Reeker 1 & 2
Reeker (June 19/10)
An unusually dull slasher, Reeker follows five college students (Devon Gummersall's Jack, Derek Richardson's Nelson, Tina Illman's Gretchen, Scott Whyte's Trip, and Arielle Kebbel's Cookie) as they're forced to fend for their lives after their car breaks down within a small desert town - as a mysterious figure is in the process of brutally massacring every living thing that crosses its path. It's a rather familiar premise that's employed to consistently underwhelming effect by filmmaker Dave Payne, as the writer/director has populated the proceedings with characters that are uniformly uninteresting and underdeveloped - which effectively ensures that there's never a point wherein the viewer is able to work up even an iota of sympathy or interest in their respective exploits. There's little doubt that the almost impossibly uneventful midsection proves instrumental in cementing the movie's place as a seriously tedious piece of work, while Payne's curiously stubborn refusal to explain just what the Reeker is or why it's so hellbent on destruction is nothing short of infuriating (and what's up with that cloud of gas?) By the time the laughably baffling twist ending rolls around, Reeker has certainly established itself as one of the most wrongheaded and flat-out incompetent horror flicks to come around in a good long while. (The title character, despite Payne's dogged efforts, is not likely to become a known figure along the lines of Freddy, Jason, or even the Creeper.)
No Man's Land: The Rise of Reeker (June 20/10)
As ineffective and pointless as its 2005 forbear, No Man's Land: The Rise of Reeker once again follows a bland assortment of strangers (including Desmond Askew's Binky, Mircea Monroe's Maya, and Robert Pine's Sheriff McAllister) as they're forced to work together after the title character begins picking them off one by one. Filmmaker Dave Payne's decision to essentially copy the structure of the original film's narrative is certainly just as disastrous as one might've imagined, and although the writer/director does include a little bit of backstory on the Reeker, there's just never a point at which the viewer is wholeheartedly drawn into the progressively perilous exploits of the one-dimensional protagonists. It's also worth noting that the central villain barely figures into the storyline this time around, as Payne instead places an ongoing emphasis on the quirks that are inherent to the survivors' situation. Some of this stuff is admittedly quite intriguing - ie that invisible wall - yet the lack of suspense (we do, after all, know exactly where all this is going) stands as an insurmountable obstacle that's exacerbated by the lack of compelling characters. The end result is a sequel that's right in line with its consistently underwhelming predecessor, and it's ultimately impossible to recall a more needless horror series than the Reeker saga.