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The first scare comes before we even start the movie—the DVD opens with this digital “you're in a movie theatre” sequence showcasing the company logo...and it's the same one that Arachnia opened with! Oh man, was that scary. My heart's still hammerin' away! But no, that's wasn't me screaming like a little girl, honest. Whew...Arachnia! Whew!

Well, let's see if the film in question has any way to top that terrifying moment. I don't recognize any of the cast or crew, but it was pretty cheap sitting in the used bin at the store. It looks like it's going to be a knock-off of the Jamie Lee Curtis movie “Virus,” but...we'll see.

The actual movie starts out with a very nice logo. And then we have ominous shadows of strange characters (letters) being cast on a stone wall. Cut to a very nice shot of a helicopter flying over some clouds and some cool atmospheric music. Several very serious looking people inside (each with his or her own radio headset) as the chopper flies over the sea. Suddenly there's a lot of fog and we see the titular Ghost Rig (I'm guessing). They go to land on it (in contrast to other movies here, no one uses the noisy helicopter to make small talk). Everyone runs out of the chopper and into the rig. They unload a wheelchair.

The rig is all dark and deserted looking. Several of the folks are exploring, nervously, while some stay on top to get their picture taken. Um, okay. Hey, I realize what the music reminds me of: Apocalypse Now. Man, that was a great score. This one is too. Well, four minutes in, anyway.

Oh, they're not having their picture taken. They're making a documentary. This rig has been abandoned for years and is going to be sunk to help build a reef. From the tone of the woman telling us all this, she's skeptical. She mentions the name of the group—Action Planet—and that their plan is to prevent the reef being sunk by occupying it. She mentions that the rest of her group (there are ten in all) are going to “escort” the maintenance crew off the rig and into the helicopter. But the group can't find anyone. The music is all eerie (and good), though it does do a lot of telegraphing. “Looks like no one's been here for months,” one of the group says, noting a door looked from the inside. And one of the guys in the helicopter says “The weather is closing in.”

My God. Does every movie taking place at sea have to have a storm? How about this instead—they find the maintenance crew, but they're all in a state of shock. This gives us our foretaste of horror, and also lets the Action Planet folks get justifiably righteous. “Those evil business men don't care about the lives of these men!” Etc. The helicopter pilots them back to the mainland. In order to do this, of course, he's got to leave the rest of the group behind, but that's what they were planning on anyway, right? If I can think of that in just a few seconds, surely four screenwriters could do better.

Anyway, the leader of the inside bunch insists the crew must be here, despite being told that the bunk quarters are empty, and despite the fact that, you know, the power's off. So he splits them all up into teams to search more of the rig.

“The generator's screwed, and there's no backup,” says one guy in the engine room. The cliché meter goes Ping! Leader says he'll be down in a “couple of minutes.” Engine room guy turns to his female companion and smiles, saying, “What could we possibly do in a couple of minutes?” And the cliché meter pings twice, loudly.

Fortunately, the female tells him to forget it.

POV comes up behind the Leader, but it's just the guy in the wheelchair. He was, I should mention, injured in an accident on this very rig several years ago. He tells leader the helicopter has to go, but the rules are there should be SOMEONE on the rig at all times. Leader asks, “Did you ever hear any rumors about this place?”

“Yeah, I heard there's a horrible soul-sucking monster that devours people whole,” answers Wheelchair guy. Ha ha, I'm just kidding, he says “No.” He asks Leader if there's something he should know about?

“Let's just drop it,” says Leader, “I don't want to worry the others.” So, in other words, you know something, huh? Either that or more bad scripting. The thing is, all Leader's done so far is study blueprints. “Say, this rig has a special corridor here—a corridor of Evil!” (Not a line from the film.)

Everyone here is trying hard to hide slight Irish or Scottish accents. Sometimes they slip through, but not enough to be identifiable. No, definitely Scottish.
Down below, Bald Guy gets a high reading on his reading-o-meter and splits off to follow it. He doesn't say, “Here kitty!” but I kind of know what is going to happen.

