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Joe Dante presents a dull 'Trail of Blood'

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'Trail of Blood' DVD

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Lionsgate has done nobody a favor by releasing the catatonia-inducing slasher flick "Trail of Blood." Whoever tricked Joe Dante into putting his name on this should be awarded greatly. All we get here is a complete retread of every camping trip-gone-bad movie that's been forced on us since "Friday the 13th" hit theaters in 1980.

A group of friends head out on a weekend camping trip of drinking and debauchery. They've apparently never seen "The Burning," any of the 12 "Friday the 13th" movies, or the countless other slasher movies warning them this is a bad idea. They stumble on a couple who have been brutally murdered. As they try to figure out what to do, the group find themselves being held captive by a crazed Marine and his bleach-blond girlfriend. The two believe the bunch are responsible for the deaths of the slaughtered couple and plan to make them pay for it.

Yes, "Trail of Blood" really is as ho-hum and forgettable as it sounds. There's absolutely nothing here to get excited about. It looks like it was shot with a typical HD camera that anyone could pick up at an electronics store. Granted, the shooting quality doesn't look like it was the cinematographer's first time behind a lens. I'd say probably their third or fourth. One good thing is it's not a "found footage" film.

The only star actor in "Trail of Blood" is Robert Picardo. He must have had a large traffic ticket to pay off or used this as a means to grab some extra cash to play with while in Vegas or something. All I can say is Picardo is much too good to be doing drivel like this. He does a great job lingering behind trees and looking menacing, though.

There are a couple extra features included for "Trail of Blood." Directors Joseph and Justin Guerrieri provide audio commentary. A trailer gallery is included as well.

"Trail of Blood" is rated R for strong bloody violence, language, brief nudity, and drug use. In other words, it's just like every other slasher movie released in the past few decades. Why would they break the stale mold here of all places?

I love slasher movies and I really don't feel like I ask much when watching them. However, when it's so obvious that you're following a checklist of things to do with no inspiration to go outside of the box, I completely lose interest. If you're going to pay homage to the great gory thrillers of the 1970s and 1980s, at least try to add something new to the formula.

"Trail of Blood" is available now on DVD and as a Digital Download.

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