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Pool, The

Review by: 
Head Cheeze
Der Tod feiert mit
Release Date: 
Aspect Ratio: 
Directed by: 
Boris von Sychowski
Kristen Miller
Elena Uhlig
Thorston Grasshoff
John Hopkins
Bottom Line: 

When I first saw the packaging of the pool I instantly thought "Woah, this looks like crap." I then flipped the case over and read the details on the back; German director, mostly foreign cast, English subtitles, set in Prague; and then, against my initial impression, I purchased it, psyched for what appeared to be a European slasher flick that was a victim of bad cover design, much like the excellent (and coincidentally Artisan released) Deep in the Woods.
Imagine my disappointment when The Pool turned out to be utter shite.
A group of international teens (who look around 30) gather together for a party to celebrate their last days at the Prague International High School (which, to my amazement, actually exists!). The group's cool guy leader, Greg (Grasshoff), who is either German or French, and talks like a poof, plans a big soiree in what looks like a giant indoor water park. When the teens begin doing things straight out of a bad 80's slasher film (sex, drugs, bad rock n' roll) a killer in a skin tight black suit and lame skull mask begins hacking them up with a machete.
That's all you need to know about the plot, since there is nothing else to it. People screw, people die. People smoke pot, people die. People separate and hide in obvious places, people die.
The Pool is an absolutely pointless carbon copy of the 1980's American slasher film. The promise of a European flair is all for not, as everyone speaks English, and the entire film takes place inside a big spa which may as well be in Akron, Ohio since there is literally nothing to distinguish the film from any other locale. Director von Sychowski offers nothing to the genre, instead content to recycle Scream-like scares and woeful attempts at self-aware humor, all of which fail and ultimately bore. Towards the middle of the film it is so painfully obvious who the killer is that I was tempted to just stop watching right there, but figured that, perhaps, The Pool would redeem itself in its final act. Instead, it limps along toward it's cliché' ridden coda with a lazy slash-by-numbers style, invoking memories of the "cash in" mentality that killed slashers in the first place, and makes one wonder why Sychowski even bothered to make the film at all.
The Region One DVD from Artisan features a short interviews/behind-the-scenes vignette, a stills gallery, and trailer. The picture and sound are as solid as they should be given that, as of this writing, the film's only a year old, but basically the only positive thing I can say about this time waster is that, in the end, I convinced my local retailer that the disc wouldn't work in my player and got a store credit which I used to buy two Pam Grier movies.

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