Mixed alphanumerical titles seem to pop up in Hollywood from time to time. Maybe it’s the influence of text speak, maybe it’s a cleaver tactic to make the movie more memorable, or maybe its just down to the writer not being able to spell.
Whatever it is, films like Se7en and Thir13en Ghosts always make me wonder one thing, how the hell do you pronounce the title?
7eventy 5ive (or seven eventy five ive as I want to call it) is a modern day slasher which takes its cues firmly from the classic 80’s movies that made the genre great.
Films like the untouchable Halloween, the brilliant The Burning and the underrated Tourist Trap were ‘stand-out’ examples of a decade of VHS chillers. Where killers with trademark weapons wreaked havoc on unsuspecting but deserving teenagers who screamed and died in the dozens for our delight.
Since Scream however with its post-modern self referential take on the whole genre, it’s been hard for audiences to take slashers seriously. And with the rise and popularity of torture porn, which offers a darker more disturbing horror ride, the traditional slasher has been sidelined to B movie hell.
Brian Hooks wants to change all that though. As the writer, director, producer and one of the main stars of 7eventy 5ive, it is apparent this film is his vision. And that vision is to build on the slasher movie conventions of the past and give them a modern twist.
Opening with a skilfully directed scene setting flash-back, a bunch of kids make a series of prank calls, resulting in one unhappy victim of the hoax coming round with an axe and massacring the kids parents as they watch.
Flash-forward and people are still playing the same game, which they call, unsurprisingly ’75’ – the king of the calls being Marcus (Brian Hooks).
The game involves keeping someone on the phone for 75 seconds by whatever means without them guessing it’s a prank call.
As Marcus, his mates, and a lot of their friends play 75 at an alcohol and drug fuelled party in a remote mansion (I bet you didn’t see that coming), a killer goes on the loose, gorily bumping off the original kids, whose identities where hidden to protect them.
Soon the killer is in the mansion with his trusty axe, ready to finish what he started all those years ago.
As the bodies drop, it becomes more and more difficult to work out not only who is behind the whole thing, but who will survive, which is a pleasant surprise for a modern horror film. Coupled with the refreshing unpredictability, other modernisations include a good dose of humour and a positive, if random, safe sex message. However the film in no way forgets the old school traditions.
Added to the gore factor and axe action are slasher staples, including crazy hicks, dumb stoners and blonde bimbo’s. Accompanied by the legendary Rutger Hauer, playing a cop who is given one last chance to solve the unsolvable murder which has haunted his career – a horror staple if ever there was one.
Whatever you want to call it, 7eventy 5ive is an enjoyable and at times original contemporary slasher. It has one foot firmly in the old school, and credit should be given to Hooks for his achievement in almost single handedly making this movie.
Ri9ht 1’m 0ff t0 mak6 s0m6 ph0n6 ca11’5.
Additional film information: 7eventy 5ive (2007)