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3.12.08

Tooth & Nail (2007)



Director: Mark Young
Starring: Rachel Miner, Vinnie Jones, Rider Strong, Michael Madsen
Released by Lions gate

Because the world runs out of gas, a bunch of guys dressed up like the pro wrestlers become cannibals. Elsewhere, a group of people (who may be some of the dumbest characters ever created) decide to start a new civilization in, of all places, an abandoned hospital. This should have been a warning to stop watching TOOTH & NAIL right there and then, but being the trooper that I am, I forged on.

Live and learn, I guess.

The dimwitted survivors are led by Robert Carradine, who spends his brief moments in the film giving really bad advice and making out with a girl less than half his age. Michael Kelly, from the DAWN OF THE DEAD remake, is the resident jerk (and the only character in this film with any common sense) who tries to talk the others into helping him barricade the hospital. Nobody agrees with him, despite the fact that it is well-known that there are bloodthirsty cannibals roaming the streets. He also doesn't trust the girl they find in an alley (Rachel Miner), the apparent survivor of a wrestler/cannibal attack. He wisely decides to ditch these morons to better his chances at survival. Later that night, Carradine is killed, his body dragged away. Despite the fact that it's pretty well-established that THERE ARE KILLERS ON THE LOOSE, the group spends a little time accusing each other of the crime. Their next move made me wonder if the film had suddenly turned into a comedy; they elect the girl from the alley, whom nobody knows, to become the new boss of their little group. Since this film makes no attempts at being suspenseful or scary, I'm not giving anything away by saying that their newly elected leader is also the leader of the cannibals.

In a merciful world, the cannibals would have eaten everyone on sight seconds after this impromptu election. But no, this stinker just keeps on going. People start getting picked off one by one in scenes completely devoid of tension or excitement. The film's sole survivor decides that, after all of her friends have been killed, now is the time to deal with these crazies. She picks up a weapon and puts on some KISS make-up, and proceeds to wipeout the cannibal wrestlers. Vinnie Jones shows up in the final scene, so that he could laugh maniacally while starting directly into the camera.

The End.



This film is a career low for several notable actors, including Vinnie Jones, Rachel Miner, Michael Kelly, and Robert Carradine. But the worst offender here is Michael Madsen, who shares an executive producer credit. Madsen, as one of the cannibal/wrestlers, channels the same character he plays in virtually every other movie. He walks around whistling "I've Been Working on the Railroad" and squints a lot. Between this and HELL RIDE, he's working pretty hard at killing his career.

If what I described doesn't sound silly enough, I should add that most of the characters are named after cars (Ford, Torino, Yukon, Viper etc.) and the cannibals frequently say things like, "I am going to eat you" and "I'm going to suck on your bones." I guess writer/director Mark Young didn't want us to forget that they were cannibals.

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