It's Alice's birthday and her sorority girlfriends throw her a themed party. Everyone comes as their favorite, sexy character from Wonderland. The Jabberwocky wasn't invited and brings murde... Read allIt's Alice's birthday and her sorority girlfriends throw her a themed party. Everyone comes as their favorite, sexy character from Wonderland. The Jabberwocky wasn't invited and brings murder and mayhem to the girls' night out.It's Alice's birthday and her sorority girlfriends throw her a themed party. Everyone comes as their favorite, sexy character from Wonderland. The Jabberwocky wasn't invited and brings murder and mayhem to the girls' night out.
Considering the dialogue, the other features of filmmaker Dennis Devine, the wardrobe selections generally, and an early scene in which every female character is dressed only in a bikini - the latter comparison seems most apt.
'Alice in Murderland' is pointedly terrible, nearly entirely bereft of all value. There's infinitesimally little praise I can offer, but I find myself surprised that I've any at all. Against all odds, there's a single unexpected turn in the plot. There's an iota of cleverness in the sudden disappearances and reappearances of the "Cheshire Cat," Kat - though the underlying predictability is rotten. The characterizations of "Tweedledum" and "Tweedledee," or Donna and Dee, allow actresses Heath Butler and Jennifer Field to wholly lean into the vapid ignorance of the roles. And the latter lends to the single laugh that the entire movie provided in a small exchange of dialogue: "Where's Donna?" "Glued to the toilet." "Oh. Of course she is."
What's remarkable is that I gather a minor sense that the cast are genuinely capable actresses. Bad acting is one matter; acting under the strict terms and guidance of a director is another. The two are certainly distinct, and I'm inclined to think in this case the latter is true. Moreover, to glance at their collective credits reveals some tawdry nonsense much like Devine's oeuvre, yes, but also a number of recognizable films and series that can't be a mistake. To that point: The only reason I stumbled across this title in the first place was that I greatly admired the performance in the outstanding 2019 short film 'Nova' of Kelly Kula, and in browsing her credits, found she featured here as Kat. Yet suffice to say, 'Alice in Murderland' is a far cry from that fantastic horror short, or pretty much anything else. Devine's writing and direction forces everyone involved into such abjectly blunt, forthright, unsubtle, over the top, tacky performances that it's extremely difficult to truly distinguish, on the basis of this feature alone, who may or may not have real acting skill, were they given opportunity to demonstrate it.
I'll allow this: I don't know if Devine is just that awful of a filmmaker, or if every unseemly flaw of the picture is intentional. Considering how many other movies he's made, I suppose it's hard to think that he altogether doesn't know what he's doing. Yet if the horridly tedious pablum is knowing and willful, making a deliberately rancid movie - job well done, I guess, but why? To what purpose?
There is, I dare say, a tiny modicum of fun to be had in the final length of the feature, and again, there are a few elements that seem marginally worthwhile, at least by comparison. This isn't the absolute worst movie I've ever seen - but it's close enough. Any positivity is overwhelmed and subsumed in the grotesquely dull, possibly premeditated mediocrity that the film otherwise represents. What minuscule value one may find here is not worth sitting through these 90 minutes, especially not with so many other fine movies available to watch. A few pinpricks of light are not remotely enough to redeem the dark void of shallow, uninteresting, and vulgarly, garishly blatant rubbish that is 'Alice in Murderland.'
You've been warned.
- Sep 25, 2021