A baby-sitter finds herself trapped in a house playing cat and mouse with a masked serial killer. Sound familiar? A Stranger Outside is standard ’90s Scream-style shlock, albeit without the self-awareness. But it wins points for some interesting plot ideas. For example, the baby-sitter is really a nurse who has taken the gig as a way of getting some easy cash after suffering a career and confidence crisis due to the death of a vulnerable child in her care.
The first half of the movie was trite, and the acting was a little over-the-top, although our lead Brittany Underwood was giving a decent turn. The less said of the performances by her co-stars Mark Grossman (boyfriend Jeremy), Michael Chandler (incompetent Dr Mixer), Jet Jurgensmeyer (baby-sittee Toby), or best friend Kaci (Shanica “No Relation” Knowles), the better. Things really fall apart in comedy style when the killer starts a-killing. The Scary Movie-like knife thrusts, slicing through pieces of paper, cowering beside counters, and hysterical screaming were beyond absurd; imagine a Scary Movie where the wonderful Anna Faris and Regina Hall actually thought they were giving solid dramatic turns.
This film is also oddly disjointed. The first half, a 90s throwback cliché, albeit mildly entertaining. The second half, a spoof movie not realising it’s a spoof movie. Indescribably awful, but in its awfulness, thoroughly enjoyable nonsense. A jumble of decent scenes and terrible scenes, passable acting and insanely awful acting, make for a diverting 90 minutes.
So bad it’s almost good. But not quite.
© 2020 Bryan A. J. Parry
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This is quite possibly the most pointless thing I will ever write. So… Enjoy!
When I go abroad, I love to watch foreign telly. Even though I have very little idea what they’re talking about, I enjoy seeing the differences between our superior British TV and their inferior outlander television. Think hetheth etheth etheth from The Fast Show. But more than that, I’m a language-lover, and so I just enjoy hearing authentic foreignese.
I recently went to Budapest. One night, I sat up till the wee hours (that’s Scotch for “small”; I was in Scotland recently, too) watching a film. I enjoyed it. Even though it was complete bollocks. But I have no idea what it was called and therefore I cannot do my obligatory post-film ritual of looking up every little thing about it on IMDB.com. This is now driving me to despair.
If I explain the film to you, Dear Reader, will you please psychically intuit its name and let me know? I will reward you handsomely. Behold! 100 Hungarian florints!
No, seriously: I will send you this coin if you tell me the name of the film (I’m not joking). A whole hundred! I swear it by the old Gods* and the new.**
So, the film then…
- It was evidently a German film dubbed into Hungarian. It was like a crap German rip off of Hot Shots!. Yes, when you thought the spoof genre couldn’t get any worse: ladies and gentlemen, the German spoof.
- The lead character: white guy, long dark hair, slightly chubby, glasses. He mostly had a Rambo-style headband, but earlier in the film he was wearing a leather jacket.
- In one scene, a girl officer is crying, and the ?General offers a hanky from his sleeve. Except it was a series of multi-coloured hankies linked together like a clown.
- In the same office but ?a different scene (I don’t remember now; I was tanked up on Goulash at the time), random people from nowhere start pouring into the office and laughing at the protagonist. One guy dies from laughter and his ghost carries on this cruel spasmodic audible thoracic diaphragmatic contraction-based mockery.
- There’s an oriental-looking bad guy with a dodgy ‘tache.
- A Predator is hunting them and at one point invisibly slays the protagonist’s foes so that everyone, including the protagonist himself, thinks the protagonist is possessed of some psychic mage-like powers. This Predator eventually takes off its suit to reveal himself as __PLOT SPOILERZ__ a sexy female Vulcan.
- In one scene the bad guy is speaking down the phone to a guy who is copying the words down. Reveal: the guy on the other end of the line is SAT NEXT TO HIM. Like, lulz.
- After the protagonist (getting tired of typing this word already; how about “pr’ag”?) succeeds in his mission, they pour a trophy full of medals over his head. And he gets the girl. Wahey.
And that’s about all I remember. Good bye.
*YHWH, Allah, Zeus.
**Britney Spears, Jordan, Tom Hardy.
© 2014 Bryan A. J. Parry