If you thought Disturbing Behavior had a troubled development, it has nothing on Cherry Falls. This is a movie that was heavily cut, with all the juicy bits dropped. It was also a film that had a hell of a time getting released. It eventually ended up on TV, being premiered on the USA Network, which awarded it the title of the most expensive made for TV movie ever at $14 million. Of course, the movie was never meant to be a TV movie, but unfortunately, that’s how the dices rolled with Cherry Falls, which in the end resulted in a sliced and diced movie, lacking the gory plasma a slasher film needs. Thankfully, the movie still has plenty of positives going for it, such as performances from Michael Biehn and the late Brittany Murphy. It’s also got a story that rocks and turns the tables on the usual horror cliches we normally get.
[tabby title=”Product Information”]
DISCS: 1 RUN-TIME: 92 min ASPECT RATIO: 1.85:1 RESOLUTION: 1080p AUDIO: DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1, 2.0 LANGUAGE: English SUBTITLES: English REGION: A/1 RATING: R PRODUCTION DATE: 2000 RELEASE DATE: Mar 29, 2016
[tabby title=”Plot Summary”]
A serial killer is stalking the peaceful town of Cherry Falls. At first, it seems that he is just targeting teenagers, but after the third killing it becomes clear that all the victims have been virgins. When the town’s students hear about this, they realize that there is only one way to protect themselves and begin planning a “Pop Your Cherry” party where they will all lose their virginities together. Meanwhile, Jodi (Brittany Murphy, Clueless, Sin City), the virtuous daughter of the town’s sheriff (Michael Biehn, Aliens, Grindhouse), decides to take matters into her own hands and trap the killer herself.
This chiller is directed by Geoffrey Wright (Romper Stomper) and co-stars Jay Mohr (Hereafter, Jerry McGuire), Gabriel Mann (The Bourne Supremacy) and Candy Clark (The Blob, Amityville 3-D).
[tabby title=”Cherry Falls”]
Cutting through the troubled history of the post-production, Cherry Falls is still a really damn good slasher flick. The overall formula for the movie is the same as countless other slasher films, but it gives us something new in that virgins are the ones on the chopping block this time around, instead of the promiscuous teens that are usually cut up. The other thing that it provides is dependable acting from several different people, with the late Brittany Murphy delivering a solid role as Jodi, the loveable teenage girl on the line. Michael Biehn is also awesome as the cliche cop/dad caring for his daughter. Jay Mohr, who plays a teacher, provides plenty of laugh out loud moments later on in the movie. The movie also does something pretty crazy near the end with one of the characters that surprised me, which is a bonus when talking about a slasher film, a genre that can be overwrought with familiarity.
The script for Cherry Falls was a spoof of the slasher and horror genre, which the final film still incorporates. It has plenty of laughs, winks and nods to the genre we all love. I do find it hilarious that writer Ken Selden based his entire script around wanting to write a teenage orgy, with a killer running loose. I’m not sure what makes you want to write a teenage orgy, but god bless him. Speaking of the orgy near the end of the movie, due to the aforementioned cutting out of the good stuff, the scenes are tame, which is a damn shame.
As you can probably tell, I really do love Cherry Falls, even with the unnecessary tinkering behind the scenes. The characters are enjoyable, the story provides something fresh and new, and Brittany Murphy is a delight. Also, Michael Biehn can do no wrong in my opinion.
[tabby title=”Blu-ray Opinion”]
Scream Factory worked hard on trying to obtain the cut footage, but sadly, they just couldn’t find it. The new commentary from director Geoffrey Wright on the disc mentions the lost footage and the work that went into trying to obtain the material, which of course was not found. He is hopeful that someday it will be found and a director’s cut can be released. Let’s hope that actually happens and Scream Factory gets another chance down the road.
As for this Blu-ray, what we do get is very welcome. We have a new interview with writer Ken Selden and producer Marshall Persinger that runs 24 minutes. We also have an interview with Amanda Anka, who played Deputy Mina. It has a runtime of 7:40. Also included is some vintage interviews (6mins) with Brittany Murphy, Michael Biehn, Jay Mohr and director Geoffrey Wright. I couldn’t help but smile at seeing Brittany Murphy talk about the movie. She was a beautiful and quirky girl, to say the least. Rounding out the features are some behind the scenes footage (4mins), the original script and the trailer for the movie.
[tabby title=”Special Features”]
NEW Audio Commentary With Director Geoffrey Wright
NEW Lose It Or Die: The Untold Story Of Cherry Falls – Interviews With Writer And Co-Executive Producer Ken Selden And Producer Marshall Persinger
NEW Cherry Falls Deputy Mina – An Interview With Amanda Anka
Vintage Interviews With Brittany Murphy, Michael Biehn, Jay Mohr And Director Geoffrey Wright
Original Script (BD-ROM)
Cherry Falls still holds up very well. It’s one of the few slashers of the late 90s and early 2000’s that actually worked surprisingly well. I can’t even imagine how much better the movie would be with all the removed gore and footage added back in. I know Scream Factory worked really hard to try to find the footage, but it wasn’t meant to be. I hope that someday we get to see the film we were meant to see. However, having said all that, the flick is still pretty freaking fun. The Blu-ray has some new features, which are enjoyable and the vintage interviews made me smile. Fans of the movie are going to really get a kick out this release. Pick it up!