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Would You Rather Movie Review

Would You RatherWould You Rather Movie Poster
Starring:  Brittany Snow. Sasha Grey, Jeffrey Combs, John Heard
Directed by:  David Guy Levy

Once you RSVP, it’s too late…

Would You Rather takes an innocent slumber party game and twists it, replacing kissing the school dweeb with self mutilation.  Reminiscent of the Saw franchise, this is torture porn with reduced gore.  The concept of this movie is grotesque  but it’s a safer, gentler release with less in your face graphic violence, all while maintaining an interesting and unique story.

Iris is dead broke after the death of her parents and desperately needs money.  She accepts a mysterious invitation to a dinner party that promises the chance to win enough money to solve her problems.  The party is hosted by Shep Lambrick (Jeffrey Combs), with the promise of one attendee winning money via an contest.  The game is revealed to be “Would You Rather”, the party game that forces you to choose between two choices.  Instead of choosing to kiss the their friend Martha or their friend Bob, the guests are astounded to learn that their choices are self mutilation or mutilating someone else.  As each round progresses with a new painful challenge, guests are eliminated either by fatal  injury or killed during an escape attempt leaving Iris and one other as the finalists.

Refreshing a stale genre, Would You Rather presents a new twist that is both unique and original.  The writers rely on implied gore to create the suspense.


The mutilating challenges all sound horrible and conjure graphic images but it’s a stark contrast to what is shown.  Lucas’s challenge is to slice open his eye.  We hear his resistance, see his panic at the thought but when he actually does it, it is so quick and shot at such an angle that there is no blood.  Peter’s challenge is to blow up a firecracker in his hand.  It sounds simple enough until it’s revealed to be a quarter stick of dynamite and that it is duct taped thoroughly to his hand.  When it explodes, the carnage is poorly lit so it’s impact is minimal and the focus is on Peter having a heart attack. Anything imagined is much worse than what is shown causing a much more intense movie.

Combs is delightful in his role as philanthropist turned sadist Shep Lambrick.  Known for his stoic portrayal of Dr. Herbert West in Reanimator, he is wonderfully chipper and animated in Would You Rather.  His delight and mockery at the moral dilemmas facing his dinner guests is fun to watch.  He munches on snacks while they decide who they are stabbing, shocking or whipping.  Combs doesn’t portray Lambrick as a maniac, he’s mostly a madman but with social skills.  Combs has such a delightful giggle when he is enjoying tormenting his guests. It’s nice to see him break out and have some fun, even if it is at the expense of others.

Would You Rather is a nice twist on the overdone torture porn genre.  It had become graphic for graphic sake (Saw) by replacing shock with copious amounts of blood.  By relying on good old suspense and implied violence, Would You Rather takes it to a new level and keeps the audience entertained all the way to the surprise ending.


March 15, 2013 Posted by | Movies, Now Playing Podcast, Podcasts, Reviews | , , , , | Comments Off on Would You Rather Movie Review

Remembering Petra – The Earth Manipulating Mutant that Saved the X-Men

Petra the X-ManWho is Petra? Is she a villain? An ally? Or probably both? For those who don’t know, Petra (original name unknown) is a Marvel comic book character from the X-Men series. She was introduced to comic book fans in the first issue of X-Men: Deadly Genesis. Petra is a mutant whose powers include manipulating rocks, solid or any form of earth. She and her family lived in Denmark, a country which has the highest per capita income, least corrupt government and ranked 1st in the happiest country index, before migrating in the United States. Who would do that? Seriously? While on a camping trip, Petra’s family was killed in a landslide. She survived without a scratch, not knowing how it happened. The unfortunate Petra was then raised by a foster family. She left her foster home to avoid her abusive father. Since then, she became a wanderer.
While travelling, Petra used her earth manipulating powers to make shelter. Eventually, she discovered that she can turn rocks into diamonds. She sold the diamonds, but only in small amounts, fearing that the people may take advantage of her powers. I don’t understand; why couldn’t she have used the diamonds in order to make money so she can gamble for a living? Las Vegas could have been the perfect place for her, abundant in land and casinos. She could make a fortune in poker. With her skill (and not to mention, good looks), she would dominate her opponents. A game that requires less luck and more strategy, poker is the best way to gamble. Even if she loses, she could still sell small amounts of diamonds to try again. A win-win situation, just like playing in Partypoker . Unfortunately, she didn’t do this. She could have been in the Marvel universe still if she did.
A young Petra was discovered by Dr. MacTaggert, a friend by X-Men founder Charles Xavier (Professor X). Seeing potential in her, Prof. X immediately assigned Petra in a rescue team to save the original X-Men team. Along with Sway, Darwin and Vulcan, they battled the “living” island of Krakoa in an attempt to rescue the X-Men trapped inside. But Krakoa proved to be too strong. Darwin and Vulcan were able to escape the island, but our heroine and Sway died fighting.
As a fan of the Marvel Universe, it is sad to see a character with so much to offer be taken off the comic books. Petra’s power was awesome. Earth manipulation and turning rocks into diamonds, how cool is that? She was also designed very well that I thought she would be part of the main X-Men team. With the popularity of Marvel today, maybe she could have been a member of the Avengers. Too bad we will never know.

March 15, 2013 Posted by | Comic Books | Comments Off on Remembering Petra – The Earth Manipulating Mutant that Saved the X-Men