Carlee Baker - Mary
Frank Birney - Sir Jim
Michael Esparza - Ray
Eryn Joslyn - Helen
Will Keenan - Palmer
Eve Mauro - Jill
Marc Senter - Caleb
Robin Sydney - Ilene
Tim Thomerson - Jake
Angela Bettis - Mother
Genre - Horror/Witchcraft
Running Time - 95 Minutes
Score - 1.5 Howls Outta 4
PLOT - WICKED LAKE is about four really close friends and witches who engaged in lesbian activities. Is this Skinemax or a horror film? Anyway, it begins when shy and really awkward Caleb (Marc Senter) has to draw the shape of nude model, Ilene (Robin Sydney), for his art class. For some reason, the two meet up after class and he walks her to her home. He gives her the drawing he did in class, which is not of Ilene but a unicorn flying over a rainbow. He grabs her boobs and then rushes home, where he is abused by two asshole and nutty brothers and some really fucked up war veteran uncle in a wheelchair. Caleb lets the family in on Ilene, claiming that she's perfect for something, giving them a sick idea.
Meanwhile, Ilene and her friends (Carlee Baker, Eryn Joslyn, and Eve Mauro) decide to drive to some cabin for some R & R, skinny dipping in a lake and making love to each other. Their vacation is interrupted by Caleb and his family, who end up holding these girls hostage while attempting to rape them. During the struggle, it's revealed that these girls are witches - using their powers to get revenge on those who did them wrong.
STORY - WICKED LAKE attempts to be an exploitation film, showing women in their birthday suits who engage in homoerotic activities for us to drool at while having stereotypical explotation villains who are nutty and have torture and rape on their minds. While this is great and all, it's all pretty shallow at the end. It's like watching one of those Cinemax erotic films mixed with supernatural elements to put it in the horror genre. There's no substance. There's nothing that really stands out besides the nudity and some of the torture scenes. The characters aren't developed all that much. Plus we never get a sense that these girls are in any danger, even when they're tortured. Plus it's the girls themselves who act like bitches and do the really horrible stuff to the guys. Who am I supposed to root for here? Plus there's a subplot with two cops that's actually pretty decent but doesn't really fit in with the rest of the film. I mean, how did they know these girls were at that cabin anyway? The story and dialogue just seemed to lack focus, which is evident when the nudity and the gore are the highlights of WICKED LAKE. This film is another case of interesting concept but failure in execution.
DIRECTION - Zach Passero isn't a horrible director at all, but his focus seems more on the naked women in the film than the actual story itself. Still, the pacing is perfect and the editing is great. The film does look a bit low budget but it's still a nice looking film. Though the directing is inspired by films like LAST HOUSE ON THE LEFT, THE TEXAS CHAIN SAW MASSACRE, and I SPIT ON YOUR GRAVE, I'd rather watch any of those films than WICKED LAKE. But at least Passero is competent behind the camera and the film wasn't a total eye-sore to watch.
VIOLENCE/SEX/LANGUAGE [aka THE GOOD STUFF] - Well, we're 3-for-3 in this department. Like I keep mentioning, there's a lot of female nudity and lesbianism going on in this flick. I don't mind at all actually. It was probably the best part of the film as far as I'm concerned. Still, I expect more substance in a horror flick. I could just watch an old Jenna Jameson flick if I want my share of HLA [Hot Lesbian Action]. The violence in this film is very good. There is a lot of gore here. We get a bit off penis from someone's groin. Someone sucking brain fluid and blood directly from a straw. Throats get bitten. Gunshots are fired. Teeth are pulled out. And even a head explodes in a microwave. Not bad really. And of course, we get the usual cussing in modern day horror. Nothing major there.
ACTING - The acting was okay in this film. Nobody really stood out though except for Marc Senter, who played a really creepy awkward guy to a tee. The performance was just so bizarre that I actually liked it. The girls were decent but I think the nudity outperformed them. Angela Bettis also makes a short appearance but doesn't do anything of note. What a wasted opportunity there.
MUSIC - Al Jourgensen of the band Ministry did the soundtrack for WICKED LAKE. We get his covers of Golden Earring's "Radar Love", T-Rex's "Bang A Gong (Get It On)", and Louis Armstrong's "What A Wonderful World". Doesn't sound like anything Ministry would do but it works well enough.
THE FINAL HOWL
WICKED LAKE was pretty disappointing. I loved the nudity, the lesbianism, and the gore. But everything else fell flat for me. I was expecting a horror flick and I got a softcore porn film instead. Even though I'm a horny guy, I still expect more than just boobs, ya know? A little substance goes a long way with me. I wouldn't recommend this film unless you're lonely and you have left over baby oil to use. Otherwise, you're not really missing much.