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The In Crowd

Get Out Fast!

By Karen Feigenbaum

Staff Writer

Directed by Mary Lambert

Written by Mark Gibson and Philip Halprin

Starring Susan Ward, Lori Heuring, Matthew Settle, Ethan Erickson, and Nathan Bexton

Rated PG-13

Needless to say, the crowd in the theater with me when I saw The In Crowd opening night could have been counted on one hand. But, like a California freeway high-speed chase or The Teletubbies, I just couldn’t seem to pull my eyes away from the screen.

This film is horrible in every conceivable way that a movie can be: it has a low-budget cast of nobodies (with a Denise Richards knock-off wearing whore-level amounts of make-up); the plot is pathetic; and there were some embarrassingly obvious editing gaffes (her hair’s down and flowing ... now it’s up in a bun ... now it’s down and flowing again).

If you have ever purposely sat through a turkey movie like Showgirls, Plan 9 From Outer Space, or any Roger Corman flick, you may well enjoy this movie -- but only if you go with a group of friends and MST-3K it to death. The basic premise is that some blonde chick (character names are so unnecessary with these movies) is released from a mental institute. She begins working at a fancy-pants summer country club, where an evil but popular brunette inexplicably lures her into the belief that they’re friends, only to try to murder her later. Some attempt is made to explain the evil but popular brunette’s impetus for the friendship, but not much sense can be derived therein.

Though not a comedy, The In Crowd will make you laugh. Masterfully crafted low-budget lines are peppered throughout the movie, including classics such as “Who’s going to believe a cabana girl like you over a socialite like me?” And the characters make some unbelievably stupid moves -- so much so that it’s laughable. The evil but popular brunette makes the ultimate bad guy mistake of revealing to her blonde victim all her wrong-doings in amazing detail as she tries to hunt her victim down with an axe. My favorite moment might have been when the blonde, attempting to escape the evil but popular brunette, has the option of running towards a crowded party but instead dives into the deserted boiler room.

At least the movie knows its place and doesn’t try to be anything more than a cheap teen-sploitation thriller. And while it may utterly fail as a thriller, at least it’s good for a few laughs.