Review: ‘Simon Says’

The notion of Crispin Glover playing evil twins will hold irresistible attraction for some folk -- even if "Simon Says" proves easier to resist and the star turn itself disappoints. This routinely conceived but slick slasher pic, which sometimes closely recalls 1979 cult fave "Tourist Trap," is a painless time-killer for genre fans. Theatrical distribution seems unlikely, but ancillary sales should be brisk.

The notion of Crispin Glover playing evil twins will hold irresistible attraction for some folk — even if “Simon Says” proves easier to resist and the star turn itself disappoints. This routinely conceived but slick slasher pic, which sometimes closely recalls 1979 cult fave “Tourist Trap,” is a painless time-killer for genre fans. Theatrical distribution seems unlikely, but ancillary sales should be brisk.

Writer-helmer William Dear (“Harry and the Hendersons”), a tardy newbie to slice-‘n’-dice flicks at age 63, rounds up the usual comely collegians for the usual rural peril: On a party-hearty roadtrip, Uptight Chick, Blonde Ditz, Stoner Dude, Jock and Final Girl (Margo Harshman) make the mistake of asking gas station attendant Stanley (Glover) for an ideal camping spot. Supposedly Stanley’s quasi-Bigfoot-costumed brother Simon is the menace. Turns out Stanley ain’t no good Samaritan, either. There’s a neat visual effect in ersatz catapults that send pickaxes hurtling lethally through the forest. But pacey pic mostly sticks to formula — including lame Freddy Krueger-esque quips bellowed by Glover, hamming well below recent thesping peaks (“Willard,” “Bartleby”). Other actors are appealing enough. Producer Ernie Lively’s relatives are well represented onscreen and offscreen.

Simon Says

Production

A Darkmoon Pictures presentation, in association with Blue Cactus Pictures, of an Ernie Lively production. Produced by Lively. Executive producers, Vern Sorenson, Janelle Hershman, Harold Smith. Co-producer, Jason Black. Directed, written by Bill Dear.

Crew

Camera (color), Brian Greenberg; editor, Chris Conlee; music, Ludek Drizhal; production designer, Oliver Dear. Reviewed at Another Hole in the Head, San Francisco, June 11, 2007. Running time: 90 MIN.

With

Crispin Glover, Margo Harshman, Greg Cipes, Kelly Vitz, Artie Baxter, Carrie Finklea, Bruce Glover, Lori Lynn Lively.

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