A miner from the Gold Rush days of ’49 comes back to life to terrorize a group of youngsters. Sound familiar? Yeah… vaguely sounds like that Scooby Doo episode with the Miner 49er. Alas… I’m not talking about Rooby Roo himself. The movie is Miner’s Massacre. And I would advise eating a whole pouch of Scooby snacks before watching this abomination.
Indeed, the movie is about an old miner that comes back to life to haunt whoever takes his “gold”. Of course, there is a gaggle of young kids re…ponsible for the theft. The corpses pile up as the miner puts his prospector’s axe to good use. It’s fairly cheesy. The long dead miner looks like a 500 year old Ewok. The young people are twenty something and fairly boring. But, as usual with these things, there are some sexual situations to pepper the pot.
However, most of the film is uneventful. It seems like the filmmakers had to make this movie around 90 minutes. 15 minutes could’ve easily been cut out with all the aimless talking and walking montages. There is an interesting scene that flashes back to the origin of the curse. The most interesting thing, other than the bad acting, is the appearance of Jeff Conaway. You know…Bobby Wheeler from Taxi. Speaking of stars that have lost their luster…Karen Black appears in the movie. She’s an Academy award nominated actress (Five Easy Pieces…great flick) and a favorite choice of Robert Altman (she’s great in Nashville). How time has taken its toll. That’s the real horror of the film. What is she doing in this crap?
DISGUSTING SPOILER NOTE: What might qualify for the most disgusting part of the movie, though, is the ole “diarrhea in the woods” scene. Complete with sound effects. And it seems to go on and on. Thank goodness it wasn’t in surround.
This is a particularly uninventive Dolby Digital 2.0 audio track. There are some ambient and music cues on the rear speakers, as well as the occasional sound effect. However, a good audio mix in a good horror movie can make imaginative use of the rear speakers. This movie fails to put the spectator “on edge”, aurally speaking. It’s a front heavy mix. And the dialogue, at times, seems really hollow, like it was recorded in a mine shaft. Not the best audio on this disc.
The 1.33:1 fullscreen transfer is a bit on the bland side. Colors are a bit muddy, and the flesh tones are fair. The miner’s blue-gray flesh, however, looks like make-up. There is some speckling, and the traditional direct-to-DVD grain is also present. Blacks aren’t really that rich, they’re closer to poor. Can anyone say low budget? Overall….an uninspired transfer. It’s just there.
A minute long trailer. That’s it. It shows you all the major action sequences in the film. Why watch the whole movie?
Miner’s Massacre is the kind of movie when you’re at the video store with your girlfriend and she’s in the mood for some cheesy horror movie. She points it out on the shelf and says “C’mon… it’ll be fun”. So you rent it. And when you’re watching it later you both realize it sucks. And then you’re thinking to yourself ”Why didn’t I dump her two months ago”. Scooby Doo…where are you?
Special Features List