By Don Simpson | April 13, 2010
Director: Colin Theys
Writers: John Doolan, Gregory C. Parker, Christian Pindar
Starring: Ashley Bates, David McCarthy, Kevin Shea, Kerry McGann, Iris McQuillan-Grace
The term banshee comes from Gaelic folklore in which a female spirit uses her piercing wails to warn of impending death. Banshees most often appear as ugly old hags, but they can also appear as stunningly beautiful women. Director Colin Theys’ banshee provides a monstrous take on the creepy ladies from Gaelic folklore. Banshee!!! features an Alien-esque creature with wings and a long face with vibrating flaps – rather than a mouth – that it uses to produce a powerfully deafening wail which allows it to disguise itself as whichever human it chooses.
Cocooned in a stinky pod in the trunk of a ‘68 Plymouth Fury that has been buried since 1970, the banshee has been awakened in the backwoods of “bumble-fuck Connecticut” (to quote one of the characters) when Jack (Kevin Shea) unearths said car on his land. Cut to seven old friends from high school as they embark on a camping trip – in very close proximity to Jack’s land – to celebrate Spring Break. (There are two others that never meet up with the other seven.)
It is only a matter of minutes before the banshee begins to gruesomely pick off the friends one by one. Once the group is whittled down to a manageable enough size for the plot to progress, the three survivors (a dumb and busty blonde, a smart and cute brunette, and a goofy black guy) find refuge in Jack’s isolated cabin. Jack has been trapped in his house (cut off from all communication, including out of reach from cell phone reception) with his visiting nephew – Rocker (David McCarthy) – for the last few days. Jack’s wife was the first banshee victim but Jack and Rocker have been able to hold the banshee at bay ever since.
Rocker attempts to fight off the banshee by rocking out on his guitar with his amp cranked up to 10 (the sounds of a full band promptly kicks in to support Rocker’s wanking guitar solo). Rocker does neutralize the creature temporarily, all the while dancing around as if he were on stage performing. Unfortunately, the amp can’t handle Rocker’s massive licks…and it blows up rendering Rocker’s axe silent. Then, the frustrating conclusion leaves two survivors as they attempt to stage a last ditch epic battle against the banshee – unfortunately we don’t get to witness the fight thanks to very quick and random edits of scenes from the battle revealed via brief flashes of lightning.
Banshee!!! is the latest low-budget creature flick from Synthetic Cinema International. The violence, gore and special effects were all relatively impressive for a low-budget horror film – but the script and acting performances really hold Banshee!!! back from being a decent flick. That said; some B-movie horror fans will probably have fun with the cheesy performances and dialog. Personally, I wish that the banshee had some back-story; some explanation as to why it is in the woods of “bumble-fuck Connecticut” randomly feasting on humans. Then again, other than me, who watches a monster flick for back-story, a strong script and good acting performances? Banshee!!! is all about the gore and the special effects – and I think it does both quite well especially considering its budget.