I was about 25 minutes into an amazingly amateurish horror movie called The Scorned before I recognized 'em ... there! That's Jenna from Survivor! And there! That's curly-haired Ethan guy from Survivor! What's going on here? Since Survivor is the only reality show I've ever been geeky about, those are the only cast members I recognized, but a small amount of research indicates that The Scorned is a movie cast only with reality show TV "stars"!! What fresh hell is this??
The Scorned was borne from an E! Channel series called Reality Kills, similar to the way in which Stolen Summer and The Battle of Shaker Heights were borne from Project Greenlight -- only instead of trying to make a good movie, the folks behind The Scorned were simply intent on making a movie -- one that stars ... nothing but ... Reality TV "stars."
I'll spoil the surprise right now: The acting stinks. All of it. That's to be expected from a group of people who, 18 months ago, were nothing more than accountants, bartenders, and dog groomers, but if you ever want a crystal-clear example of how hard it is to be a convincing actor ... rent this flick. The lack of talent practically radiates off the screen.
The plot's about a beach house haunted by a nearly-dead-yet-comatose bitch of an actress, who kills a newly arrived group of "youths" while the remaining imbeciles try to figure out why everyone's dropping dead.
Oh, they're all here: The Real World's Steven Hill, Tonya Cooley, and Trishelle Cannatella, The Amazing Race's Reichen Lehmkuhl, Big Brother's Erika Landin, Love Cruise's Toni Ferrari, The Apprentice's Stacie Jones Upchurch, The Bachelor's Trish Schneider, Bob Guiney, ... and my favorites, Survivor's trifecta of thespianic ineptitude: Jon Dalton, Jenna Lewis and Ethan Zohn. Jenna because she made a raunchy sex tape and is one hilariously bad actress, Ethan because he gets to play a "raving psycho" character in The Scorned ... and he too is also hilarious, and Jonny because he gets tossed down a flight of stairs. Survivor's Jenna Morasca also floats by a few times; she's a cutie.
Even one of the screenwriters is a former reality show contestant, news that should thrill starving screenwriters the world over.
Bottom Line: Bad. And don't think it's just the actors I'm picking on here. (Although none of them are actors.) The whole clumsy concoction just reeks of cheapness: Monotonous dronings of dialogue, redundant peals of exposition, deadly-dry conversations, laughable special effects, stillborn plot twists, and on and on it goes.
Basically, The Scorned is precisely what a movie that was slapped together by a bunch of Reality Show Stars should be: laughable. Worthy of your attention only if you remember some of the aforementioned cast members and you desperately want to laugh at 'em (or see a few of 'em naked).
Video: It's a fairly good-looking widescreen (1.78:1) transfer, especially when you consider the sort of movie you're looking at.
Audio: Dolby Digital 5.1 or 2.0.
Anchor Bay saw fit to release the lumpy mass of a movie as part of an overstuffed 2-disc release, so let's just get through the extras real quick. Less painful that way.
Disc 1 contains an audio commentary with filmmakers Scott Zakarin, Eric Mittleman, Rob Cesternino (yes, another Survivor outcast), Josh Souza, and Robert Kubilos. The guys all sit around and chat about The Scorned as if it's an actual movie. Buzzwords like "production" and "audition" are employed.
Moving over to disc 2 we find...
...a 20-minute interview with director Robert Kubilos. Previous films directed by Mr. Kubilos include Night Calls: The Movie, Embrace the Darkness 3, and Girls Gone Wild! Spring Break, Anything Goes!.
...a 9-minute VIP Set Tour, hosted by the neurotic Rob Cesternino, in which several cast members wander by and make with the banter. Moving on.
...a 18-minute piece entitled Uncensored Outtakes & Fights, which is a bunch of flubs and on-set arguments about sweatshirt. meals, and who's screwing whom.
...an absolutely painful 7-minute poem entitled Rob C's History of Reality TV.
...a 12-minute block of cast auditions.
...a Kill Reality promo, a blurb for TheFishbowl.com Radio Show, and a bunch of sneak peeks for Reality Unleashed, Mind Meld, The Sid Caesar Collection, and Coming Out Party.
Why do we need to make "stars" out of a bunch of game show contestants? Don't we already have more than enough actors and actresses (good ones and bad) who are more worthy of our attention? Why not cast a horror movie with nothing but Hooters Girls and see how many DVDs that'll sell? (Actually, it'd sell pretty darn well, I'd wager, and The Hooters Girls Get Haunted would probably be a thousand times better than The Scorned.)