I find myself wishing that this “Cyrus” were a sequel to that “Cyrus,” as this true-life crime chiller is unpleasant on many levels. But if Hill were playing the role for laughs? It’d be equally tasteless, but something to see.
Here, Cyrus (Brian Krause of TV’s “Charmed”) is the so-called “County Line Cannibal” in a redneck town full of people he kills and carves up. He wasn’t always a crazy-ass homicidal maniac; he was driven to it after he caught his wife boning another man. You can almost hear the snap.
Snotty newswoman Maria (Danielle Harris, a newly minted scream queen after “Hatchet II” and Rob Zombie’s “Halloween” remake) rolls into town with her cameraman seeking a good story. Flannel-wearing Emmett (Lance Henriksen, lending this project name legitimacy) is happy to share Cyrus’ reign of terror, in every exhaustive detail. That makes the movie narrated beyond need.
The town doesn’t realize Cyrus is a butcher of people; they just see him as the butcher who makes the most delicious hamburger meat in town. Certainly viewers can predict the film’s painfully obvious “twist.” But he’s not without his morals; as Emmett explains, Cyrus kept women’s bodies in the basement, because it wouldn’t be right for them to sleep in his house since they weren’t married.
I won’t argue that the subject matter isn’t worse than the likes of “The Human Centipede” or the “I Spit on Your Grave” remake or even Harris’ aforementioned films, but at least those exhibit far more stylish execution — no pun intended — not to mention a point. This one just has a last-minute “trick,” which shouldn’t fool any member among its core target.
If you must watch, stick through all the credits for two more minutes of Maria’s interview footage, containing what may be the movie’s single worst performance. “Cyrus” is only for collectors of Tiffany Shepis nude scenes; I know you’re out there. —Rod Lott