Sunday, June 6, 2021

Spiral: From the Book of ACAB

Hey there, Horror Nuts! Welcome back to WTFHM!

Guess who came out of her self-imposed exile?

Okay, it wasn’t exactly an exile...or it was at first. I don’t know if you’ve been following anything that I’ve been doing, but I’ve been busy being exiled in me-ville. Got another blog, streaming with the kid, maybe you heard one of my stories is being turned into a know, normal back to the lab stuff.

Anyway, I just couldn’t stay away.  There’re so many movies out there to talk about.

So, before I had a set of rules that really kind of revolved around the library that I worked at. Welp, I don’t know if you guys have heard, but libraries have been closed to the public in various stages for a while now. And then there was the whole civil unrest thing and, yeah.

I say all that to say that the rules have changed, slightly:

  1. This time, I'm watching movies on all platforms. I’ll still be picking from my local library, but I’ll be branching out from time to time as well. Gotta give love to everybody, right?

  2. Still can’t have seen the movie in question. New movies or New movies to me only.

  3. Series' still must be completed. Which only makes me really sad because there’s a new Conjuring coming out.  (Don't you at me, dammit. I'm allowed to not like a series everybody else likes)

Also, as a side note, this blog will be a little sweary. I tried to keep my blog PG-13 so it might appeal to a wider audience, but we're all grown here, right?

Look, I promise I’ll keep it a light R-rating, okay?

And that’s it.  So, let’s jump this off with a new movie that’s, at the moment, still pretty new. Because this is a new movie, if you don’t want to know anything about it:

This week’s movie:

Spiral starring Chris Rock, Samuel Jackson, Max Minghella, Marisol Nichols, Dan Petronijevic, Richard Zeppieri, Patrick McManus, and Tobin Bell’s picture.

Okay, in case you missed it, this is a chapter in the Saw series. Not a continuation, really, just a side story. Like, I told you that story to tell you this story kind of story.

So, Zeke Banks(Rock) is a good cop in a den of bad cops. See, folks, Zeke sold out a bad cop...because that’s what tf you’re supposed to do.  But the other cops are mad at him because of some archaic rule that cops don’t narc out other cops.

*sigh*  Don’t worry. I’m not going to go off on the “Blue Lives” crowd. I’m just going to say if you’re a cop and you’ve ever punished another cop who held a bad one responsible for being bad, you ought to be ashamed of yourself.

Anyway, his ‘colleagues’ are leaving rats in his desk and making it clear that they hate his guts. Which, actually, is really just Tuesday for Zeke, except he’s really pissed about it because it just so happened that his partner was just murdered in a Saw trap.

Zeke’s also a bit of a live wire. See, he likes to go off on missions alone. So, his boss does what bosses do in these kinds of movies. Assigns him a rookie cop to be his partner...because no one has ever done this before in the history of movies.







Yeah, so TOTALLY original idea.

Anyway, Detective William Schenk (Minghella) is his new partner and he’s fresh out of the academy and still wet behind the ears. But, unlike everybody else on the force, he’s a good cop.

Meanwhile, Zeke’s dad, Marcus (Jackson) used to be on the force. Marcus spends much of his screen time at this point telling Zeke he isn’t shit and to call him every now and then. You know, like most adult parent/child relationships.

Anyway, let’s get down to the Saw traps. So, Zeke finds out that his old partner, Boswick(Petronijevic) had his tongue ripped out in one of the traps because he liked to tell lies on people on the stand. Zeke puts it together that the way he died is a lot like the old Jigsaw traps from back in the day.

No, sorry. This isn’t a disciple of Jigsaw. We establish that pretty know because they said so.

So, after an impassioned speech by his boss to the rest of the force (who all hate him so much that it overshadows wanting to help him to find Boswick’s killer, by the way), the force fans out to find information about Boswick’s death.

One of the detectives, Fitch (Zeppieri) finds that there is a tape somewhere with information about Boswick’s murder. He goes looking for it without telling anyone because fuck Zeke. Guess what happens to him?

You got it!  He gets kidnapped and put in a Saw trap. His crime? Having his fingers ripped off because he shot and killed a guy for insulting him during a traffic stop.

Don't be sad for him. I mean, the killer gives him a shot to live, though...kind of. 

Okay not really. All the traps that the cops get caught in along the way are all designed like Saw traps in that the trapped have a chance to get free...but not that much of one.

As we go through this story, our protag finds cop after cop in a Saw trap, each one having done something really bad to get them there.  We find out, for instance, that the cop that Zeke ratted out flat out shot and killed a witness to a crime, Zeke’s dad and the Captain both end up in traps for heading up what sounds like a “Stop and Frisk” program back in the day.

(If you don’t know the effects of “Stop and Frisk” programs, here’s a link to an article about one they had in Detroit in the 70s.)

Anyway, if you’re a Saw fan like myself, then you’ll surely notice that all the victims in this movie have very little chance for actual survival in these traps. They’re given seconds to get themselves out and the injuries they would do to themselves would pretty much kill them as soon as they got free.  I mean, how quickly do you think you’d live if all your fingers were ripped out with no chance to tie a tourniquet, no time to ensure your own safety in any way.

So, in all the hullabaloo, of course, Zeke’s partner gets murked, but…

Okay, from here on out is a DOUBLE SPOILER alert. Although, I feel like if you watch this movie you’ll have the ending figured out before this point, just in case, if you don’t want to know, scroll on down past this next bunch of paragraphs.

So, Zeke’s partner gets killed, but if you’re even halfway awake, you’ll notice a couple of pretty important things:

  1. We don’t see the trap he was in.

  2. And probably, more importantly, he’s a good cop.

Zeke must not have been as good a detective as he thought because he completely misses that important bit of information.

Anyway, Zeke’s dad gets kidnapped and, surprise, surprise, the killer turns out to be none other than Detective Schenk.

Yeah, see, it turns out that the cop that shot that witness that Zeke turned in? Detective Schenk was the witness’ son and saw the whole thing. And like the origin story of a super villain, Schenk decided to dedicate his life to teaching the bad cops a lesson. Or, really, just killing bad cops. Who are we kidding?

So, Zeke’s dad is in a trap and Schenk convinces Zeke to choose to free his dad instead of killing Schenk. Zeke does that, but unfortunately, that doesn’t save him.

The short version of what happens next is the SWAT team show up, Zeke’s dad is in a rig that makes him look like he’s pointing a gun at the SWAT team, shoots him dead, the end.

Game over, slam the door.

Now...the big question is, did I like this movie?

Meh. I mean, maybe I’m giving it more credit because it’s a Saw movie and I’m a huge fan but...meh. I don’t know if I’ve seen too many mysteries or too many Saw movies, but I had the killer pegged from the beginning.

No, seriously. The killer was targeting bad cops. Who would want to kill the bad cops more than a deranged good cop?

Still kind of want to give it a jewel because...I mean, it wasn't bad it just could have been written better, really. And, you know, maybe I’m just too much of a pedantic asshole to be surprised at the end.

Pink Jewel. I’ll give it a pink jewel.

Okay, so next week! HBO Max has the nerve to make the next Conjuring movie available. So. I guess I gotta watch it. *heavy sigh* --O~ *