Thursday, April 17, 2014

The Carpenter

Wings Hauser (the murderous pimp Ramrod in 1982’s VICE SQUAD) is perfectly cast as a raving psychopath in the Canadian horror film THE CARPENTER. Playing, what else, a carpenter.

College professor Martin Jarett (Pierre Lenoir) comes home to find his wife Alice (Lynne Adams) cutting up his suits. So he tosses her in the looney bin, eh, and when she gets out, they move into a big fixer-upper in the country. One night, she awakens to find a man (Hauser) hammering-and-sawing away in the basement. He seems nice enough, and she goes back to bed. She sees this carpenter on other nights too—always when they’re alone—and it doesn’t bother her much when he uses his power tools to kill jerks just as nonchalantly as his regular duties.

Ron Lea, a terrible actor, pops by the house as the local sheriff in law enforcement’s worst fitting uniform to deliver exposition about the house’s backstory, and Alice determines that the mysterious carpenter is the ghost of Ed, the house’s former owner who committed mass murder in it. And she and the spirit—if it exists—start to fall in love.

I don’t know—this is a weird movie, but not an entertaining kind of weird. It’s kinda boring, to tell you the truth, and I think part of the problem is that director David Wellington wanted to tell a classy love story about a woman in a loveless marriage who falls for a ghost, and either the money men or the marketplace demanded a slasher movie with gore. So he halfasses the murder scenes so they don’t make much sense.

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