And we see some of the same runes or whatever chalked on the floor. He can't contact the others by radio. But the other two are looking for him. And then THEY split up. But Tall Guy jumps out and scares Female. “Now you know how Moe feels” he says. Moe Howard? Or did he say Mole? She says--well, I'm keeping this clean so, she indicates her displeasure. Meanwhile, Bald Guy's flashlight goes out. Radio communication among our group starts to break up.

And Tall Guy and Foulmouth Femme split up again! “There's some gear that might be useful,” he says, “I'm right behind you.” There's ominous whispering on the soundtrack, and a number of rats around. Tall Guy sees the rats and screams. Bald Guy hears some clanking noises and runs off. Foulie finds Tall Guy, though, he's okay, he just got bit by a rat and he killed it. Foulie uses, um, language at him, quite rightly so, I think, as she was calling him and he didn't answer.

Now we've got a guy in a Devil sweatshirt looking for “Moe” or “Mole” so I guess that joke earlier, um, meant something if you knew these characters. Which we really don't at this point. Anyway, he's going around half in a panic saying, “Moe, Moe it's Tom!” And he finds Moe, who it turns out is Bald Guy. He's on the floor, apparently flipped out, talking to himself over and over incomprehensibly. Tom tells him, “We'll be okay,” and Bald Guy says, “No, I don't think so.”

Elsewhere, two other members of our team get the power working. But not all the power. The emergency power doesn't power everything, but it powers the radio, the main control and the security cameras.

Moe and Tom meet up with another female member. Moe's okay now, he's not happy about being here but he's not in a panic all curled up.

Nice use of the security cameras to move around the ship. It's a good way to make the place seem big and empty and mechanical, and abandoned and kind of low-key threatening. Elsewhere, we see one of the Action Planet guy's spray painting “Action Planet” on a big tarp (I guess). We see some plastic shrivelling menacingly (as well as can be expected, anyway). And a piece of wood is removed from, um, something. Spray Paint Guy is spooked. More whispering on the soundtrack. And really good use of all the textures and surfaces available.

And Spray Paint Guy buys it. A piece of transparent plastic sheeting is suddenly wrapped around his face from behind, and pulled tight. He struggles, there's a snap, and blood appears beneath his nostrils.

Everyone's in the mess hall. Suddenly the cups and saucers start shaking, but no one thinks anything of this.

Oh, and Spray Paint Guy shows up in the mess hall! Accompanied by some spectral whispering, just to let us know that he's, like, not who he ought to be and stuff.

Leader is making a broadcast about the group and all, and we wisely cut away to Wheelchair going down the hall. He senses something is up, and goes into this huge shower facility. Wheelchair goes into a stall but he finds a dead guy (I think it's Tall Guy).

Back at the mess hall, there are several theories, one of which is that Tall Guy had a heart attack (apparently not unexpected with him) or that the crew is still here, and they killed him. Some of the AP guys want to leave, call the chopper back and get out. Leader is dead set against this, and apparently easily convinces the others that the occupation should go on.

They all leave, and Wheelchair confronts Leader, “What did you mean earlier about rumors?”

“I told you I don't want to talk about it, it would only panic the others. We don't know it wasn't a heart attack. I mean, Sophie [apparently the AP doctor] didn't say, 'I think it's some sort of virus,' did she?”

“What do you mean, virus?” asks Wheelchair, and you can almost see Leader going Oh crap. He explains that heard a rumor about a quarrentine on the rig before it was closed. “It's probably nothing.”

Tom goes to the radio room, and tries to contact “Isis.” But we cut to some other AP guys in the control room, and they see him on the security camera. Back to him, he's saying his “cover is intact” but I'm betting it isn't any more.

Nope, everyone bursts through the door, Foulie beats the hell out of him, and the rest realize that he's a spy. But they don't think he killed Tall Guy. Undead Spray Paint Guy says he'll take care of Tom, but Leader says no.

Digression: Leader has a gun. Apparently, this is a big no-no with the Action Planet folks. It seems more like a faux-pas, you know, like having once voted Republican many years ago. The rest of them aren't happy but no one's major-league bummed. Leader says he'll put the gun in his bag and never, ever take it out again.

