2007
Rated: R for gore, graphic violence, and adult language.
Genre:
Directed By: Anthony C. Ferrante
Running Time: 1:30
Review by: Felix Vasquez Jr.
Review Date: 10/29/07
Special Features:
N/A.
HEADLESS HORSEMAN

 

I still say that the two best representations of the legend of sleepy hollow were from Disney decades ago, and by Tim Burton whose own “Sleepy Hollow” was as good an adaptation as you can get. I didn’t expect “Headless Horseman” to live up to these standards, because it’s clearly a low budget horror effort, but hell, when you spin on the Sleepy Hollow tale, you have some responsibility to entertain. And if you fail, you’re going to fall hard. “Headless Horseman” is that exact movie that takes a classic tale and turns it into much more clichés. There’s a bunch of white bread actors playing college students who are on the road traveling to a party… I think. Their van breaks down, and they end up in an old Southern town where old characters mutter chestnuts like “Y’all just passing through, huh?” Ferrante, director of “Boo,” a film I’ve yet to bother watching, really twists the story for the sake of avoiding anachronisms and error in facts, especially insisting that the character of the headless horseman really didn’t strike in New England, but the Southern town they happen upon.

As they settle in and discover the odd town filled with ancient buildings and run of the mill attempted surrealism (Dwarfs? Really? Who uses Dwarfs for surrealism, anymore?), eventually, “Headless Horseman” turns into “Texas Chainsaw Massacre” with the iconic horror character in place of Leatherface. There are abandoned wrecked cars, creaky old houses, crusty residents, and for the first time ever, the Headless Horseman is completely void of personality or menace.  

So, yet again, we’re forced to watch a group of twenty something’s stroll into this decrepit town and display a shocking amount of apathy once one of their friends gets his head lopped off. The obligatory hot member of the town explains the convoluted origin of the headless horseman, and our characters even come across a psychotic sheriff who brought back painful flashbacks of R. Lee Ermy. That’s probably the sole intent. Remaking the “TCM” remake without avoiding the copyright infringement, and Ferrante succeeds in giving us a classic monster that is about as much of a one dimensional prop as ever. Ferrante craftily keeps the horseman at arms view so we don’t have to see that his head is still attached, and the rest is done through propped up dummies, actors with suits over their heads, and one wide shot that probably took up most of the film’s budget. And once the Horseman loses his horse and takes to riding a motorcycle, well… I knew everyone involved had all but given up.

The direct of "Boo" serves up a bonafide dud of a horror film that pretends to be a spin on the Headless Horseman but really is just another rip off of "The Texas Chainsaw Massacre." B movie fans need apply, for everyone else, there's nothing to see here.

 

 

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