WHAT IT’S ABOUT:
Every now and then you need to get together and celebrate the works of a fallen sister; it’s for this reason that Tropical Mary settled on watching The Legend of Bloody Mary with me – I was just there for the emotional support. Turns out we needed a fair bit of it, because this movie was both horrible and, for the most part, highly non-sensical. Take my word for it – it can be very difficult watching a ‘current day’ scenario running alongside a protracted flashback, both of which have another flashback embedded in them. This confusing scenario is tethered together with some atrocious acting, oddly placed mini-skirts, a skate boarder who never skates, and the rampant abuse of a blue filter that serves no purpose whatsoever. Watch it if you dare!
It’s a tale as old as time: Amish girl gets pregnant by “immaculate conception”, town fathers hold an inquiry, no one owns up to impregnating girl, town fathers conclude it was immaculate conception – but by the devil, girl is punished for her vanity by being tied to a tree, cut with knives and forced to look at herself in a mirror while it’s happening, douche lord that actually impregnated girl does the most stabbing, girl succumbs to wounds and Hell’s fury, girl’s spirit becomes entrapped in the mirror and haunts stupid teenage girls for the rest of time. Her spirit will roam the world’s mirrors forever, her gradually decaying flesh calling out in a raspy voice that all she actually wants is some camphor cream and a lozenge. That is the story of Mary Worth.
Flash forward to the present day and meet Ryan (or Brian, we couldn’t really decide). Ryan’s about as interesting as a plank of wood and as useful as a knife with a sharp handle. Thankfully, although he’s nominally the main character of the movie, he actually has very little to do with all of it. His sister Amy was killed when the two of them were kids (and, despite him being a white, blue-eyed adult, when he was a green-eyed, hispanic child). Since then he’s been haunted by nightmare visions of Bloody Mary, so he enlists the help of Father O’Neil (aka Indiana Jehovah). Indiana Jehovah is as useless as Ryan/Brian, and the majority of his scenes are spent focussing on his eyes for reasons that aren’t immediately apparent.
The majority of the story, if that’s what we choose to call it, happens during the flashback to Amy’s encounters with Mary. Essentially it’s all a teenage game gone wrong (which is probably how Mary landed up pregnant in the first place): by writing her name, and the names of her friends, on a mirror, Amy has invoked Bloody Mary’s wrath, and she’s out to get all of them. To do so, Mary transforms into some of her more hi-tech alter egos, including Thrust Pack Mary, Hoverboard Mary, and Hover Shoes Mary. In some bizarre way this loops back to the present day and somehow involves a mass grave, some diaries from the 1600s, Mary’s mirror, and the most inept game of hot potato you’re ever likely to see. All of which, I must reiterate, could’ve been avoided if someone just gave the demonic bitch a lozenge.
LIFE’S LESSONS LEARNED:
- American Green Cards allow a person to change their race.
- 1 corpse is enough to designate an area as a mass grave.
- Carbon dating can be done in a single day.
- Games can have placebo effects.
- Nothing says casual Friday like a professional mini-skirt.
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Unlike most trilogies in the horror genre, You Broke It: 3 Trilogies That Went Awry must come to an end after its 3rd instalment. It was fun, and I learned a lot of things from this little experiment, not least the importance of continuity within a franchise 🙂 In case you missed any of it, the case studies were:
WHAT IT’S ABOUT:
Welcome to the second instalment of You Broke It: 3 Trilogies That Went Awry. Today we’ll be looking at the third movie in the Urban Legends franchise, Bloody Mary. I chose this movie because it fit many of the same criteria as I’ll Always Know What You Did Last Summer in that, while the first two Urban Legends movies were not directly linked, this movie takes the story down a completely different track and completely abandons its predecessors’ slasher elements in favour of being a ghost story. I would also like to state from the get-go that, despite the title, the Bloody Mary myth is used very loosely and only as a means of justifying adding this movie to the franchise.
To begin our story we need to go back in time to the summer of ’69, albeit a far more tragic version than the one Bryan Adams has been describing for all these years. It’s the local high school’s homecoming celebration (admittedly, living in South Africa, I have no clue how homecoming works or what it’s for) and Mary Banner just feels like the most important girl in the whole school. The alpha jock has decided to dump his bitch of a girlfriend Dawn and asks Mary to the dance, proving that every now and then the plain girl can get the guy. He even manages to hook Mary’s 2 best friends Gina and Grace up with two of his buddies so that they can all be a matching set. If only good things like this did happen to the plain girl. Seems like the boys and Dawn aren’t happy about the fact that Mary and Co. don’t worship the ground the walk on so they decide to drug the three girls and play a little prank on them. Mary, not having any of it, runs away and tries to find help. Unfortunately for her she lands up cornered in the basement and, while trying to escape, she trips and knocks her head on the table, killing her. Not wanting to go to jail the alpha jock takes her body and hides it in a trunk, where it has stayed ever since.
Flash forward to 2005 and history’s busy repeating itself, just this time it has the use of modern technology. Samantha works for the school newspaper and recently published an article debating whether footballers should be given good grades simply because they know how to run around a field and throw a ball to one another. The article is accompanied by a very unflattering photograph of three jocks in particular. When homecoming rolls round Sam and her two friends decide that they don’t want to go and instead stage a slumber party. The boys, upset at how their vast levels of intelligence have been insulted by Sam’s article, rock up in the middle of the night, give the girls some chloroform and stick them in a room in the old abandoned paper mill. Unlike the events of the summer of ’69, however, all of the girls make it out alive and, the scare aside, seem none the worse for wear and continue on with their lives. This is when things start to get a little bit strange.
Having shouted out the words ‘Bloody Mary’ three times during the slumber party (although not into a mirror or anything even mildly reflective) Sam and her friends have somehow managed to invoke the spirit of Mary Banner, and she’s pissed. Seeing this turn of events and Sam’s similar situation Mary decides that now is the time to take her revenge and kill those people involved in Sam’s kidnapping. It starts off with a simple homage to Aerobicide where one of the jocks is fried to a crisp in a sun tanning bed but gradually the attacks become more sinister and Mary’s ghost becomes angrier and angrier. What Sam and her twin brother David need to find out is why Mary has come back and why she has chosen this as her method of seeking revenge. With the help of Grace they will seek to uncover the truth about what happened all those years ago, but they will not seek to find out how Grace, a heavy stoner who hasn’t been outside her house in years, manages to get groceries and daily copies of the newspaper.
Some final thoughts on the matter. Like I’ll Always Know What You Did Last Summer this isn’t a terrible movie and, had it been released as a stand-alone film, would probably have been reasonably entertaining. It suffers from the fact that it tries to force the urban legend angle where it really doesn’t fit into the plot. The reference to Bloody Mary herself is only used so that the movie can in some way try to fit in with its predecessors and the murders using urban legends is in no way justified or explained. The use of newspaper clippings referring to the second Urban Legends movie, as well as a few recycled scenes, also fail to make this in any way a part of a continuous narrative. Whoever’s idea this was should hang their head in shame (just a little bit) for trying to sell a ghost story by piggy backing on two slasher films and hoping that nobody would notice. Because we did.
LIFE’S LESSONS LEARNED:
- To spike a hippie chick’s drink you need A LOT of rohypnol.
- Girls who assert their independence and opinions are doomed to a lonely, single life.
- Pillow fights are a great way for friends to sort out their issues.
- Some people just don’t see the funny side of being drugged and locked in a room.
- Alpha jocks can convince lesser jocks to do anything.
- Anyone who uses dial-up internet is high on crack.
- Ghosts always start out with a plan but God help you they devise a new one later on.
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