Back to the AP crew, they're all smoking dope with Undead Spray Paint Guy, who wants to talk about death. Wheelchair and Sophie (I'm guessing—she has a stethescope) are not too happy with Traitor Tom, but they're oddly accomodating at the same time. Huh.

Cut to a bag being unzipped, and a gun being taken out.

Back to the crew, arguing about the gun. “The gun has got to go. Things like that will turn people against us.” Jeez, these guys have never seen a newspaper or watched TV news. Undead Spray Paint Guy says maybe Leader will give him the gun (“and I'll go on a rampage and wash this rig in blood!” No, he doesn't say that.) but Wheelchair says he'll get the gun.

But he goes to see Tom instead. He seems to blame Tom for the Leader/Gun thing. Huh? He says the AP folks are trying to do good. Tom disagrees, esp. about Leader. Leader shows up and has an odd talk with Tom, where he won't let Tom answer. But now Tom knows about “the Virus.” Leader wants to make sure Tom doesn't talk to anyone else.

Wheelchair is flicking through the video cameras. He talks to Tom, guesses that Tom is ex-military, because Wheelchair is also ex-military. They're getting along pretty well, but Tom sees Undead Spray Paint Guy wrecking the radio. Wheelchair goes off to stop it, but someone else gets there first and Undead Spray Paint Guy beats him to death with a hammer. Wheelchair unties Tom so he can go stop it. Unfortunately, now they think Tom did the murder. But Leader shows up and tells them it's the Virus (“Sorry, I thought it was just a rumor, guess not” or words to that effect). Well, this goes over well as you can imagine.

But then Tom shows up, and says he and Wheelchair saw Undead Spray Paint Guy smashing the radio. So it's NOT the virus, says he. Leader doesn't like this, I suppose because it casts aspersions on his team, Undead Spray Paint Guy being one of them and all (at least before he was Undead).

Leader isn't buying any of it, though. And Foulie still thinks there's someone else here. Tom says she's missing the point, and also that there ain't no Virus. Virus was a movie with Donald Sutherland doing a here-and-there Irish accent, this is a movie with no Donald Sutherland and a lot of Scottish accents. Nothing similar at all!

Tom says he doesn't know what's going on. He and Sophie establish a Trust, though. In the morgue, Tom wants to see Tall Guy's rat bite. Others say he should fix the radio, but he wants to figure out what's going on here first.

Tall Guy's bandage is removed...and the skin is unbroken. Ie, no rat bite! Wow!

Leader shows up, he's all pissed off, and he says Tom took his gun. But it seems Wheelchair took the gun, “It was a danger to all of us! So I took it, and I threw it over the side.”

Well, Leader is none to happy about that, and starts insulting Wheelchair, saying he's all useless and stuff. “I was wrong, “ says Wheelchair. “I'm sorry.” And...cut!

Some of the crew are searching below decks, and they find the rat that (supposedly) bit Tall Guy, and that he (supposedly) killed. “Not a mark on it!” they say. Leader shows up and asks Tom if the rat is a relative, hardy har har. And Moe sees some of the runes written on the floor in chalk. He starts moving boxes and pallettes out of the way, to uncover more of them. “I don't like this! This looks like something to do with the occult!”

“Grow up, Moe!”

Tom wants to investigate this further to see if there are more runes about. But Leader says, “I'm not wasting time on this hippy sh*t. We're going back to Control.” He walks past Moe, who is standing next to Tom. “Moe, you'll be safer with us.”

“No, I don't think so,” Moe says quietly.

Meanwhile, on the upper decks, Sophie is poking through people's stuff in their quarters. She's pretty nervous, and the music strikes a discordant note. She finds the Bloody Hammer, but hears someone approach. She looks into the hall, someone (don't know who, but it isn't Undead Spray Paint Guy) is striking the wall repeatedly with an axe.

Back down below, Tom is asking Moe if he's seen anything like the runes before. He says no, and Tom tells him not to get too hung up in the occult. But come on, this is like Scully telling Mulder that there has to be a logical, scientific explanation, and we all know none is forthcoming.

