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Mr. Jingles

Lionsgate Home Entertainment // R // July 18, 2006
List Price: $26.98 [Buy now and save at Amazon]

Review by Scott Weinberg | posted August 8, 2006 | E-mail the Author
The Movie

Oh for cryin' out loud, is there ANY low-budget shot-on-video in-my-backyard horror movie that Lionsgate won't pick up for distribution? Because I'm seriously considering a videotaped tour of my local sewer as my big-break calling-card. I figure 72 minutes of me wandering through a nearby sewer is enough to get me a deal with the LG video division, because after sitting through Mr. Jingles, I'm pretty sure those guys don't even watch these flicks anymore.

Shot with a shaky handheld video camera and seemingly filmed through a layer of gauze, Mr. Jingles is yet another permutation of the old, old (very old) Halloween gimmick: A raving lunatic returns to his old stomping grounds after years spent locked away, and spends some time carving up a bunch of shrieking ninnies.

Not including the opening and closing credits, Mr. Jingles runs about 65 minutes, which is about 62 more than you'll need. When we're not being treated to a murderous clown doling out some of the lamest gore effects imaginable, the filmmakers (ok, the guys who own the camera) deliver endlessly tedious conversations about weed, sex, and the neighborhood's "hidden" secret. Eventually the chit-chat dies down, a few more idiots are (unconvincingly) killed, and we're left with an ending so moronic it boggles the mind. This flick gets it all wrong: acting, writing, lighting, lensing, pacing, killing... It's pretty amazing, actually.

How something this worthless even gets pressed onto DVD is simply beyond me, and Lionsgate ought to be a little more careful. The studio's earned an excellent reputation among horror fans, yet their video titles are almost always unwatchable. It takes more than a professional-looking DVD cover to fool the horror fans... Actually, nah. No it doesn't. We'll give just about any flick a fair spin. But trust me on this one: Mr. Jingles is barely even a "home movie" sort of movie.

Title note: Apparently Lionsgate was planning to release Mr. Jingles as 2 S.I.C.K., so as to tie in with their other amazingly worthless clown-slasher flick. For some reason they just stuck with the original title, which means they're probably holding the 2 S.I.C.K. title for yet another clown-slasher flick -- one I don't intend to see. Ever.

The DVD

Video: The anamorphic widescreen (1.78:1) transfer may be passable, but the video quality of the movie itself is borderline heinous. Blurry, muddy, ugly.

Audio: Dolby Digital 5.1 or 2.0, with optional subtitles in English and Spanish. I can't even imagine why they'd bother with 5.1 in this case, since the movie sounds like it was recorded from inside an empty water tank.

Extras: Just a bunch of trailers.

Final Thoughts

The only people who have good reason to pay money for this movie are the goofballs who made it ... and they probably got a few copies as part of their distribution deal.

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