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The Collection

I'll be honest here and say that I never saw the first movie (The Collector) and was only (moderately) aware that it was a thing when I opted to watch this movie the other night.

That said, I was able to watch The Collection without needing whatever "back story" or set up the first one may have set up. (Possibly a mark in the plus column?) Throughout, I actually had less of the feeling, "I'm missing something from the first movie" and more of the feeling, "They're leading up to the movie that will come after this."

So, about the movie.
If I'd paid to see this movie in the theatre, I'd be annoyed. Having watched it on Netflix, at least I can be comforted knowing that I only wasted my time not my time and my money.

The acting is (sort of) over-the-top but not more than I expected for the movie from a cast that is generic but acceptable. There are a few token "movie stars" in there: Chris McDonald & Lee Tergesen. When I'm watching a crap movie and I spot those token actors, my first thought is always, "Well, that's where their whole budget went."

With that said though, I kind of found myself digging Emma Fitzpatrick. She's hot. Her character was strong. And I've since seen her YouTube riff on Anne Hathaway (and it's hilarious.)

The writing is no worse than any other similar flick. It is, quite obviously, written by the guys who wrote some of the later Saw sequels. I read that The Collector was originally conceived as a prequel to Saw, so I'm not sure how or where The Collection would fit into that universe. And I'm not sure that it really matters either because, much like a soap opera, any plot hole or obstacle can be "countered" with any ridiculous solution the writers imagine.

It's also, very obviously, a sloppy attempt to capitalize on the popularity of that franchise. The underlying plot is just the plot of Saw; crazy guy kills people in elaborate ways for fun. Which means it's only "value add" to the genre is in those elaborate kills. Which is, quite frankly, boring at this point. The fact that people are still amused by this, after the Final Destination series or The Cube or the Hostel movies or even the Saw movies themselves, is amazing to me.

Perhaps I'm coming at this the wrong way.
Perhaps these modern crapfests of "deaths with no plot line" are really just attempts to bring back exploitation movies. Maybe they are homages to Dr. Phibes & H.G. Lewis' gore films.

I like exploitation movies. So this should be a good thing, right? So why can't I get excited about these brainless modern movies? There's something about the complete absurdity that misses the mark from me. It ventures into a realm where comedy lives; it's so subjective and context-based that it's difficult to identify why certain things work for you and not others, especially when they appear, on the surface, to be the same.

I think the charm of 70's gore flicks is the elaborateness of the murders. The problem with movies like The Collection is that the murders may not be elaborate unto themselves but the set up to get to the murder is. It's like the movie version of a Rube Goldberg contraption. I love a complicated murder. I can't believe the complicated, time-dependent, minutia leading up to murders.

Dr. Phibes murders inspired by the 10 Biblical plagues VS The Collection's killer rigging a spinning wheel of murder that is triggered randomly by a trip wire on another floor of the building. They may both seem absurd but only one works for me.

Wrap up time.
If you've seen one drawn out, complicated, murder as art movie, well, dear, you have seen them all. If that's you're thing, waste an hour or so of your life to watch this movie.

You can watch The Collection trailer here:


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