Who I thought was Sophie, but who is actually Annie (just to recap, she and Tom trust one another and she seems sensible) calls Tom on the radio. She's found the bloody hammer and she's afraid. She asks Tom to come up and help her out. Of course, Guy With An Axe also has a headset, and also heard the same thing. Doesn't look good for our Annie, pity, it wll just give more ammunition (sorry) to Leader (“Annie trusted him, and now Annie's dead! You have to follow me! Oh, and hey everyone, let's kill Tom!”).

Anyway. In the morgue, Female Doctor (who I guess is Sophie?) finds Something Weird about one of the dead folk's skin. She's kneeding at it like she wants to make a pizza, I can understand that but I'd rather have a regular one, not a Undead Skin Pizza even if it has some nice ingedients or comes in a veggie version. (I like veggie pizzas, they give me less heartburn.) No, just a regular dough one will do me fine, that's okay if you want to order Undead Skin Crust, honestly, I'll just, oh, gosh, look at the time! Gotta run, see ya.

...have the folks who like Undead Skin crust left? Oh good, not that I'm prejudiced or anything, far from it, but gosh, I just feel all uncomfortable around them.
Anyway, back to our movie. “Will” is the guy with the axe, and he gets a call from “Sophie” in the morgue. So, damn, I've been calling one character by the wrong name half the time. But, you know, with this movie, it doesn't really matter a whole lot. Aside from our main folks, like Wheelchair, Tom, Leader, Moe, Foulie and Annie-Who-Was-Formerly-Known-As-Sophie, they're kind of interchangible. I'm still not sure who Undead Spray Paint Guy killed with a hammer. Probably some guy who wandered onto the set. “Hey, you're makin' a frickin' movie here, cool! Let me help you with that hammer! Ow!”

Anyway, “Will” asks if “Sophie” is alone. She says “Yes” and I bet I know what's going to happen. Or at least part of it. Another prediction is that Tom and “Annie” will be the lone survivors and will become a Love Item. And I predict Leader will die denying the true evil as it swallows him up. And I predict that the US will land a man on Mars in 2015!

So, back to the movie, Axe Guy says to Sophie, “We need some place private, like your parent's garage!” {This alludes to the bit earlier in this review, when some horn-dog guy wanted to Do the Deed in “a couple of minutes.” And female turned him down. Remember back that far? Me neither.) “And turn off your radio, because we don't know who we can trust!” But then he puts his axe down and runs off. Hey, Axe Guy, two problems here—how are you going to kill anyone without your axe, and how am I supposed to refer to you now, being axe-less? Yeah, I could use “Will” but that's so lame.

Tom and Moe show up and everyone's relieved that Annie's fine. (Yes, I predicted that wrong. Would it have made a better movie? I dunno.)

Cut to Sophie. She's left the morgue and is looking for cough Will. I'm not sure whether to say, “Way to follow the plan, Sophie” or “Good, Sophie, you'll throw that murderous cough Will off the scent.”

Man, we are only at the 44 minute mark. Even at best, we're halfway through this. Speaking of this, Sophie is walking out in the dark, we see a quick shot of a security camera with it's cable cut, and cough Will shows up. Sophie explains that Hammer Victim Guy's wounds have completely healed, and he says, yeah.

Then he grabs her head and presumably kills her.

Well, not quite. We see Wheelchair looking at all the security cameras, the one in the generator room is out. So Tom heads down there, and cough Will is biting Sophie, really hard. He knocks him away. Meanwhile, Annie is axing away at the same door cough Will was axing at earlier. She makes a big enough hole to crawl in, and finds an all rotted body, and a video camera. She grabs the camera, getting close enough to the damn corpse to either kiss it or whisper sweet nothings, but it stays a corpse and she gets out.

Tom's looking at Sophie, she has some kind of big bite near her belly button. I'm guessing, anyway. Both Sophie and cough Will are dead, but the big bite suddenly closes up, to the tune of evil whisperings. Suddenly Sophie sits up, says “Hello soldier” in demon voice, then starts calling for Leader, saying “Tom's killed Will, help!” Ooh, now, that's just mean!

Leader and Foulie show up, and Leader and Tom start fighting, and then Annie and Moe show up and Annie says to stop fighting, “Things are bad enough already!”

