Studio: Gravitas Ventures
Director: Jared Masters
Writer: Jared Masters, Amanda McAuley, Marc Dishman, Randy Masters
Producer: Mikko Tervonen, Anthony Del Negro, Amanda McAulay
Stars: Julia Faye West, Danika Galindo, Art Roberts, Dawna Lee Heising, Anthony Del Negro, David Saucedo, Marilyn Brooks
Two sisters uncover the connection between a creepy tanning salon owner and a line of designer handbags made from human skin.
Unquestionably, the single greatest drawback to reviewing low budget independent horror movies is that the job requires sitting through the entirety of something like “Slink.” Common sense screams to turn it off shortly after the opening credits and be thankful that only ten minutes were wasted. But a commitment to providing a fully informed critique demands that another hour and change go down the drain, too.
The opening credits warn of impending disaster with a handful of peculiar screenplay credits never before grouped together in a motion picture. Director Jared Masters bears the brunt of the blame as the only fully credited writer. But his partners in crime include “Co-Creator” Marc Dishman, “Collaborating Writer” Amanda McAuley, and “Additional Dialogue” by Randy Masters. How those four assignments could hope to mesh together and bang out a cohesive script is beyond comprehension. So it comes as no surprise that what they ended up with feels like a case where the right hand did not know what the left hand was doing.
“Slink” is the story of two sisters sent by their father to itemize their dead uncle’s belongings. They eventually uncover a silly conspiracy in the weird little town of Wickenhaven that involves a tanning salon owner who resembles a pedophile from the evening news, and a posh line of couture purses that are actually made from human skin.
Gather up some friends and family with nothing better to do and use them to populate a cast and crew, no experience required. That is the starting point for “Slink.” From there, the filmmaking philosophy is simply to set each scene in a corner of a room haphazardly dressed to resemble something else and let the camera roll on whatever happens. If actors stumble over dialogue because English is a second language, fine. If fight scenes exclude sound effects but include phantom punches that miss their targets by six feet or more, no worries.
Incredibly, “Slink” credits a Production Designer, an Art Director, and two more names under Set Construction. These must have been four of the plushest assignments to ever exist on a movie set. It is impossible to imagine what they had to do all day when the property budget was limited to a $20 bill and one trip to the Dollar Store.
A $2.99 package of wall mount hangers from the hardware aisle at Target makes up the display wall at what is supposed to be the flagship store for $5,000 designer purses popular with celebrities. A bowl of Kraft Easy Mac is served as a “casserole.” A house phone still has a rotary dial on it and a couch looks like it was pulled off the street after a pack of stray dogs used it as a bed for twenty years.
Top to bottom, head to toe, stem to stern, left to right, or inside out. Any way it is sliced, “Slink” is a mess on all fronts. Performances are painfully embarrassing for everyone involved. Sets look like they were constructed for a high school stage play. The music is out of place and thoroughly obnoxious. And the ending is one of the worst ever seen.
Had there been a tongue in its cheek, “Slink” might have made it with a John Waters vibe. But the tone is completely wrong for the level of amateurism on display here. The lead actress, who has a little blend of Eliza Dushku meets Jennifer Love Hewitt, spends the finale in a thong, which is a clear indicator of how low things will go to generate even mild interest in a movie that is barely a step in quality above homemade.
Telling someone to “slink” away from this movie would not only be a bad pun, it would also be understating how much distance should exist between human eyeballs and “Slink,” and how fast they should separate. The responsible thing would be to put all copies of “Slink” in a rocket and fire them into outer space. Then pray that an alien race never finds them, lest they take it as an invitation for intergalactic war over subjugating their species to a horrible plague.
Review Score: 15