Good, Bad & Ugly Review: Muck

Rotten Tomatoes Rating: NA (Critics) / 22% (Audience)
Directed By: Steve Wolsh
Written By: Steve Wolsh
Starring: Lachlan Buchanan, Jaclyn Swedberg, Gia Skova and Kane Hodder
Studio: Anchor Bay
Synopsis: After narrowly escaping an ancient burial ground, a group of friends find themselves trapped between two evils, forcing them to fight, die, or go back the way they came. – (Source)

The Good:
This movie has a pretty distinct look which gives it the appearance of being made with a bigger budget than it actually was. A little research shows that the director used a Red Epic ultra HD camera and it was a good decision to do so because the film looks good at least.
And I always appreciate it when someone gives Kane Hodder a paycheck.

The Bad:
This movie will make you lose IQ points. There are so many attempts at humor that just completely fall flat yet no one thought to rework the script and remove the supposed comedy bits. The movie also makes zero sense and characters do remarkably stupid things from start to finish. I know that people in horror movies acting like idiots is standard operating procedure in horror films but the characters in this movie behave like they have all just had lobotomies.
The editing leaves a lot to be desired too with annoying quick cuts and jumps from one scene to another with no warning.
Also the decision to start this film in the middle of what is supposed to be film trilogy (the second film with be a prequel and the third shows the aftermath) was a seriously misguided one. The viewer is immediately plopped into the middle of a horror movie with zero explanation except that a bunch of incredibly obnoxious people are being chased by murderous albino swamp people.

The Ugly:
I felt like reporting myself to the local authorities as a pervy Peeping Tom after watching this movie. A bit of naked lady flesh is to be expected in horror movies but this one crosses the line from titillation to outright sexual exploitation. The women in this movie existed for no other reason than to be jiggling sex objects; a point that was driven home by the movie’s insistence that every time a woman walked into a room with a mirror that she would immediately strip down. Or the fact that there was a character whose face we never saw but were given constant shots of her running around in just a pair of panties. And the way the camera almost felt like it was leering at these women with slow crawls across their bodies…it was just a bit too creepily misogynist for my liking. Not sure if the filmmaker was going for some sort of grindhouse/horror movie spoor vibe but he failed to stick the landing.

Final Verdict: A seriously bad movie from top to bottom: bad acting, bad writing, bad directing…just bad everything. Add to that a really gross pervert vibe as the women in the film are treated like nothing but sexual objects to be ogled at right before they get butchered and MUCK ends up being a really unenjoyable film watching experience.
It does look better than it deserves though.

Grade: D-

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