'Devil's Cove': Film Review
Two women go on the lam after commiting murder in Erik Lundmark's B-movie thriller.
Moviegoers can be forgiven for assuming from its title that Erik Lundmark's film is a horror movie. What they won't know until they watch it is that Devil's Cove is indeed a horror movie, but only in the sense that it's so bad that watching it quickly becomes a horror. This sleazy, inept rip-off of Thelma and Louise is so technically amateurish that Ed Wood Jr. would probably be its biggest fan were he still alive. He certainly would have enjoyed the group cocaine-sniffing scene.
The title actually refers to a dead-end town, the sort where everything revolves around the seedy local bar. It's there that most of the characters are introduced, including Toni (Christelle Baguidy) and Jackie (Chloe Traicos, who also scripted and produced). Toni is newly arrived in Devil's Cove, having recently married Rick (Cameron Barnes), whose lack of redeeming qualities is immediately apparent to us if not to her. He also comes with some baggage in the form of his deranged ex-wife (Mindee de Lacey, giving the sort of wildly over-the-top performance that would become an instant meme if anyone were to actually see it) who's constantly stalking him, wielding a large butcher knife and threatening to kill herself if he doesn't come back to her.
Rick soon shows his true colors by being abusive to Toni, who finds comfort, both emotionally and physically, with Jackie. Toni doesn't seem to mind that Jackie is clearly a nut job herself, one who has recently been released from prison and may or may not have murdered her child.
One night a violent encounter occurs among the three. Rick winds up dead and the two women take it on the lam, driving a convertible just like the one used by Thelma and Louise. The pair terrorizes the local community even as Toni begins to realize that her partner in crime is a murderous psychopath.
It's a workable enough plot for a grindhouse-style exploitation thriller. But the filmmaking and performances are so amateurish that any possibility of even the guiltiest of pleasures are quickly erased. Lundmark attempts to infuse some stylishness into the proceedings via a series of interviews, shot in black & white, in which the supporting characters deliver their perspective on the story. "I knew she was bad news," says one, in an example of the film's cheesy dialogue.
Traicos has certainly written a colorful role for herself as the black leather jacket-wearing Jackie who's clearly meant to be a memorable screen villain. Her extreme, wild-eyed performance does exert a certain fascination, but not in a good way. On the other hand, she comes across like a veritable Meryl Streep compared to the rest of the ensemble who seem to have wandered in front of the camera by mistake.
Given its limited theatrical opening, Devil's Cove is unlikely to garner the true notoriety it deserves. If any film deserved cult status for all the wrong reasons, it's this one.
Production: D.V Cove Productions, Elite Equipment, Velinsky Films
Distributor: Leomark Studios
Cast: Chloe Traicos, Christelle Baguidy, Cameron Barnes, Michael Keyes, Mindee de Lacey, Caesar James
Director/director of photography/composer: Erik Lundmark
Screenwriter: Chloe Traicos
Producers: Ron Althoff, Joe Cohen, Talya Joffe, Erik Lundmark, Madeline Ryan
Executive producers: Cameron Barnes, Joe Caesares, Lou Pizarro, Jason Warner
Editor: Jon Cohen
Costume designer: Sabrina Forscutt