I’ve seen enough Rob Zombie movies to know that you never should accept a ride from Bill Moseley, no matter how genuine his “aw, shucks” demeanor seems. Young Mara (unknown Michelle Page) either didn’t know this, or was simply too caught up trying to spread her deceased father’s ashes at the Rogue River.
With her car mysteriously towed, in a town she does not know, Mara has no choice but to allow Jon (Moseley, Blood Night: The Legend of Mary Hatchet) to drive her to a motel room for the night, but he has to stop and let his wife know first. Her name is Lea (Lucinda Jenney, TV’s 24), and she not only invites Mara to stay for dinner, but insists she stay the night.
Bad things start to happen, and beyond Lea’s terrible mashed potatoes: like sounds of someone trying to get in the house, and waking up to Jon clad in his tighty-whities, watching her sleep. They spiral down from there, too, but after a bit, you just stop caring; having to watch essentially the same three characters in the same house play chase grows weary. Moseley and Jenney both give it their all, but debuting director Jourdan McClure doesn’t give them enough proper material in return.
In The Collapsed, society has become just that, sending the Weaver family of four (a no-name cast, but a believable one) underground for shelter and survival. It looks like they’ve got their surroundings all too themselves … until they go in search of gas and supplies.
Not only do they spot a couple of well-armed rednecks, but their treks through the forest could be more life-threatening, filled as they are with strange noises of what the film calls “The Presence” and “The Whispers.” What are they? I’m not sure; I’m more curious why the dad (John Fantasia) sounds exactly like Bob De Niro. He doesn’t sound like him, however; his daughter (Anna Ross) tells him snottily, “You need some sleep. You like a zombie.”
While his script lacks conviction, director Justin McConnell excels in getting a slick look out of a low budget. Most of the credit for mood, however, goes to Rob Kleiner’s music score. The DVD includes a jukebox of all his tracks, including the lone song with lyrics, “Devil in Disguise,” which plays effectively over the end credits. Nicely, you’re even given a link to download the entire album for free.
The Collapsed also contains a QR code right on the DVD art itself to download a feature-length documentary on the production, Apocalypse on a Budget. While I’m interested in seeing it, I’m not interested in viewing such a lengthy piece on a smartphone.
To both McClure and McConnell, I say, “Nice McTry. Please try again.” —Rod Lott