who Is Obviously The Killer reveals that even though Survivor Girl got away, he's found a substitute sixth victim. If you've ever read an EC Comic, you can probably guess who it is. The closing scene is a bunch of news reports about the 666 Killer's latest spree, so I'll at least give them points for framing symmetry. 

Takeaway: Completely forgettable, but not actively painful to watch. 
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