Tom explains that cough Will bit Sophie, then Sophie ran off and Will was dead, but Sophie wasn't herself, and Moe is onto something with this occult stuff. Leader responds, “You must think I'm stupid.” Well, yes, I do. Oh, wait, you were asking the other characters. Sorry! I'll bug out. Just ignore me typing over here.

Anyway, Annie calls a truce, and they watch the video camera she grabbed from the Corpse Room. And we're watching it too. So far, lots of muttering, indistinct dialogue and vague visuals. No one's terribly impressed. Oh wait...they're all chanting around the chalk runes that Moe found earlier below decks.

The folks decide to fast forward, and there's a scene where some workers are questioning a boss type about What's Going On. He evades any answers, and when he leaves, one of the workers says to another, “We could try more of your voodoo stuff.”

And cut to some other time. The talk is, there are four of them left (including Bald Voodoo Guy). Two of them are suiting up in some kind of super-survival suits, and they're going to jump overboard and take their chances. Bald Voodoo Guy argues against this. We can't tell if Cameraman is going to jump too or stay with Bald Voodoo Guy, but, heck, his camera was found on board so I'm betting it's the latter.

But then we cut again, and Bald Voodoo Guy is addressing the camera, saying, “I'm now alone.” So, maybe in the previous scene, he just had the camcorder sitting on the table...pointed right at him, himself. Hey, it's happened before.

Anyway, Bald Voodoo Guy gives a solioquy, talking about how “it” has moved from one of them to another. Everyone is either dead or overboard (and presumed dead). Remember when I mentioned the X-Files earlier? Well, Bald Voodoo Guy says that if you're watching this tape, “Trust no one.”

You know, there are worse shows to draw from. He continues: “Use the intructions in the book, we left it in the circle. It won't go in there. God be with you.” And the tape cuts to some point in the past, when everyone is celebrating something, implying that BVG taped over an earlier tape to present his warning. “Poor bastards,” observes Wheelchair.

Tom has a handle on what is going on, saying that “something” is moving through the group, “using our bodies somehow” while, of course, Leader is poo-pooing it all.

“It's a kind of possession,” says Moe, “and every time it moves on, it leaves somebody dead.”

Foulie is all, well, Foulie. She wants to swim back to...somewhere. Wheelchair points out she wouldn't last ten minutes. He then goes on to poop everyone's party by noting that the lifeboats wouldn't allow one to last more than a few hours at best. Well, why not just bring everyone down!

So Tom chimes in to try and cheer us all, and says the first priority is to fix the radio and call for help. So they go off to do that. But there seems to be a problem with the antenna. So Tom and Annie go off to see if they can fix that. And Leader goes on about, “Why are we trusting this guy?” and Foulie chimes in that she thinks Tom killed Sophie. Moe points out that everyone saw the video, right?

Leader and Foulie want to get some weapons. Moe points out that they were not to split up. However, that was a Tom suggestion, so Leader and Foulie just leg it, I suppose to get weapons, but more likely because they...well, they...well, they're designated idiots. Morons. Foulie's cute and all, but you all know that that really doesn't count for anything in the movies. Hell, they're all cute in the movies.

Besides, hating weapons seemed to be the most important thing to these folks. They were shedding their skins when it turned out leader had a gun.

Looks like Foulie's found some big spear. They find another body. Now they're all back to Tom's the bad guy. Cut back to Tom, who says Leader and Foulie were stupid to run off by themselves. So they're going to go look for them. Wheelchair and Moe will stay behind. Oh good, so now we have Leader and Foulie, Tom and Annie, and Wheelchair and Moe ALL split up. Tom says no way, they all stick together. Nice that someone has sense. They find Sophie's body and approach with caution. I think she's still alive? Hard to say, but “it” (this possessing spirit) has apparently moved on. So they take her, and proceed down to where the chalk circle is. They start hearing noises, and Tom orders everyone in, and asks Moe to read from a book telling how the circle works. Moe replies that it's some kind of “sanctuary” but he isn't sure how it works.

