Crush Jeffrey Gerritsen & John V. Soto

Crush Jeffrey Gerritsen & John V. Soto
From what I can tell, Crush actually fancies itself a legitimate film, having no sense of humour about its Are You Afraid of the Dark plot, or its seemingly unintended sexist and xenophobic, preachy Christian subtext. It's barely 80 minutes, scraping together its feature length by leaving in extended scenes of people laying in bed or walking around, regardless of the effect on pacing, which, by the way, is the least of the problems with this Australian teen thriller. It opens, amusingly enough, with an extended and dreadfully choreographed martial arts battle, suggesting the usual sports metaphor of beating the odds and/or following one's heart, despite having nothing to do with any of this. Julian's (Christopher Egan) dreams of professionally kicking people in the face are completely incidental and exist mainly to provide an explanation as to why an American would be studying in Australia. And even that seems a little shady. There are some mentions of maintaining a Visa and balancing his grades with his training routine, but mostly he just loafs about, house-sitting for extra cash. This after school gig is ultimately where the central mystery comes in, as the homeowner's niece, Anna (Emma Lung), pops up in a swimsuit to tempt our flighty protagonist from his virginal blonde girlfriend Claire (Brooke Harman). Things then go all Swimfan, although, again, not with sufficient coverage or explanation, so it's mostly random and unintentionally funny. Thankfully, the dialogue is so flat and expositional that we can guess how people feel about each other and what's going on, even though none of it is ever actually shown. Now, unfortunately, the best part of the film ― the part that makes watching it a campy, ridiculous treat ― is what I can't mention in a review, as it would spoil the, um, twist. Let's just say that Egan's depiction of frazzled and distressed is so off-the-mark and perplexing ― more like a tweaking crack addict than an upset teen ― that the cheap visual effects and constant flashbacks to earlier footage surrounding him during the climax seem like icing on a crap cake. No supplements are included with the DVD, but there are some trailers for films that look equally terrible, such as Cornered, which stars Steve Guttenberg and James Duval as potential victims of a crazed, ironic serial killer. Sign me up. (Phase 4)