What horror fan doesn't have a special place in his/her black little heart for Charles Band and Full Moon? We're talking about the man who gave us the MonsterBra, the real puppet master behind The Puppet Master, the king of slow-moving, runtime-extending credits, the prolific B horror filmmaker who has now gone back to shooting on 35mm film (good for him). I mean, you can't throw a dead cat without hitting a low-budget horror film Charles Band was involved in. Petrified is one of the newest releases from the newly rechristened Full Moon Features, coming on the heels of Doll Graveyard and The Gingerdead Man. I can't say that Petrified is a very good movie because it isn't, not with its goofy storyline, low-budget special effects, and corny dialogue delivered by unskilled actors. It is, however, a real hoot of a Charles Band film.
You know this is low-budget when, in the very first scene, one guy shoots another without aiming the gun anywhere near him, and then the other characters barely even react to what just happened. The scene itself involves the illicit transfer of an ancient mummy and a separate mummified hand. When the deal goes south, Buzz (Roark Critchlow) makes a run for it with said hand, while the others are left to greet the ancient mummy, who, upon being reawakened by the blood of the gunshot victim, suddenly emerges from his crate. Waking up a little out of sorts, he immediately petrifies those left behind (literally) with his deadly gaze. Buzz, meanwhile, ducks into what appears to be a house, but guess what? It's actually a clinic specializing in the treatment of young ladies suffering from severe nymphomania. Needless to say, Buzz decides to hang around a while waiting for his backup to come and extract him from the scene. I don't want you to get too excited by this nymphomania thing, though. Every time one or more girls start getting all hot and bothered, the stupid mummy shows up and ruins everything. This direct-to-DVD release is unrated, but I would personally give it a PG-13 rating.
While a couple of investigators do some horrible acting as they follow the path of petrified bodies the mummy left in his wake, Buzz passes the time with Helen (Jessica Lancaster), her hot and horny sister Suze (Kimberly Pfeffer), and a handful of other saucy young patients at the clinic. Knowing that a nympho lesbian is a terrible thing to waste, he soon becomes the girls' protector when the mummy shows up. No matter how hairy things get, though, Buzz finds time to sort of flirt with Helen, the only young lady there who is not a nymphomaniacal hottie. Then, after the doctor finally turns up, Buzz listens patiently as the guy drones on and on about his research. Basically, Doc thinks that the pheromones of nymphomaniacs hold the key to eternal youth. This is why I love Charles Band. Who else is going to give you this kind of incredibly goofy storyline?
Like the mummy himself, the plot of this movie isn't wrapped all that tightly, but that's OK. Sure, it would be nice if the film were the least bit scary, but you can't help but have a good time laughing at all of the bad movie wares on display. If you ask me, I think the film's pretty darned hilarious. From a really bad joke about "hardened criminals" to moments of inane dialogue delivered quite woodenly by almost every one of the actors, there's just an abundance of campy badness to enjoy from the whole Petrified experience. It's just unfortunate that the movie runs only 76 minutes, and that's counting the heavily padded end credits.
It's pretty difficult to rate a film like this. It's really a two-star film, but I gave it a third star for all of its hilarious weaknesses. If you love goofy, low-budget horror films, a three-star Charles Band release is almost guaranteed to entertain you.
On a final note, Petrified undoubtedly has more executive producers than any other film in history - dozens and dozens and dozens of them. Be sure and stay tuned throughout the excruciatingly long end credits to find out how this came to be.