If the director of a movie chooses to credit himself as Alan Smithee, that’s never a good thing. The reason for making this choice could be a variety of things, but basically it boils down to the director not being too fond of the final product. Christian Winters directed Old 37 but if you look it up on IMDB you’ll see that Smithee gets the credit. That’s not a promising sign.
The plot of Old 37 is fairly thin. Two crazy brothers who own a junk yard and an ambulance listen for crashes out along a semi-remote highway. Whenever they get wind of an accident they’re the first ones on the scene. Unfortunately for the victims these brothers aren’t there to help. Instead they take the victims back to their junkyard where they then proceed to torture them.
That’s basically the entire plot. Other little things happen, but nothing seems to be all that relevant to anything. We have a teenage girl who has a serious self esteem problem. Apparently her problems are because she has small boobs. Her mom has a very active social life, going out with a different guy each night. I’m sure that doesn’t make things any easier. Mom is aware of her daughter’s issue however, and decides to take her to get a boob job. You’re the best, mom!
Let’s talk about this boob job for a minute. This is a teenage girl getting a boob job and then on what appears to be the very next day she gets a complete makeover, presumably to go with her new boobs. Then she immediately goes out on a date. Is there no recovery time for boob jobs? I’m not doctor but that seems like a fairly major procedure that would require a little rest after. Instead this girl is rushing right out to put her boobs on display!
(I never expected to say ‘boob job’ this many times in a review)
Old 37 seems to have a message about safe driving. All the teenagers that get into accidents due so out of their own stupidity. Whether it be driving too fast or having sex while driving or any other moronic thing you can think of that is considered cool to do while behind the wheel, these kids try it. They’re all punished it for at least. Whether it be the accident killing them or the brothers, they all learn a very harsh lesson.
Old 37 has all the elements that you find in low budget horror movies these days. Kane Hodder and Bill Moseley play the brothers. I love them both and I’m always excited to see them, but they play in a lot of bad movies. Old 37 is another bad movie you can add to their list. They do fine enough with the material they have, but in all honesty they don’t have much to work with. Old 37 goes for the ultimate modern day low budget horror trifecta by tossing in an un-credited Lloyd Kaufman cameo.
You may know from my previous reviews that one of my biggest pet peeves with indie horror flicks is the music. A lot of the times these types of films have a soundtrack that consists of very generic and nondescript rock music. It’s typically awful. Old 37 is a step above that, but it still isn’t my cup of tea. The soundtrack comes courtesy of actual bands, and not something manufactured on a computer. Unfortunately it still has that generic sound to me. Per the credits the movie even had a few Circa Survive songs. Either I didn’t notice when the Circa Survive songs played or all these years I’ve thought Circa Survive was a completely different band. I give them credit for the effort though, at least they got legit bands unlike most small budget horror films.
Aside from Moseley, Hodder and Kaufman, the cast features a bunch of actors I’m unfamiliar with. Brandi Cyrus has a small role and I guess she’s Miley’s sister. So there’s that. I can’t really tell you if any of the actors are actually good or not. None of the performances were particularly strong, but I can’t put that all on the actors. The dialogue was really horrendous. Most of everyone here is supposed to be a teenage high school kid. Granted it’s been a while since I was in high school, but I don’t think kids these days speak like the kids in Old 37. If they do, well than that’s a shame.
The film isn’t all bad, however. The kills were decent and the practical effects were well done. Pete Gerner and Brian Spears served as the special makeup effects artists. The two have done a lot of great stuff over the years in films like Late Phases and Stake Land and what they pull off in Old 37 is quite enjoyable. At one point someone takes a saw to the neck and that looks fantastic. They also do a pretty nifty crucifixion out in the junk yard.
Old 37 is what it is. It’s not great, groundbreaking indie horror, but it’s not completely awful either. It’s a better effort than most low budget entries. There’s some cool ideas in play. I like the two brothers with an ambulance rushing out to get victims from the scene of an accident. That’s actually a really cool idea with a ton of potential to go down a very dark road. Unfortunately the execution is lacking, mainly on the side of the script. This is the type of movie that I wouldn’t go out of my way to see, but if I happened to watch it one evening streaming on Netflix I wouldn’t be completely disappointed.
Source: Bloody Disgusting