Starring: Kane Hodder, Bill Mosely, Caitlin Harris, Olivia Alexander, Maxwell Zagorski, Brandi Cyrus
Directed by: Alan Smithee
Original Year of Release: 2015
Running Time: 84 Minutes
“Old 37” stars two icons of the horror genre, Kane Hodder and Bill Moseley, as a pair of psychotic brothers who carry on their sadistic father’s work. They pose at EMTs, preying on motorists along a desolate stretch of highway known as the Old 37. That’s the good part. The bad part is that the Directorial credit is given as “Alan Smithee”. Not sure if you are familiar with that name but Alan Smithee is a pseudonym used by a Director when he wants to disown a project on which he worked. So that is a strike against the film before it even begins rolling.
The film begins with flashbacks to when Jon Roy (Hodder) and Darryl (Moseley) were just boys and first witnessed their father’s vicious practice of showing up at an accident scene only to kill the victims. Throughout the film we see more flashbacks as their abusive father tortures the boys, eventually leading to Darryl disfiguring his younger brother’s face by cutting off part of his nose and bashing out his teeth. Lovely family…
Now, if the film were merely following the 1980s slasher formula of killing non-descript teens it wouldn’t be original but at least it might be more interesting. Instead we get inundated with Dawson’s Creek style relationship drama centered on a love triangle between nice girl Amy (Harris), stuck-up hot girl Brooke (Alexander) and the boy they both want to be with, Jason (Zagorski). Along for the ride as Brooke’s enabling, brown-nosing friend is Angel, played by Brandi Cyrus, the older half-sister of Miley.
So much of the film focuses on these three that you almost forget about the murderous brother duo. Amy wants so much to be like Brooke she even talks her bother into letting her get a boob job and wears a bad looking blonde wig when she finally goes on a date with Jason. The film also liberally borrows from I Know What you did Last Summer when a tragic accident takes place due to their negligence but the group keeps it a secret.
With all this and the flashbacks going on, Hodder and Moseley are regulated to distant supporting roles. The film doesn’t pick up in tempo until the final 20 minutes or so when Amy and Jason are abducted by the brothers and taken back to their junkyard of doom. We find out that their dad is still alive but a drooling mess thanks to a home lobotomy.
I have to say I feel a bit sorry for Kane Hodder. The guy has made a career out of playing non-speaking characters that are covered under masks or layers of makeup. And in this film…he plays a non-speaking character buried beneath a mask and makeup. He’s had roles recently where he has been able to play normal characters in films like Among Friends and The Afflicted and done well. Regardless, he still cuts an imposing figure on screen.
Similarly Moseley has played his share of crazies where he is typically the front man and mouthpiece. He’s a little less boisterous in Old 37 but you can’t deny the appeal of seeing these two actors together. It’s not Karloff and Lugosi but it is still fun.
I’m not quite sure why the Director chose to wash his hands of the project. It’s not a great film but I’ve seen much worse and from a technical standpoint it’s better than a lot of low budget films.
• Commentary by Writer/Producer Paul Travers and Composer Darius Holbert
• Interviews with Writer/Producer Paul Travers, Actress Brandi Cyrus, Actress Caitlin Harris, Actor Maxwell Zagorski, Actor Robert Bogue, and Special Effects Team Brian Spears & Pete Gerner
• Storyboards by Richard Vicencio: “Ride The Space” & “Opening Ambulance Scene”