Suddenly Foulie shows up, apparently injured or constipated or something, there's blood but she seems more out-of-sorts than hurt...she says that she and Leader found Sophie, and Sophie wasn't quite dead, and “it” jumped from her into Leader. Foulie's been cut in the knee. Leader shows up now. He says that Foulie is the one who has “it.” Leader seems to be injured too. Tom calls him into the circle, Foulie protesting all the while, but Leader throws down his spear before entering. He's able to get in, which makes them all relax. Leader asks why Tom doesn't believe him, and suddenly Moe lets out an expletive.

“I've got it all wrong!” he says, “Evil CAN enter the circle!” Everyone's like, Oh crap. “But Evil can't LEAVE the circle!” So Tom asks Leader to leave the circle now, to prove his non-evilness. He gets out of the circle, but Foulie runs him through with the spear. She talks in demon voices and tells them, go ahead, stay in the circle, you're going to get hungry after a couple of days. She saunters off.

The rest of them go to the radio room, but Foulie's already been there. Moe reads more of the diary, saying that once the Evil has entered the circle, it's under control of the host body. So the possessed person now can control the Evil. Moe's reading from the Bible about Jesus casting out devils, the bit about “my name is Legion, etc” and we see a microphone. And we cut to Foulie, who is speaking along with the Biblical verses in Demon voice.

Why do demons do that with the voices, anyway? Honestly, it just makes them harder to understand, and besides, it pretty much says, Yes, I AM a demon! Whatever happened to letting the skeptics do part of your work for you, with them all saying “I don't believe in demons, this is just a person!” With the Demon voice, it's pretty much, “Damn, that's a demon all right.”

Anyway, our band of survivors discuss what they should do. Tom says “I managed to get in touch with my team, they're sending a rescue.” But I think he said that cos he saw the microphone. They all go back to the circle, cut to Foulie drumming her bloody fingers.

Tom spills the beans to the others about the fake rescue, he said it to mislead Foulie. They're looking for “survival suits” and such so they can go overboard or something. But Wheelchair says there aren't enough suits. He also wants the others to leave him, as he'll slow them up. But Tom's the hero and he won't have any of that. Wheelchair says that even with the suits, the water is so cold they'd die after an hour or so.

Cut to Moe and Annie walking along, and Foulie surprises them. She chases them, and when they split up, she goes after Annie. Annie goes into some room with a hydraulic door and Foulie can't get at her.

Moe comes out of where he ran to, and he's doing that damn walking backwards thing. Good heavens, why do people in horror movies do that? You know what I mean, where they're walking slowly along looking BACK THE WAY THEY CAME. Because pretty much always, they turn around and there's the monster. But in this case, Foulie appears in a cabin window behind him. Nice shot! He runs away and she presumably gives chase.

He's running for the circle, I'm guessing, however he's also bald and scared and doesn't have a chance for a love interest, so I think he's probably doomed. Anyway, he ran into the locker room and hid in a locker. But she's there too. And there's whispering on the soundtrack. So, one of two things (I think) is going to happen. She'll ram the spear through the locker door, or fling it open and he'll stab her. But then the Evil will enter him. Earlier, he said he'd rather drown or freeze than have the Evil in him.

Either way, it doesn't look good for Moe.

By the way, everyone has a spear now. Not an improvised one, either, but a real spear. Are these common on oil rigs?

Tom and Wheelchair show up in the video monitoring room, and note the blood on the desk, and realize that, yes, Foulie was in here watching them. Wheelchair touches the blood, and begins tapping his fingers the same way Foulie was. At first I thought that meant he was going to be infected, because the director gave us a nice close-up, but then I thought this is going against the rules. Besides, isn't there just one demon? Of course, Foulie/Demon did read along with that bit about “I am Legion, and I am many.”

Anyway, the two of them see Annie on the monitor hauling some big thing around. I forgot to mention that Annie left the hydraulic room and started dragging this big plastic box around, kind of a thing you'd pack a survival suit or a raft in.

Back to Moe, he gets out of the locker, and Foulie shows up behind him. “I just want to show you how lovin' I can be,” and I'll be damned disappointed if he falls for that.

Well, he doesn't get the chance, she slams him a good one, then bends down to give him (presumably) a big ole bite, so she can die and he'll be the Demon now.

