Chromeskull!

File Under Sadism/ChromeSkull: ‘Laid To Rest’ (2009)

We’ve had our share of awesome horror villains throughout the years. One of the most badass and underrated ones came from the 2009 slasher film, Laid To Rest which has a memorable villain named ChromeSkull. He is not a force to be reckoned with, but is the film worth a watch beyond this sadistic killer?

Fast movies are supposed to create excitement, obviously, and Laid To Rest can’t be accused of being 100% boring. Its villain — appropriately named “ChromeSkull” — certainly offers memorable moments and is obviously a genuine sicko who loves the death, pain and torment of others. We might guess at his motivations, but it should be remembered that sadists do exist out there, and real life psychos will never be completely understood. Therefore, we can forgive the lack of backstory for good ol’ Chromedome.

What’s harder to forgive are some of the painfully common horror clichés. For example: When our survival girl (named “Princess” and played by Bobbi Sue Luther) first tries to call 911, all seems good until she walks a bit too far and breaks the cord. Oops! Now the line can’t be traced, right? The problem is, this movie seems to be modern (made in 2009). Given how high tech ChromeSkull himself is — with his shoulder mounted camcorder –, one would assume the 911 call center would at least have caller ID. Am I being off base here? This movie surely doesn’t take place in, say, the 1980s.

Still, the 911 call isn’t the only groan-inducing bit of bad luck. When the girl first escapes, she is picked up by a guy named Tucker (Kevin Gage). While I’m happy that Tucker wasn’t in league with ChromeSkull (the twist I had been expecting), I was disappointed to learn that (1) his truck’s low on gas and (2) his phone service is cut off. Then, when another guy named Steven (Sean Whalen) comes into play, it’s revealed that his car won’t go much faster than 40 MPH — a precaution he took to prevent his mother from driving too fast!  Really? While it could happen, I couldn’t help but think, “Well, how convenient for our buddy ChromeSkull.”

Ouch! On the bright side, he no longer has to ask anyone which side of his profile looks better.

Meanwhile, ChromeSkull’s car has all the fixings, including an ability to control his car via cellphone. Well, la di da, Mr. Fancy Pants! That aside, the shoulder mounted camera is an interesting angle. It immediately shows that our killer is a sadistic voyeur — obsessed with capturing and potentially reliving every single sick moment.

I could go into more specific plot details here, but the movie largely speaks for itself. What I most wonder about is ChromeSkull’s obsession with recording it all. It goes back to a basic conundrum: If you’re trying to record almost every moment of your life, when will you have time to watch it all? You won’t, which means ChromeSkull is following a compulsion. Sure, we know he sends key footage to the authorities, but he most certainly has to sift through footage to find the most salient elements to send out. Presumably, he does some editing as well. This all takes money and time.

Without seeing sequels (yet), I can only guess Chromedome is some spoiled rich kid gone awry, or maybe a successful businessman with plenty of free time. I am neither of those things, but even I don’t seem to have much free time. On that note, does ChromeSkull shift around his daily planner sometimes, occasionally holding off on kills until his schedule permits? It’s a good think ChromeSkull had some luck throughout his career, including every other car being low on gas, or not being able to exceed 40 miles per hour.

Anyway, let this be a lesson: If you ever encounter someone like ChromeSkull, just do your best to GTFO. I think you can do better than this film’s heroes did. Sometimes it’s smart to just run like the wind, and worry about accusations of cowardice later. Sorry, but it’s the hard truth.

About wadewainio

Wade is a wannabe artist and musician (operating under the moniker Grandpa Helicopter), and an occasional radio DJ for WMTU 91.9 FM Houghton. He is an occasional writer for Undead Walking, and also makes up various blogs of his own. He even has a few books in the works. Then again, doesn't everyone?

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