Wicked Lake


by Johnny Web (Uncle Scoopy; Greg Wroblewski)

Maybe you've heard this one. Four smart-ass city kids wander into the backwoods where they encounter inbred rednecks who rape and torture the living daylights out of them. Their fate is foreshadowed by an earlier encounter with half-witted masturbating yokels at a gas station.

Yeah, I know it's the same plot as about a zillion other films, but this one does manage to come up with a twist. The four city-slickers are lesbian cannibal witches.

Hey, I didn't say it was a GOOD twist.

The implication of this new element is that the victims get some supernatural powers at midnight, which is when they give the rubes back far worse than they got.

This film managed to get reviewed by three major New York newspapers. How? For one reason or another, it was screened at one theater in New York in late June, 2008. I suppose the filmmakers might have thought at the time that a theatrical trial, however small, had to be a good thing which might lead to a wider release or major cult status. To the contrary. If a film like this goes straight to DVD, it gets reviewed only by genre site specialists who expect this kind of content, and the reviews are only read by people who are receptive to this sort of material. The theatrical release meant that three legitimate critics were enraged by having to sit through ninety minutes of sheer garbage, and their resulting anger exposed the film's faults to a wide audience.

As the New York reviewers duly noted, this film is just atrocious if the filmmakers were taking it seriously. Any torture porn, even when it is crafted well like Eli Roth's films, is difficult enough for average people to watch because it's custom made for a unique target audience, but there's probably no movie-going experience more unpleasant than 90 minutes of grade-Z cheapjack torture porn. To make matters worse, the film's revenge theme fails because the women are as unpleasant as the rednecks, so there is no sense of audience empathy for them when they are in danger, and no catharsis when they rise up and give the hicks their comeuppance. "Bad guy against bad guy" is just not an involving story line, which is why you seldom see it used in wrestling, for example.

I couldn't figure out whether the scribes were right in saying that this movie is the worst redneck torture porn movie of all time, or whether the film appears lame because it was parodying lame movies. I think it must have been the latter, because the characters are too exaggerated, the dialogue too absurd, the violence too comically Tromaesque, and the acting too weak and wooden for it to have been anything but intentional. You can forgive the New York critics for missing that fact because many other films in this genre, like House of 1000 Corpses, already have their feet well inside the parody door, but never actually cross the threshold.

If you take it as a joke, Wicked Lake might even give you a few unpleasant laughs. In addition, the film is filled with enough extreme exploitation content for genre fans, including plenty of dirty talk, extreme levels of violence, and extensive female nudity from attractive women. Oh, I'm not recommending the film. Far from it. There were Old Testament plagues that were more pleasant to live through. I'm just saying that it's not actually an utterly incompetent horror drama, but rather an extended joke that just didn't work.

Although that's not much better, is it?


* widescreen anamorphic








0 Rotten Tomatoes  (% positive)


3.4 IMDB summary (of 10)


One theater in New York in June 2008. Results unknown.



  • Eve Mauro, Robin Sydney, Carlee Barker and Eryn Joslyn all showed breast and buns. Mauro also did a frontal nude scene at night outdoors, but it was too dark to see anything.




Interview with the director


Our Grade:

If you are not familiar with our grading system, you need to read the explanation, because the grading is not linear. For example, by our definition, a C is solid and a C+ is a VERY good movie. There are very few Bs and As. Based on our descriptive system, this film is a:


If you are looking for torture porn, it is a bad choice. If you are looking for a parody of torture porn, it's a minimally acceptable genre picture.