In the opening minutes of "See Jane Run," an old Joe Estevez stumbles onto screen. Considering he is best known for appearing in bad low budget films (some of which have appeared on "Mystery Science Theater 3000"), it seemed like a bad omen. As it turns out, it was indeed a bad omen.
The story: If you take a bit of "Texas Chainsaw Massacre," and add a little "Saw," you've got the basic plot of "See Jane Run," which concerns four people (out on a road trip) winding up in the home of a madman. Chaos, torture, murder, and cannibalism ensue.
If you take the phrase "Torture Porn" and leave out the "Porn," you might have an accurate description of "See Jane Run." The main problem with the film is that the script is amateurish. The script is plagued with filler discussions about a giant taco, Ranch dressing and giant gaping plot holes that had me questioning the IQ of the characters. I realize tension needs to be created, but in what world would people not become suspicious of their friend mysteriously disappearing after a trip to the bathroom in a complete stranger's house? It does not even matter if the character has a tendency to wander off. This is downright suspicious. The film also includes painfully stilted and uncomfortable acting by non-actors (except for one actor) and awkward time-killing beats/pauses that make me question if any editing was actually done on this film. I might be going out on a limb here, but I don't think horror fans want to see lots of walking and staring into space. Maybe that's just me.
The only savior of the film is actor Sasha Andreev who plays the religious nutjob/cannibal killer with manic glee. I would not be shocked to find this actor get roles in more mainstream works.
The film is presented in 1.33:1 widescreen. Aside from grainy night sequences, the picture looks rather pleasant. The interior and exterior scenes both looked sharp (no doubt due to great lighting).
The sound quality is poor at best. The camera was constantly picking up the sounds of wind, the road, background noises etc. The sound specs were neither listed on the box or on the disk.
* Writer/director/actor text bios.
* 2 minutes of Joe Estevez outtakes.
* A nearly 5 minute featurette titled "SFX With Paul Magby." Magby talks about the death sequences and how they were done.
* A dull and sparse producer's commentary track with Kevin Haberer and Jennifer Clary. The two talk about everything from how they are married in real life, how the film was shot in Austin, and how several scenes are true to life (such as Jennifer being a vegetarian). Once again, however, the track is virtually impossible to listen to as it plays against the film. This must be stopped! The commentary should be heard, not the film's dialogue and sound.
"See Jane Run" is not worth running to the video store to rent or even buy. Skip it and indulge in horror classics for it 'tis the season.
Film and television enthusiast Nick Lyons recently had his first book published titled "Attack of the Sci-Fi Trivia." It is available on Amazon.com.