5.21.2014

The Frozen Ground

Look at those heads starin'
"The hunter becomes the hunted."

Hello everyone, welcome back to another gripping, touching, murdering in the woods edition of The Tagline! Today, with the weather constantly warming up I figured that it would be nice to cool down, and take a trip up to the frosty north, where young girls go missing and wind up as frozen, desiccated corpses in the Alaskan tundra after being tortured and hunted for sport. If that sounds like your kind of thing, well then I have to please ask you to leave, and I'm calling the cops. If it sounds like the plot of a movie you might watch, well then congratulations, I'm bringing the goods today. Today I'm going to be talking about The Frozen Ground, a film released to limited theatrical and on-demand availability in August 2013, based on the real life hunt in the 1980s for Alaskan serial killer Robert Hansen, who was a real life person, who killed other real life people, in Alaska. Unlike in real life, the guy who is desperately trying to find him despite little in the way of manpower and resources, is Nicholas Cage (his character's name is Jack Halcombe, because I guess that sounds cooler than the real investigator's name Glenn Flothe, which is admittedly not a super cool sounding name). Unfortunately the search becomes less of a police fueled manhunt and more of a Nicholas Cage fueled manhunt, as Jack has virtually no one offering help or leads, except for 17 year old prostitot Cindy Paulson, who is incidentally portrayed by Vanessa Hudgens. Was that weird? Yeah, it was pretty weird, we'll get a little more on that later, but anyway, I guess the question you have left about casting is who's playing Robert Hansen, the twisted killer extraordinaire? Why none other than JOHN CUSACK OH YEAH BABY. Bringing back the dream team from Con Air, this film pits Cusack against Cage in a WINNER TAKES ALL FIGHT TO VANESSA HUDGEN'S DEATH.

High school musical 5 was when shit got REALLY weird.
On the ground level this movie is pretty standard real crime movie fare. We see some grisly victims, we see John Cusack donning his creepy really-obvious-serial-killer glasses, first acting like a normal nice guy and then shortly after acting like a completely batshit killer guy, and of course we are treated to that trademark Cage charm, as he goes around being a cop this time and not Ghost Rider. The scenes of serial killer Cusack are all what I would now describe as predictably shocking and horrific though it is kind of weird trying to wrap my head around John Cusack as a bad guy (maybe sometimes kind of an asshole, but never the antagonist of the movie). The surreal doesn't really even begin to stop there. This is the real draw for me. Picture this if you will, like really try to grasp what I am about to tell you. Vanessa Hudgens as I have already mentioned, is a teenage prostitute. She escapes a crazed killer, the only one to do so. She returns to her life on the street, but she's just not feelin' the ho' game anymore. Another, perhaps more seasoned prostitute, takes her off the street, and does what any good mentor does for their junior. She takes her in, cleans her up, gives her a hit of crystal meth, and then sends her out to pole dance in a strip club/bar/hellhole. Yes. Vanessa Hudgens does some meth and then essentially naked poledances. This was pretty surreal to watch, given her cinematic history. When I thought stuff couldn't get weirder, her pimp, who is 50 fucking Cent, comes in to talk some sense into this bitch up ins. So Vanessa Hudgens is hittin' the pipe, and 50 Cent is her pimp daddy. I couldn't have made those decisions if I'd tried to think them up all night.

Look at that sassy lady.
What about the rest of the movie that doesn't involve some sort of really weird pop culture fever dream? Someone described it as being "solid" and that's basically what you get. The plot isn't amazing, nor is any particular aspect of it, but there aren't any BAD aspects to the movie either. John Cusack is an almost too convincing serial killer/misogynist monster. Couple this movie with his recent turn in Adult World, and it almost makes me doubt his integrity. Still, a more interested performance for sure than in the aforementioned Adult World. Nicholas Cage in this movie delivers a surprisingly serious and coherent performance, marking the first time I've watched a movie with him in it in a long time that wasn't straight up nutsy-coocoo time (this isn't to say that I have not enjoyed any recent Nick Cage movies). Vanessa Hudgens really pulls off that messed up drug addled hooker thing, which given her other recent roles might be a kind of ominous sign. For now let's just pretend that she's a very talented young lady (which I mean she could be what the fuck do I know). I mean I guess she looks like she's in pretty good shape in this movie as compared to her character in Gimme Shelter. Grim.

Oh Radha Mitchell was there too I guess.
Other than that, what this movie taught me most is that I have absolutely zero interest in going anywhere near fucking Alaska. You know how many movies they make about good shit happening in Alaska? NONE. You're going to be chased through the woods by a serial killer, get attacked by a bunch of vampires, and then just when you think you're safe and you reach the shore, Gypsy fucking Danger is going to stomp out of the ocean and collapse on you. No thank you sir.

That's it for today! Join me next week for X-Mans.

1 comment:

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