When this happens, power starts failing all over the ship. Tom points out that whoever gets infected, gets healed of any woulds he or she had. Tall Guy's rat bite disappeared, Who The Hell Was He Anyway's hammer bruises were all gone, Tom himself saw Sophie's stomach bite heal up instantly. So, he suggests that if Annie or Moe show up, they cut them and see if they heal. And if that doesn't work, they torch the place.

“How do we get out?” asks Wheelchair.

“Maybe we don't.”

Anyway, Annie shows up, she's brought the “cannister” and I have to confess, I don't remember what the hell she means. Tom apologizes, then Moe shows up. He has them both sit down against the wall.

You know, this, along with the “Maybe we don't” dialogue, is a nice hommage to John Carpenter's version of The Thing. Remember the blood test in that film? Well, I think we're seeing the demonic replay of that here. It makes sense, too, because in Carpenter's film, the creature could imitate anyone perfectly. Here, the “demon” inhabits the victim's body. Of course, in Carpenter, the thing was geometric, it didn't need to leave one body to infect another.

Well, back to the show. Tom begins asking them how they escaped from Foulie. But Wheelchair notices Moe's fingers, nervously drumming on his knee. Uh, his own knee, of course. He tells Tom, “I'll take Annie,” which is nice, but why not, “Tom, it's Moe!” He does whisper this to Annie, though, and pretends to cut her so Moe won't object. So Tom cuts Moe. And they check the wounds, and Moe still has one, but of course Annie doesn't. Hell, was I right about Wheelchair being possessed too? Annie objects, saying what Wheelchair told her, but Tom gives Moe a spear and Wheelchair is all, “Aha, it's you, Annie.”

So Tom kills Annie. And he's now alone with two Demons. And Moe slashes him, and talks in Demon voice. But then Wheelchair pulls a gun on Moe and shoots him. “Come into me!” he says. He shoots him again. I guess his plan is, he's crippled, so if the demon enters him, he can't, well, Annie's been stabbed by Tom, presumably she's dead. Moe is possessed. And Tom's been slashed by Moe.

So, a wheelchair-bound demon can't chase a guy who's been stabbed. You know, there's something wrong with that plan, Wheelchair, but I can't put my finger on it! Esp. since you got (non-possessed) Annie (presumably) killed. (I say presumably because that doesn't leave anyone for a love interest, unless this movie is considerably more cosmopolitan than I originally thought.)

Well, Tom tries to intervene, and Wheelchair shoots him! Good grief, man! Enough! He tells Moe, “The next shot is to the head, or the heart!” and Moe is all demon-voiced, “Do you know who I am?” but Wheelchair shoots him in the heart. Moe falls toward Wheelchair, who commands him (gun to head) “Bite, bite!” Moe does...and the power starts going on, all over the ship. What the hell?

Well, Moe collapses, dead I suppose. And Wheelchair...stands up. Oh...great plan. You can walk now, so now, with dead or injured people all around you, you're the healthiest person there. For a demon. “It worked!” he shouts.

And he goes to the lounge and watches more of the tape we saw earlier. And someone else takes the camera, and we see that the previous camera guy was...Wheelchair! He watches himself being all celebratory with Occult Bald Guy's birthday. He then watches more footage of the workers escaping with the “survival suits” while he (again, the cameraman) is going to stay behind. He shuts off the video and walks out of the room.

Next, he is talking to the camera again. “If you're watching this, we're all dead. I don't have much's [Leader]. When he found out Tom was a spy, he shot him. Etc.” Basically he's saying it's all human villainy at work, why, I don't know. Suppose someone finds these tapes he's making, and he DID say it was a demon, are they going to say, “A demon!? Man, I am SO there! Let's dig it up!”? Wait, don't answer that, Hollywood. I wasn't talking to you anyway;

So, Wheelchair goes to confront the dying Tom. Tom asked if this was all planned, and Wheelchair says “I warned you to leave. But we all have to make our sacrifices.” Tom points out that the demon hasn't taken him over completely, “How are you controlling it?” At which point, Wheelchair shoots him in the head.


