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Crazy Eights

This is a twisted and dark Big Chill in which six friends reunite for a funeral, and a spooky little girl spoils the fun and portends further mayhem.


Meeting the Crazy Eights cast, we have: Brent (Frank Whaley), an obnoxious self-obsessed nerd; Beth (Gabrielle Anwar), a troubled freakish girl; Gina (Traci Lords), a sexy carefree bimbo; Jennifer (Dina Meyer), a smart sensible girl; and Wayne (Dan DeLuca), the cool handsome guy, who all get together when they receive an invitation to the funeral of an old friend. They were brought together for more nefarious reasons, however, which are revealed when they unearth a trunk that contains a time capsule of items buried two decades ago. The trunk also contains the body of a girl, and it's that girl's spirit that ends up haunting them all. A kind of treasure map in the trunk leads them to a barn which in turn guides them to a tunnel to a creepy abandoned hospital. It's there at the hospital where their collective memories recreate what happened to the little girl and why they were really brought together for this funeral-and future funerals to come. The bottom line to this story is: The past never leaves you.


In the 8 Films to Die For series of this year's Horrorfest 2007, Crazy Eights definitely contains the most recognizable cast—and it's hard to remember a low-budget B horror film with a more noteworthy cast, including Whaley (Pulp Fiction), Meyer (the Saw series), Gabrielle Anwar (Body Snatchers), DeLuca (HBO's The Wire) and former porn star Lords. Sure, some of the characters are cookie-cutter stereotypes from a typical horror ensemble piece, but Whaley plays the jerk well, and Lords is practically good at being typecast. DeLuca is also Crazy Eights producer and co-writer and most likely gave himself as the juicier part. He could become a credible leading man in his own right.


DeLuca co-wrote the film with horror veteran James Koya Jones and additional rewrites by Ji-un Kown and Patrick Moses, and they may have added a few of the twists and turns in the plot, but nothing is outstandingly different. The special effects aren't too elaborate and thankfully most of the goriest death scenes are done just off screen and left more to the imagination. The looming abandoned hospital is used to a great extent and allows for some of the best surprise shocks. It's big, creepy and haunting, and is practically one of the scariest things in the film. And of course, any time there's a ghostly little girl, you've got some chills. Crazy Eights is a keeper.

Bottom Line rated this film 3 stars.