TSL’s Horror Grindhouse: Sinister Squad (dir by Jeremy Inman)

A group of cultists who worship Death are threatening to destroy the world so a mysterious operative named Alice (Christina Licciardi) assembles a group of fairy tale villains and heroes to help defeat them. Unfortunately, getting The Big Bad Wolf, Goldilocks, the Mad Hatter, Bluebeard, and a host of others to work together isn’t as easy as it should be.  Complicating things is the evil Rumpelstiltskin (Johnny Rey Diaz), who is imprisoned with a mask over his face to keep him from convincing anyone to say his name.  Just as he is responsible for smashing the magic mirror that unleashed Death and his evil followers on the world, he also might be the only one who can stop the cult.  But at what price?

I watched the 2016 film, Sinister Squad, last night.  I have to admit that I had a pretty difficult time following the plot.  Produced by the Asylum, Sinister Squad is a sequel to Avengers Grimm.  Avengers Grimm was a mockbuster of The Avengers, in which all of the heroes were fairly tale characters.  Sinister Squad is a mockbuster of Suicide Squad, in which a group of fairy tale villains are recruited to save the world.  Avengers Grimm was a surprisingly fun movie but Sinister Squad gets bogged down by its own low budget, with nearly the entire film taking place in one location.  It’s kind of hard to make an epic action film when you can’t afford more than one set.

That set is a warehouse, where the members of the Sinister Squad are imprisoned.  It’s also where Alice is storing Death’s scythe.  Death wants his scythe back so he sends his followers to retrieve it and it leads to a bit of a one-sided battle.  Indeed, none of the members of the Sinister Squad seem to be that effective when it comes to defending the world and it’s hard not to feel that Alice should have made more of an effort to recruit some of Death’s followers.  Probably the most impressive of Death’s acolytes is Bluebeard (Trae Ireland), who can throw knives in slow motion and steal the souls of those he kills.  (He calls them his “wives” because he’s Bluebeard.)  Still, as impressive a bad guy as Bluebeard might be, it’s hard not to wonder why he’s there because it’s not as if Bluebeard is a fairy tale character.  It seems like a waste to have Goldilocks face off against Bluebeard as opposed to three bears.

As I said, the plot of this one is not always easy to follow.  If you haven’t seen Avengers Grimm, you’ll be totally lost.  I have seen Avengers Grimm and I still wasn’t always sure what everyone in Sinister Squad was going on about.  On the plus side, some of the costumes are nicely done.  Bluebeard was properly intimidating.  I sympathized with the Big Bad Wolf, who was apparently just misunderstood.  I respected Alice and her refusal to surrender.  For the most part, though, Sinister Squad was more underwhelming than sinister.

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