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2005's "Intermedio" (i.e. "inbetween") is a low-budget horror flick about four youths who attempt to make a drug score with a couple of Mexicans they meet up with in a tunnel complex between the U.S. and Mexico. Yet, unknown to them the tunnels are haunted by killer ghosts controlled by a man with a vial containing the last drop of blood of each specter (or something along these lines).
WHAT DOESN'T WORK:
The special effects are very low-budget, particularly a scene where a girl is chopped in half, but they didn't bother me a bit since I'm used to the F/X of, say, the Original Star Trek TV series. As long as the story's good I can accept poor F/X.
Once the youths enter into the tunnel system the locations become one-dimensional for the next full hour. Needless to say, dark tunnels can wear out their welcome real fast.
The plot is good and the actors do their best to illustrate seriousness, horror and tension, but all-in-all I didn't find the story all that compelling.
Cerina Vincent was 25 at the time and in her physical prime. She wears tight black pants and a red billy shirt throughout most of the film and never looked better, except maybe in 2006's "Sasquatch Mountain." She's involved in most of the action and is, in fact, the heroine of the story.
Amber Benson and Edward Furlong (the juvenile John Conner from "Terminator 2: Judgment Day") are also on hand as two of the other youths; take note if you're a fan.
The film was shot in Acton, California and Calico Ghost Town, Calico Dry Lake Bed, Mojave Desert. These locations are fine except the overlong time the film bogs down in the tunnels.
FINAL WORD: "Intermedio" is worthwhile if, like me, you're a fan of the beautiful Cerina Vincent who looks fabulous throughout, as well as other actors like Amber Benson and Edward Furlong. I also recommend the film if you enjoy desert crisis/survival flicks in general, horror bent or not. The plot's good, but the tunnel sequence is overlong and the story's execution fails to fully captivate despite the earnest efforts of the cast (not that some of them are the best actors, but they're certainly earnest). Stay away if you can't stomach low-budget special effects.
The film runs 82 minutes.
GRADE: C (but Cerina Vincent is an A+ all the way)
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