Trapped Alive

1993.  The year that Monday Night Raw made its debut on the USA Network.  Those early episodes are fucking golden.  Don't let anyone tell you that a show where "Macho Man" Randy Savage AND Doink the Clown might appear isn't golden.  Those people...they are bad people.  Anyway, Doink--wait, fuck!  I have to review Trapped Alive, don't I?  I don't have to, but whatev(er).  This wintry, niveous knuckle-duster was actually shot in 1988, but it was condemned to the shelf for five years.  Because.  Eons ago, I saw the trailer and for some reason I have yet to ascertain, I decided that I longed for Trapped Alive.  This has not been a tidy movie to track down.  Thankfully, Arrow has given it the Blu-ray treatment, and fuck-flavored semen berries, it didn't deserve such stately, resplendent treatment.

I almost went with "semen-soaked Scooby snacks."  I'm a writer.  The plot involves a pair of giggly girls being carjacked after leaving a Christmas party.  This wasn't just any Christmas party.  It was attended by Cameron (goddamn) Mitchell!  He appears for two minutes total.  Not even worth mentioning, but here we are.  The carjackers have just escaped prison, and I'm sure they had grand plans of dereliction.  Unfortunately, the car they jacked skids into a mine shaft.  We're underground, folks.  You know what that means.  If not, I'll spell it out for you.  The viewer's eyes are privy to darkness, near-Cimmerian lighting and more darkness.

That could be a huge piss-off, but Trapped Alive is a well-cobbled production.  Don't get me wrong, kid; the budget is low, so low that it impairs the film in other ways (more on them later).  However!  Director Leszek Burzynski keeps everything crackling on a professional tip.  I like his camera spacing.  A bizarre, random compliment, but yeah.  The action isn't too far away, nor is it too close to the camera.  Yeah.  Several cast members have this grotto gathering listed as their only credit, but on the pothole (get it???), the acting is solid.  Sullivan Hester fares well as the cute final girl.  Oh, you'll never believe this, but one of the villains is a giant, toothless oaf named Mongo.  Wrestling fans will appreciate that, although he meets his end in the first act.  Inexcusable!

Speaking of villains, I haven't said much as it relates to the main heavy.  Technically, he's a monster, but he's painfully human.  You can pretend that he was created in a laboratory, I suppose.  Still, he's fucking dull.  The death sequences?  Dull.  The worst thing you can say about any genre flick is that it's untenably dull and that's precisely how I would paint Trapped Alive.  It has its moments.  Thanks to Arrow, the colors are gorgeous, but that's the veneer.  I don't see anyone jumping for joy over the product itself.  It needed more Cameron Mitchell.  And Doink!  It needed more Doink, "the most evil clown that ever lived."  That's a Savage quote, by the way.


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