Green Keeper, The (2002)

The Green Keeper (2002)Assistant green keeper Allen allows his friends to hold an after-hours party in the country club that his step dad owns. However Allen doesn’t count on the legend of the old murderous green keeper to actually be true. So when the maniac shows up and starts offing his friends, Allen must do everything he can to rescue the love of his life, Elena, before the green keeper takes her life.

 

You can now add green keepers to a list of stock characters who have gone on killing sprees in slasher films. Janitors. Police officers. Ice cream men. Teachers. Dentists. They’ve all been there and done that, piling up the body count in the process. Though kind of similar in job role to the killer caretaker Cropsey from The Burning, I guess this slight twist on the character’s daily duties means that this is the first time a green keeper has gone berserk.

A predictably dull slasher flick, The Green Keeper runs like a low-rent modern day rehash of The Burning coupled with the token post-modern approach of Scream. Let’s face it, there’s no new mileage to be had in the slasher film. It’s been done to death more than any other genre flick and with an odd one or two exceptions, there’s just no surprises left to be had in them. We know how they’re going to pan out. We know which characters are going to survive and which characters will die, more often than not we’re also able to predict the order of death. But that hasn’t stopped the sub-genre from continually pumping out new films every year.

The Green Keeper milks its novelty-gimmick theme about the green keeper for all its worth and so the bulk of the kill scenes revolve around said theme. Characters are killed with golf hole flags, tennis ball machines filled with nails and, in the film’s silliest (and most amusing moment), one unlucky character is impaled on a lawn sprinkler whilst the killer starts pumping it out. It’s not art at its purest but the kills do what they need to do with a modicum of amusement and a generous dose of black humour. The kills are gory but the effects aren’t very convincing.  Though marks should at least be given for keeping everything ‘real’ and using the old techniques instead of CGIing everything.

Whilst some of the low budget slashers of the 80s looked grimy and grindhouse-esque due to the way they were filmed, some of these modern day straight-to-video slashers follow in the same footsteps but with highly polished cameras and editing techniques to get rid of that dirty ‘I shouldn’t really be watching this’ feeling. The Green Keeper looks to have been shot on a camcorder by a few mates and they raided the local shop for ketchup. The whole thing looks like it was filmed for a home video TV show – I know we’re not supposed to take this stuff seriously but it helps if it actually looks like I’d want to spend ninety minutes watching it rather than expect the canned laughter or annoying commentary from the TV presenter to be around the corner. That’s the problem of shooting on digital as opposed to film but times are changing so I’ve got to live with it. The Green Keeper isn’t the only film guilty of this but it gives off a distinct low-budget feel made even worse by some poor lighting decisions.

The influence of Scream also hastens the film’s spiralling towards the ‘avoid’ section. Though the film tries to hark back to the 80s, the script is clearly post-modern with a scene involving the characters watching a slasher-film-within-a-slasher-film on a TV set in the club. The script also keeps things too jokey and wacky throughout, leading to a rather mish-mash of ideas which bounce between deadly serious and comically acceptable. Having said that the film is reasonably well acted with Allellon Ruggerio making for an unlikely hero and there’s plenty of hot chicks around for good measure (including former Playboy Playmate Christi Taylor, fulfilling the quota of breasts for about ten slasher flicks with her desirable chest shot).

 

Slasher films live and die by their body count and kill scenes and thankfully The Green Keeper delivers on these, as well as the other token slasher ingredient – the nudity. I knew what I was getting myself in for when I sat down to watch and it did exactly what it said on the box. It’s silly, stupid and wholly unoriginal but The Green Keeper has just enough mileage in it to see itself to the end. There are worse slashers out and there and for $80,000, The Green Keeper provides adequate, if unfulfilling, value.

 

 ★★★★☆☆☆☆☆☆ 

 

 

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