Posts Tagged ‘Patrick Rea’

Kristen Vaganos, Carmen Anello

“I AM LISA”  My rating: C+

92 minutes | No MPAA rating

Horror fans — who seem to be perennially on the prowl for new twists on old tropes — will find fresh meat to chew on in “I Am Lisa,” the latest from Lawrence-based creepmeister Patrick Rea.

Working from a screenplay by first-timer Eric Winkler (full disclosure: Eric and I were for years colleagues at the Kansas City Star), “…Lisa” offers a mashup of two genres — the female revenge melodrama (“I Spit on Your Grave,” etc.) and the werewolf picture.

Moreover, it’s a female centric yarn — the cast is mostly women.

The Lisa of the title (Kristen Vaganos) operates a small-town bookstore.  She’s got scholarly glasses and hides beneath a stocking cap (think Dustin Hoffman in “Straw Dogs”) and  is easy prey for a posse of bad girls who seem to run things in the little burg.

Their sneering, manipulative leader is Jessica (Carmen Anello), who makes off with an expensive first edition.  Lisa seeks relief from the local sheriff, Deb Huckins (Manon Halliburton).

Big mistake.  Sheriff Huckins is Jessica’s mom (uh…how did this escape Lisa?) and the head of a crime family that runs everything from drugs to prostitution.  Her thick son Nick (Crhis Bylsma) is her deputy.

For her troubles Lisa will be kicked nearly to death, raped and, at one point, crucified.  Left to expire in the woods, she’s bitten by a wolf and wakes up in the rural home of an eccentric occultist (Cinnamon Schultz) who nurses her back to health.  This doesn’t take as long as you’d expect…all of a sudden Lisa is exhibiting remarkable recuperative properties.

Hiding out with her best bud Sam (Jennifer Seward), who will function as a last-act maiden-in-distress, Lisa realizes that she’s becoming a powerful beast capable of snapping a neck or tearing out a throat.

Mean girls had best look out. (more…)

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