Friday, September 24, 2010

Do You Wanna Know A Secret (2001)

Reviewed By: Billy

There comes a point in every horror fan's life that is unavoidable:  you're walking through your local DVD store, scanning the shelves, and suddenly realize you've seen every single slasher out there.  At first you try to shrug it off, sure that you'll find something you don't already own.  You glance over the dozens of copies of Saw and Final Destination, hoping that something new is accidentally sandwiched in between.  Then you start looking over the Friday the 13th and Elm Street movies, thinking that maybe there's a re-release with some added footage or something.  Next you move on to the Urban Legend and I Know What You Did Last Summer series, hoping beyond hope that another straight-to-DVD sequel has come out. 

Nothing.  Nada.  The sweat starts beading up on your brow.  Your heart starts thumping.  Is this it?  Have you really reached the end of the horror movie section...and there's absolutely nothing new?  You pick up a copy of When A Stranger Calls -- the remake, of course, which you already own -- and wonder if you should just buy it again, so you at least have something to take home.  You put it down, realizing that's stupid.  Jesus...what's wrong with us?

It's desperation like this that lead me to actually purchase Do You Wanna Know A Secret one sad afternoon at a MovieStop.  I'd looked over the box thousands of times, snickering at its cheap imitation of Scream's cover design and the fact that the top-billed stars were Joey Lawrence and Chad Allen.  I always felt so superior, knowing that even the $3.99 price tag was too high considering there was something better right around the corner.

And then, that day...nothing better was around the corner anymore.
Well, I'm happy to report that my shame at having bought the movie quickly turned to jubilation when I realized that it was exactly I needed.  It is I Know What You Did Last Summer made by morons.  Which, let's face it, was already a moronic movie to begin with.  So this one is double stupid.  Which pretty much describes Tower Farm.

So, Do You Wanna Know A Secret revolves around a group of college friends on Spring Break in Florida.  Among this group of losers is Joey Lawrence, whose main goal as an actor here seems to be wearing the tightest shirts possible.  This movie showcases Joey in his post-"Blossom" but pre-Lex Luthor phase, which alone ranks it as an interesting historical artifact.  I personally am a big fan of this Joey, as he doesn't quite have the look of a plastic action figure yet (although his lips are so glossy they appear to be laminated):
Chad Allen plays a character who is...well...completely ill-defined and dies off early.  I was kind of hoping that this movie would take a cue from "St. Elsewhere" -- the TV series which ended with an insane final episode that revealed the entire series had taken place in the head of the autistic character played by Chad.  Sadly, that didn't happen.  Anyway, all the other "college kids" here are totally generic and not worthy of mention.  For example, lead girl Dorie Barton seems cast solely based on the fact that she looks and speaks exactly like Reese Witherspoon:
The most notable bit of casting here is the addition of Jeff Conaway as an FBI agent.  Being that the only other time I've recently seen Conaway it's been on shows like VH1's "Celebrity Fit Club" and "Celebrity Rehab" -- which revealed him to be a drug-addled mess -- it's kind of nice to see him speaking clearly and at least appearing lucid.  That said, the startlingly loose grip with which he holds his gun doesn't say much for his immersion into the character:
Being that nothing happens for a good forty minutes of running time, here's another great shot of filmmakers hoping to confuse audiences into thinking Oscar-winner Reese Witherspoon is in their movie:
Anyway, even after discovering that their buddy Chad has been killed (by someone who left behind a note reading "Do You Wanna Know A Secret?") -- the gang decides to stay in town, enjoying the hot tub, pool, and making mixed drinks in the blender.  This also continues after another kid from their college is killed, with the same ridiculous words carved into his body (which seems like a lot of work for the killer, by the way -- couldn't he have just carved in "secret" or something?  Or maybe an abbreviation -- "DYWKAS"?).  Personally, I think it's great that these kids can keep partying in the midst of so much death.

However, all good parties must come to an end...and finally the rest of the kids start getting butchered.  I think.  Because none of the deaths actually happen on camera, I guess I can't be sure that they're dying.  But I think the pools of blood around the bodies indicate murder. 
In an act of complete stupidity, the lead girl follows the killer out to the middle of the Everglades, making absolutely no attempt to conceal her car as she pulls up closely behind him in a large clearing.  I won't even attempt to explain what happens at the climax, except to say that it bring us to this:
Oh, and Chad Allen turns out to be the killer.

So, yeah, this movie is totally stupid.  It was, however, more than worth the $3.99 I finally paid for it, and has given me hope for the next time I visit MovieStop and wander the aisles in panic, afraid that I have nothing left to live for.  Because, dammit, there is still something to live for!  Joey Lawrence proved that once.  Leslie Vernon...could you be next?



  1. Did you watch this because of my review? God, this had to be one of the most painful movie experiences ever! I could not believe how bad and ridiculous this was. Then again, it's right up your alley! But yeah, just a really stupid horror film that's probably unintentionally funny as hell.

    True story, I had posted my review on MySpace at the time and the sister of one of the actresses commented on it, bashing me for dissing her talentless sister. I think she was the horribly acted brunette. It became a thing of legend at the time amongst the film bloggers. It was my first taste of hate for one of my reviews, which proved I had finally made it.

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  3. Haha! Great review, Billy. That blonde definitely does look like a bizarro version of Reese Witherspoon. Oh, and I'm also "that guy" you describe in your first two paragraphs. There's a mom and pop DVD rental store near where I live that has a pretty awesome (and random) selection. I've went through pretty much the entire horror section and it's gotten to the point that I find myself repeatedly going through the section nonetheless thinking a movie I haven't seen will magically appear out of nowhere. And, of course, I usually go home with some random shitty movie I have no interest in seeing.

  4. So, the ending of IDENTITY ripped of ST ELSEWHERE??? What is that all about? If you are going to rip off a show's finale, at least take NEWHART's.