The 13th Child

njvike

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Jul 18, 2003
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Oh well. I really thought they had something there. Perhaps, the wrong director and cast? Seems to me the story of the Jersey Devil would be a great one to make a movie on.

I think I will rent it just to see what places they filmed at.
 

Ben Ruset

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I don't think it had much to do with the Jersey Devil anyway.

SPOILIERS BELOW!














http://www.amazing-colossal.com/13thchild.html

13TH CHILD *1/2
2002 - R - 99 min. - Artist View - dir. Steven Stockage

Somewhere far below Bigfoot on the ladder of American mythical beasts, you’ll
find the Jersey Devil. A local legend for over two centuries, the Jersey Devil is a giant
bat-wolf-man thing that eats anyone unlucky enough to venture alone into an area in the
southern part of the state known as the Pine Barrens. It’s a great myth, really, and
interesting fodder for a good ol’ monster movie. Too bad, then, that all we get is 13th
Child, a low budget cheapie that’s boring, confusing, and just plain dumb.

The hole-laden plot finds Trenton D.A. Murphy (Lesley-Anne Down) investigating
the murder of an escaped convict, whose various mutilated body parts have been washing
up along the river in the Pine Barrens. For some reason, she’s being helped by a dopey
park ranger (a barely recognizable, still untalented Christopher Atkins) and his assistant, a
NYPD cop (Gano Grills) reassigned to south Jersey, the idea being that learning about the
great outdoors will help him with his Central Park beat. Or something.

Meanwhile, there’s Riley (Robert Guillaume, of all people), a cop/renegade Jersey
Devil hunter who’s locked up in a mental ward, ranting about the monster and getting
pumped full of sedatives. At least, that’s what’s happening on October 31; the movie
jumps back and forth in time, rewinding a few days to when Riley’s just fine, spending his
days and nights in the woods, hunting the beast and whatnot. (Plot hole number 74: Riley
goes from being rational, cool Devil hunter to babbling psycho ward patient in, if the
movie’s time frame is accurate, about thirty minutes. Huh?)

All clues point to a local weirdo known as Mr. Shroud (Cliff Robertson), who
dresses in black, wears his long black hair in a ponytail, and converses with his hundreds
of pet reptiles and arachnids. Mr. Shroud also has the area’s largest collection of
poisonous plants, which you’d think would’ve clued the cops onto him a long time ago.

The rest of the plot’s a jumble, something about the Jersey Devil being an ancient
Indian shapeshifting spirit, and Mr. Shroud’s connection to it is... um... let’s see here...
well, that didn’t make much sense, so... hmm... Well, it turns out knowing the end of the
film doesn’t mean knowing how any of it makes sense. All I know is that the story tries to
mix supernatural cultish themes with monster movie spookiness, slasher gore, and serious
mystery, with no success.

Along the way, a few locals are attacked by the Devil, or at least a large, sticky
puppet version of it. There are also a couple of kids who run off thinking they saw the
beast, only it was only their friends pretending to be the beast, only it doesn’t even matter
because none of this has anything to do with the plot. Add a handful of scenes just like
this one and you’ll see how the movie turns out. (There’s also a documentary-like
interview with a supposed Devil witness before the opening credits, and yup, it has
nothing to do with anything.)

There’s nothing in this movie that makes a lick of sense. It’s a mess of bad writing
and confusing editing, with plenty of flat acting to fill in the gaps. Worse, there’s not a
single effective scare in the entire picture (although a few gruesome images of deer
carcases and severed human torsos manage to earn the film a few rare creeps). 13th Child
is a pile of half-formed horror movie ideas crammed together in ways that never fit, never
thrill, never frighten, never entertain.

13th Child is also being released as 13th Child: The Legend of the Jersey Devil,
Volume 1. This implies a Volume 2 is on the way, a fact that makes me rather sad.

RENT INSTEAD: The Wicker Man

ALSO RECOMMENDED: The Mothman Prophecies
 

njvike

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Jul 18, 2003
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Thanks for the suggestion. I'll give that a try.

BTW, I did see Freddy vs. Jason. Just what I expected but since the kids wanted to go to the moveis it was either this or Spy Kids II for the second time

I did notice some other good horror movies expected out soon.
 
B

bach2yoga

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bruset said:
FWIW, The Wicker Man is a great flick.

Ooh, didn't no you weren't to that stuff!!! (I don't mean the horror, I mean the theme)

It is a great movie, if somewhat disconcerting!

