Summer Dreams Ripped at the Seams, But Oh Those Summer Nights (Tell Me More, Tell Me More)
I'll Always Know What You Did Last Summer / Dustin Rowles
Film Reviews | August 14, 2006 | Comments ()
Because knowing and still knowing what you did last summer doesn’t quite cut it, the powers that be thought it important that we always know, lest you get the idea that someone’s forgotten about your summer vacation. Sadly, however, the kids of the Last Summer franchise never seem to alter their plans, always showing up at carnivals, riding the Ferris wheel in their low-cut halter tops, dick-teasing their boyfriends, and carelessly killing off unsuspecting victims, resolving to keep their little homicide amongst themselves. And you’d think we’d know by now that nothing good can come from their shenanigans. If they’d just let everyone in on the know in the first fucking place, then perhaps all these goddamn sequels would be unnecessary. Or at least if the characters knew that the only person with a chance at survival is the chick with the largest cup size, then maybe someone would be smart enough to know that D-cup implants are the only way to salvation.
Think, people. Think! Must the movie critic do everything for you?
And so it goes with this third go-around to what may as well be called a spin-off to the Scream trilogy and progenitor to the four Scary Movies, meaning that Kevin Williamson — who wrote the original Scream and I Know What You Did Last Summer — is directly responsible for at least nine hideous offshoots, plus countless other third-generation offspring, and thus should be subjected to a slow-killing rash of the genitalia. Always Know follows yet another quartet of teenagers, all of whom — by some Darwinian magic — seem to have been born with a dose of Clearasil in their gene pool. And like the third installment in the Scream franchise, there is the tiniest bit of uninspired meta-meta fueling the Always Know plot, as the initial victim meets his demise at the aforementioned carnival when the foursome decides to pull a prank by pretending to be the killer Fisherman, having no doubt obtained the costume at a significant discount given the lack of interest in the series, indicated by the third film’s straight-to-video status.
Thus the pact to keep it a secret: “It dies with us” (and, please God, so does the franchise). Unfortunately, for you “Ghost Whisperer” fans, until the original I Know What You Did Last Summer is remade 20 years from now and she makes a cameo as the droopy-chested fortune teller, Jennifer Love Hewitt and her ample bosom are missing from all subsequent Last Summer films. Instead, as the titular hesitantee, we are given Amber (Brooke Williams), whose blond hair and averaged-sized chuberteens befit the third-rate production values. Picking up one year after the prank that goes awry, Amber and her brash, sure-to-die-early boyfriend are experiencing relationship difficulties when suddenly she receives several text messages with that now common refrain (though the shiny new qualifying adverb is nowhere to be seen).
Thereinafter, director Sylvain White spends most of the remainder of the film’s running time trying to find new and completely unoriginal ways of reminding the teens of what he knows, while the quartet inevitably turns on each other. The great paradox here, of course, is that they are clearly aware of the previous two films, yet no one realizes that the killer is not amongst them. Thankfully by the time they do, half the cast is dead (which is one-half too few), leaving the hesitantee and her new beau to fend for themselves. The task, however, is all the more difficult this time around because the Fisherman has apparently figured out how to catch bullets and survive the underside of a speeding car — but a spike in the toe really pisses him off. Oh, and yeah: Though he has impeccable aim with that hook when it comes to minor characters, the motherfucker can’t hit the side of a goddamn building with it when Amber is around. Damndest thing.
Given the precipitous box-office drop-off from the original to the first sequel, I cannot fathom what kind of audience might exist for I’ll Always Know What You Did Last Summer. I suppose, perhaps, that somewhere in backwoods America there exists a video store, fashioned from a trailer home, that specializes in straight-to-video sequels; a place where Road House 2 has already been rented, leaving Cletus Jr. nothing else to take back home to his Pa. If that is the unfortunate case, then I might suggest that Cletus would be better off spending some time picking seed ticks from his beard or tending to the moonshine distillery behind the outhouse. Either one of those activities would provide more enlightenment than sitting through this catastrophe. But, I suppose, for others who have already watched The Skulls trilogy 27 times and are looking for new and exciting ways to burn a hole through their brain stem, I’ll Always Know What You Did Last Summer would do the trick.
Dustin Rowles is the publisher of Pajiba. He lives in a blue house with his wife in a hippie colony/college town in upstate New York. You may email him, or leave a comment below.