Splinter (2008)

This little creature feature starts off at a small gas station right to the north of the middle of nowhere.  The greasy attendant is just strolling around the parking lot, when he hears a rustling in the brush.  Before you know it, he is attacked by some sort of bloody otter/gopher/badger thing with all of these quills sticking out of it.  Now I know you’re probably thinking it was a porcupine, but it was not a damn porcupine, trust us!  The attendant is presumably killed by this 7lb forest creature.  Elsewhere on this highway, a young couple named Seth (the stoner guy from Road Trip) and Polly (the hottie that used to host Wipeout) set off to find a motel, as the two adults are unable to pitch a tent for a camping trip; despite the fact that they have a large SUV bigger than said tent, but we digress.  As they are driving they find a lone girl hitchhiking and stop to pick her up, and that is when her crazy boyfriend pops out of the woods with a gun.

The young couple are now hostages to a couple of tweakers wanted by the law, and are headed to Mexico.  They end up hitting some animal on the road and it pops their tire, so as they change it, Seth and the crazy girl check out the road kill.  The chick is convinced it is her childhood puppy and wants Seth to save it, but the thing is neither a puppy nor anywhere near alive. Or is it? It suddenly starts pulling itself back together.  They freak and run, just as a splinter in the car tire pricks the other guy’s finger.  They end up going to the gas station from the opening scene and find the attendant all disfigured with his broken bones swinging from a bloated carcass.  The monster springs to life, kills the girl and chases the others inside.

On the monitors inside, they see the girl moving, so the guy tries to drag her inside and that is when we realize that she is also infected from the splinter things and tries to get in the store, maybe she just wants some Fun Dip or some jerky.  A cop conveniently shows up and also gets infected, so there are two creatures out there trying to get in.  Both of them manage to break off an arm or hand and send it in thru the security window, and they scurry around like a thorny and crappy CGI Thing from the Addams Family.  Meanwhile the guy got infected from his prick on the tire earlier and they are forced to cut off his arm, in doing this they realize he is a nice guy at heart and he volunteers to distract the monsters so they can run away.  Isn’t that sweet of the one-armed felon nut job?  The couple gets away, but we see there is a forest of infected animals all around them, too bad for them.

Alex’s Thoughts:  Splinter is a low-budget movie, and it shows.  The effects are laughable at points, with stuff being pulled across the floor on strings or with really bad CG work.  The practical creature effects might have been better if they had actually showed them to you, but the creatures were always obscured by something or in a dimly lit place.  The story is your pretty standard infection plot, so nothing really stands out there.  The acting is pretty good, but you could care less if anyone lives or dies.  It’s short, so it has that going for it I guess.  It’s nothing new, but really isn’t that awful.  Alex Rates This Movie 5/10

Tim’s Thoughts: This movie is very average, the plot is okay, the characters are unlikable and the action scenes are unwatchable.  A killer piece of roadkill sets the tone early, and I knew this was going to be a long night. To make things worse, the filmmakers decide to chop up any bit of action into quick cuts so that not only see is it impossible to see what is happening, but you also have no idea what’s going on. There are some interesting ideas sprinkled throughout, but overall nothing strong enough to tie anything together. Barely interesting, and barely watchable, this charmless movie isn’t even good for a bad movie night. Tim Rates This Movie 3/10

“You are suffering from a severe case of CDS: Can’t Do Shit!”

View the IMDB entry for this movie here, or add it to your Netflix queue