Renee
 
B

BarryC

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Ken, and all,
I have seen the trailer for the movie, and you can clearly see places in it you'll recognize. I'll leave it at that.
For another movie filmed in the Pine Barrens, check out Fallen, which came out in 1998. It starred Donald Sutherland and Denzel Washington. It was filmed in the woods near Bel Haven Lake, and also at or near some college in PA.
http://movies.warnerbros.com/fallen/ I taped it off TV and I liked it. It was quite imaginative, IMO.
njvike said:
Oh well. I really thought they had something there. Perhaps, the wrong director and cast? Seems to me the story of the Jersey Devil would be a great one to make a movie on.

I think I will rent it just to see what places they filmed at.
 

Ben Ruset

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Oct 12, 2004
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Monmouth County
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bach2yoga said:
bruset said:
FWIW, The Wicker Man is a great flick.

Ooh, didn't no you weren't to that stuff!!! (I don't mean the horror, I mean the theme)

It is a great movie, if somewhat disconcerting!

Renee

I haven't seen it since I was in my early teens. I bought the DVD but haven't re-watched it yet. I remember it being really strange.

The *best* horror flicks are the Living Dead movies by George Romero. Night of the Living Dead and Dawn of the Dead are two amazing movies. Not for being outright gross, but for being suspenseful.

I like horror that's set in a believable location and could "happen to anybody." Those Zombie flicks are a perfect example. Another good example would be Stephen Kings novella "The Mist." An interesting Pine Barrens horror story is "The Barrens" by F. Paul Wilson (he lives in Brick too) which is a story in the Cthulhu mythos set in the Pine Barrens. His sole source of information was McPhee's book (and it shows, BAD) but the story is good nonetheless.
 

njvike

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Jul 18, 2003
353
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Sparta, NJ
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Ken, and all,
I have seen the trailer for the movie, and you can clearly see places in it you'll recognize. I'll leave it at that.
For another movie filmed in the Pine Barrens, check out Fallen, which came out in 1998. It starred Donald Sutherland and Denzel Washington. It was filmed in the woods near Bel Haven Lake, and also at or near some college in PA.
http://movies.warnerbros.com/fallen/ I taped it off TV and I liked it. It was quite imaginative, IMO.

Barry,

Thanks for the info. I will take a look at it.

Ken
 

KARL

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Sep 7, 2003
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bruset, HI BEN......LOVED READING YOUR REVIEW OF THE THIRTEENTH CHILD.....LORDY,IT DOES SOUND BAD........I HAVE ALWAYS FOUND THE LEGEND OF THE JERSEY DEVIL TO BE RATHER RIDICULOUS AND PURE CHILD LIKE FANTASY.......WHAT MRS LEEDS PROBABLY HAD WAS A BADLY DEFORMED CHILD WHO TOOK TO THE WOODS AND SCARED HELL OUT OF THE LOCALS......NOW A GOOD SCREENWRITER COULD TAKE THAT AND TURN OUT A DECENT PINE BARRENS FRIDAY THE THIRTEETH.......HECK,WE COULD EVEN NAME HIM JASON................READ A BOOK WAY BACK CALLED THE PINE BARRENS.....A DETECTIVE NOVEL,SUPPOSEDLY SET IN THE JERSEY PINE BARRENS......THEY MADE IT SOUND LIKE THE ALASKAN WILDERNESS.....WHICH OF COURSE MANY CITY FOLK STILL THINK IT IS..........SADLY IT ISNT......ALTHOUGH IF YOU GOT LOST IN SOME PARTS .......AROUND HOWARDSVILLE,OR OSWEGO,YOU MIGHT THINK SO.......PRESS ON ,KARL
 

ZZ3GMC

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Sep 19, 2003
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I saw the movie last year at the Atco Multiplex. It had nothing to do with the legend of the Jersey Devil and I was pretty dissapointed with it. There were alot of places that I recognized, quite abit was shot at the Batstow mansion. Called Shrouds Bog in the movie. I also read that book The Pines and have to agree with your Alaskan Wilderness quote.
 

foofoo

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Sep 14, 2003
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rented the dvd last night. what a horrible job. not much real to it at all. actors could have been better.
 

njvike

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Jul 18, 2003
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foofoo said:
rented the dvd last night. what a horrible job. not much real to it at all. actors could have been better.

I'm sorry I didn't take the recommendations of the others in here as I also rented it. I feel asleep after fifteen minutes and it wasn't because I was tired.
 

gagliarchives

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Mar 7, 2004
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We rented it last week. Awful movie. We were very dissapointed. The only cool part was seeing Batsto. The acting was atrocious. No wonder no one in SJ knows this movie when I bring it up. Ugh. We should all make our own movie.
 
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