Originally destined for an unceremonious and immediate "direct-to-video" release, Tamara has earned its fair share of internet fanboy buzz over the past few months, thanks partially to the Lions Gate folks having their finger on the horror-geek pulse, but mainly because the lead actress is a stunningly sexy femme fatale who plays a murderous mega-witch super-bitch from beyond the graaaaave.
Penned by Final Destination scribe Jeffrey Reddick, Tamara is nothing more than Stephen King's (or more specifically, Brian De Palma's) Carrie gussied up for a new generation of horror-lovin' moviegoers. As such, Tamara looks, sounds, and feels like just about every single "high school misfit wreaks unholy revenge" flick ever made, from Evilspeak to Christine and from Massacre at Central High to Laserblast. (Basically: this one old-school horror concept.)
Dusted off and dressed up for a modern generation of inevitably sarcastic, dismissive, and angst-laden teenagers, Tamara works well enough for what it is ... which, admittedly, isn't all that much, but there's a spark of stylish creativity that runs through the flick, and it's one that the hardcore horror fans will come to enjoy -- even if it doesn't become one of their very favorite "under the radar" genre confections.
The plot's as simple as the recipe for peanut butter & jelly: A mousy, nerdly, and facially unpleasent nerdette earns some vicious bile from her school's "cool kids," mainly because she just penned a newspaper article about a steroids scandal that's shaken the school's athletic department. So the evil kids do what anyone would do after being fingered for steroid abuse: they trick the reporter into visiting a motel room and they videotape the gal getting naked and trying to seduce the English teacher she adores.
Needless to say, things get out of control, poor Tamara ends up with a cracked-open skull, and the half-dozen tormentors conspire to bury her corpse and, y'know, act like they didn't just cause the horrible death of a 17-year-old girl.
Fortunately for Tamara, she has a surprisingly powerful gift for the art of witchcraft, which allows her to not only attend school the day after her own murder, but also to wreak all sorts of gruesomely wonderful revenge on the bastards who done her wrong. And wreak she does.
Also for some reason, Tamara doesn't just wipe the dirt out of her hair and climb into a classroom. Nope, this re-animated demoness returns to school looking like she just fell out of a 60% off sale at Hot Topic. Frankly, the post-death version of Tamara is so damn sexy they could have called her movie Hellbait.
With this familiar (yet comfortably entertaining) concept now laid out, Mr. Reddick and director Jeremy Haft try to infuse a few jolts of creativity into their flick. Tamara, you see, doesn't just want to kill her tormentors and woo the dreamy English teacher. No, she aims to have her tormentors terrorize, mutilate, and murder themselves ... and as far as that English teacher's pregnant young wife is concerned, well, let's just say Tamara's not a big fan of the gal.
As relatively stylish on the surface as it is resoundingly familiar beneath, Tamara should prove more than serviceable enough for the hardcore horror fans, none of whom will be stunned to learn that the DVD is coming courtesy of the gorehound's best friend: Lions Gate Films. And while Tamara lacks the original spin on an old concept that something like Lucky McKee's May exhibits, there's still just enough for the genre geeks to get behind for 90-some slick minutes.
(Review reprinted from eFilmCritic.com, because I felt like it!)