Written by: jmh314
One of the things I hate most is when a film has a lot of potential but fails to capitalize on it and ends up a forgettably mediocre experience. Unfortunately this is the experience that I received from watching Anchor Bay's latest release Wrestlemaniac. The thought of a crazed Lucha libre wrestler terrorizing an old ghost town sounded like it might be some fun. I figured there would be some interesting combos of wrestling and kills, but ultimately it was repetitive and didn't do much to stand out from most "big crazy guy chasing people in a deserted town" films.
Wrestlemaniac opens up with Alphonse and a group of misfits on their way to the beach in Mexico to film some amateur porn. Alphonse is joined by his festively plump camera man Steve and the super stoner Jimbo who's van they are using. Three hot girls, Debbie, Dallas, and Daisy are accompanying them to film Alphonse's movie.
While trying to find the highway, they get lost and pull into a rundown gas station. The mysterious stranger who runs it tells them another way to go and get gas but they must not stop along the way. For along the way is La Sangre De Dios, an abandoned ghost town that legend has it is inhabited by a crazed former Luchidor wrestler, El Mascarado.
On their way to the gas station, they run over a huge boulder and what do you know, they break down right in front of La Sangre De Dios. Alphonse loves the town and thinks it will be a great setting for his homemade porn. he decides they are going to go ahead and just shoot a few scenes right there. While shooting a scene, Daisy wanders off and later on Jimbo disappears. It appears that the legend of El Mascarado may be real and their lives may now hang in the balance.
The typical "dont go there it's haunted" story wasnt anything new as you could tell they were going to end up in the town. The part that kept me going with this was El Mascarado and hoping he would be some psychotic wrestler. Turned out he was pretty crazy, but he was also very repetitive in his ways. All his kills were done in the same fashion, which the first time was awesome but then lost it's appeal. And dont even get me started on the fact that these kills were utterly unrealistic too. Then throw in the "storyline" that they were doing human testing on him which I feel was really an irrelevant attempt to lengthen the movie. This filler story didn't even help because if you cut out the opening/ending credits, it was probably only 65 minutes long.
The acting was sub-par. Adam Huss who played Alphonse was really quite hammy and just kind of bugged the crap out of me. The camera man Steve felt like they were crossing Hurley from Lost and any Jonah Hill character, and he was kind of lame for the comic relief ft guy. The girls, led by Leyla Milani, were nothing more than T&A as they really didn't have any acting chops. Even their screams sounded unnatural. And if you are gonna make these hot girls have an amateur porn storyline, can I get more than 15 seconds of nudity please? Otherwise the storyline is a complete waste as you could of had them as a college friends on vacation or something. Rey Misterio Sr really didnt have to act as he just ran around and never had to talk. They could have thrown any boob in a luchidor mask to do what he did.
The only real saving grace on this film were the gore effects. Things were actually pretty good looking in the gore department when people started to get killed. Plenty of the red stuff and some realistic looking "skin" effects (i don't wanna spoil it) really were the high point of this film. They do get repetitive but thats not the FX departments fault as they still did what they could to make it look good. If only there could have been more than 15 to 20 minutes of gore and capitalized on the potential story angle then it wouldn't have gone to waste.
Despite the great gore, it isnt enough to save the fact that this film is very short yet still has a lot of dull spots. You'd think with only about 65 minutes of movie time you wouldn't have as many boring spots and could have kept it from being repetitive. Things were repetitive not only with the kills but with them talking about the "legend" of El Mascarado too many times as well. Couple all that with the fact that the psychopathic wrestler story could have been much better developed and the wrestling scenes were pretty basic and this makes Wrestlemaniac nothing more than a middle of the pack, low budget slasher. The gore gives some entertainment even if for only 15 to 20 minutes, but you have to stay interested/awake for long enough to make it to this point.