Cut to a morning shoreline, and someone is bringing a liferaft up to the shore. We hear voices, “How are you controlling it?” “The evil can't leave the circle.” “Once in the circle, the evil is controlled by the host.”

And we see the man in the shore is Wheelchair, bringing the liferaft to the shore. And he's stripped to the waist...and around his stomach is a tattoo of the runes in the circle. So the evil IS imprisoned! And role credits.

Lots of “Scottish” as in, “Scottish Screen Trainee: Martin Ireland” (now there's irony!). There's a bit about how “No animals were mistreated” which is always nice to hear, but I have to ask...animals? I don't remember any animals. Oh, wait, there were those rats earlier. I guess someone was on pins and needles throughout the screening thinking, Man, I hope they treated those rats well. Well, you worried over nothing, man!

Well, what to think? I would say this: director Julian Kean has a great visual sense, a good sense of textures, and a very firm hand on how to make the best of his visual resources. This film LOOKS and sounds great. So, would I watch anything else made by Julian Kean?

Well, depends I guess on whether or not he was one of the writers. Here is where the film falls down. Viscerally, it's a treat, intellectually...well, less so. Like the direction, lots of atmosphere, but not a lot of sense, and worse, no one to really cheer for. I'm sure I mentioned this before, but I like having someone I can identify with, someone whose struggles I can become involved with. No one here. Well, there is Tom...we can certainly identify with his efforts to save everyone, but that just makes it pretty depressing when he's killed—especially when he's killed by Wheelchair, who Tom had gone out of his way to protect.

So, Wheelchair...he's our only survivor, and he basically either kills or gets our only “normals” killed. I mean, it's nice that he is containing the demon and all, but it's easy to see this as selfish, too (“I got my legs back!”). I'm still not clear why he had to get everyone killed...I guess it was some kind of “This story must never be told!” sort of thing, but those kind of obsessions aren't that easy to identify with. It would be easier if we knew something more about the Evil Demon, and why it is more important for everyone to die than to risk it being loosed on the world.

So, where does this movie fall? Yea or Nay?

I guess I'd say a (qualified) Yea. As I've said so many times I'm sure you're asleep now, Julian Keen supplies a lot of atmosphere and has a great command of his visuals. He uses the settings and resources (like the video cameras) very well. And much as the ending is, well, odd and not very satisfying, it's also intriguing. It's like the prelude of The Keep or the Highlander or something, with Wheelchair now a marked man, wandering from situation to situation, with the Evil still inside him waiting for its own opportunity. He goes from town to town, trying to help folks, but the Evil always messes things up, and he has to leave town again! I hate to admit it, but the ending kind of made me think that a sequel could be pretty good.

So, visually, atmospherically, pace-wise, the movie is worth seeing.

On the other hand, the characters were pretty dumb and indistinguishable from each other. Remember how I embarassed myself by mistaking Annie for Sophie? No? Wow, that's really sweet of you, thanks, but no, I must admit it: I got some pretty generic, uninteresting characters mixed up. And that is what will be written on my tomb! If I don't pay that bill, I mean.

In fact, the women characters here are very poorly realized. Only Foulie, with her penchant for profanity, really stands out much, and that's a hard characteristic to root for. Some of the male characters are just as generic. There was that one guy that Undead Spray Paint Guy killed, and I can't recall anything else about him. (Talk about your deisgnated victim.) True, Wheelchair, Tom and Moe have their interesting sides (even Bald Voodoo guy, too)...but then, why have characters you care about when you're just going to kill them?

So, my recommendation is...well, don't rent just this one movie. Use it like an appetiser before your main course. This film definitely falls on the positive side of the spectrum, but only just.

And yes, I suppose I will be looking for the name “Julian Kean” in the future...Good on you, Julian. You made this one work. More I cannot ask. Well, yeah, I can, but you know...

PS: I just recently learned that the IMDB has this one under the title "The Devil's Tattoo" so I have made the adjustments accordingly here. But, boy, talk about blowing your surprise's like when Orson Welles came this close to releasing Citizen Kane as "Rosebud: The Name of His Sled." (Now you can say you've read a review of Ghost Rig which mentions Citizen Kane!