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Black Dahlia

Directed by Ulli Lommel

Written by Ulli Lommel

Starring Elissa Dowling, Sutton Christopher, Christian Behm, Jack Quinn

Produced by Jeff Frentzen

Not Rated

81 minutes

Zero Stars

Ulli Lommel follows up the train wreck that was “The Boogeyman” with a shoddy, second-rate trashfest in “Black Dahlia.”

The ramshackle “Black Dahlia” plot is all about a copycat version of the Black Dahlia killings from 1947. So for those of you who thought this was just a ripoff of the Black Dahlia movie that hit theatres not so long ago, you’re only mostly wrong. No, this is a copycat version. Which makes it different. Somehow. How, I’m not sure.

And then, for some baffling reason, Lommel decides to take the first ten seconds to quote the Geneva Convention, putting up a big text placard that reads: “Prisoners of War and Persons not taking part in Hostilities shall in all Circumstances be treated humanely. To this End, all Acts of cruel Treatment and Torture shall be prohibited.” This has, of course, only a very little to do with the movie itself, being that there will be—as if we expected any different—scenes of cruelty and torture played out here. So either Lommel is being ironic or a total hypocrite, I can’t tell which. Maybe it’s some kind of anti-Bush protest? Who can tell?

Okay…right off, and I mean like not even ten minutes in, Lommel’s script is already going to subject us to a cripplingly high amount of incongruity. Let me lay it out for you…some chick’s scrawling in a big book with a pentagram and a big 666 on the cover—cheesy enough for you? Sure is!—about how the Black Dahlia was born in 1924, and died on the 15th, and that makes three sixes. First off, that’s actually TWO. I guess they’re counting the third as the “number of imperfection,” if you buy the horrific chicken scrawl she’s got on the page. Second, how badly do you have to be reaching to get one six from the year and one from the day? Pretty badly, I’d say! Okay, so I’m overanalyzing. But this is a good example of the kind of cheap, mindless crap we’re going to be subjected to in this truly godawful performance. The plot isn’t the only place the cheese is showing, either. I swear, I’ve seen better fake bodies on “Mythbusters,” and that’s saying something. And yet, it’s somehow fitting.Given the mess that Lommel made out of “Boogeyman,” it’s not surprising that he managed to turn “Black Dahlia” into a sloppy nonsensical mess either.

Worse yet, they’re going to, somehow, despite all logic and seeming possibility, give away their best plot twist a half hour into the movie. Then, by the time you’re about two thirds through the movie, you begin to realize that it’s all looking a little familiar. You will not be experiencing deja vu; rather, you will be simply watching the same series of events happen over and over again only to a different person each time. “Black Dahlia” should actually only be about twenty minutes long, but to pad the run time, they’ve reshot the same sequence over and over again.

The ending is the only high point of this piece of sludge, because we can finally stop watching. I’d point out all the logical inconsistencies it features, but I think you’ve figured out by now how I feel about this tripe. More evidence at this point would really be rather redundant.

The special features include English and Spanish subtitles, commentary track, and trailers for “Black Dahlia,” “House of Blood,” “Blackwater Valley Exorcism,” “An American Haunting,” “Hard Candy,” “Are You Scared?,” “Dark Fields,” and “The Feeding.”

All in all, why anyone would watch this piece of trash is utterly beyond me. It’s repetitive, it’s vile, it’s disgusting, it’s gore-for-gore’s-sake at its most thoroughly repugnant.

But then, if you’re here reading this, at least you won’t be watching it.

Steve Anderson is a film critic who collects action figures so he can dress them up as his favorite horror villains. He lives somewhere in the United States.


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