Thursday, March 7, 2013

Drainiac! (Brett Piper, 2000)

As I'm sure most of you know, safe and clean drinking water and sanitation has been recently declared a human right. Really? That's not even close to being fascinating. Excuse me? Don't you think every human on earth deserves to have access to clean drinking water? I guess. But people didn't click on your review of Drainiac! to be lectured about water rights. Okay, if you're so smart guy, tell me, why are they here? Two words: An adorable, ticklish blonde named Samara Doucette. Um, that's actually more than two...You know what? Never mind. They want me to type words about Samara Doucette, eh? Hell yeah they do. You see, this waterlogged monstrosity masquerading as filmed entertainment was Samara Doucette's only full-length screen credit. So what? So what?!? Don't you get it? There are not literally millions of people across this stupid ass globe right this minute who are depending on you to lavish copious amounts of hyperbolic praise on Samara Doucette's performance in this equally stupid ass movie. Seriously? If you don't praise her, who will? You're absolutely right. It's up to me to praise her. Forget everything I just said about clean water being a human right (we already have), I've got me a blonde thespian to lavish copious amounts of hyperbolic praise on. Don't forget to get some on her feet. What?!? Her feet, don't forget to praise her feet. Oh, all right. For a minute there I thought you were talking about jizz. Don't be vulgar. I'm sorry, seminal fluid. That's more like it. 
Being the only blonde in a sea of dark hair is tough. How do I know this? Well, I just watched the trials and tribulations of Tanya (Samara Doucette), the only blonde in the entire state of New Hampshire. And, I think it's safe to say, I understand her pain and suffering all too well. Of course, I'm not a blonde. But I do know what's it like to not fit in. I hope you got some tissues handy, because what I'm about to tell you will probably cause your eyes to become soaked with tears. Are you ready? During my teenage years, I elected to wear Pointed Toe Buckle Creepers. Now, I know what you're thinking, that doesn't sound so bad. Yeah, but get this. Everyone else in my peer group wore non-buckled, non-pointy footwear. Non-buckled, non-pointy footwear?!? Damn. You must have been ridiculed on a daily basis. Hmm, not really. Well, the beatings you must have endured were no doubt horrendous. I don't recall any beatings. No, their shoes were just different than mine. Oh.
Anyway, a very blonde Tanya is friends with a bunch of brunettes, and is constantly being picked on for being a blonde. Oh, sure. I didn't actually hear any blonde-related slurs hurled in her general direction over the course of the film. But I could totally tell that were making fun of her in their own condescending, brunette way.
The film's prologue, by the way, is probably one of the worst prologues I have ever seen. Yet, as two derelicts argue with one another in the woods on Christmas Eve, I couldn't help but notice that it was snowing. I know, snowfall is quite common in the Live Free or Die state, but it just looked so pretty; and you rarely see real weather in movies anymore. Whatever, as the two derelicts, Todd Poudrier ("melting derelict") and Andrew Osborne ("dumb derelict") are fighting over a bottle of booze, they stumble upon a house in the woods; a creepy house in the woods, which, I guess, should go without saying. Then why did you say it? Lick my taint.
Entering the house via a basement window, the melting derelict is called the "melting derelict" because he melts after touching some green slime that was dripping from a pipe. And let that be a lesson to all you kids out there: Don't enter creepy houses in the woods and learn how to share your booze. What about touching green slime? Yeah, don't do that either.
Jumping forward to modern times (the derelict sequence was apparently a flashback), it's, oh, let's say, 1996, and a teenage brunette named Julie (Georgia Hatzis) is returning home for the evening. Don't worry, the house she enters wasn't the creepy house in the woods from the prologue. Even though you only hear him shouting at her from another room, I can already tell that Julie's dad (Steven Bornstein) is going to be a bit of an asshole. Did I say "bit"? What I meant to say was, huge asshole; Julie's father is a huge asshole.
Changing into a Tufts t-shirt, Julie turns in for the evening. Unable to sleep, Julie shows off her leggy writhing technique. And as an expert when it comes to leggy writhing, I have to say, Georgia Hatzis, whose name rhymes with Nazis (c'mon, you're all thinking it), is quite adept at writhing while leggy. Suddenly, without warning, slimy hands grab Julie's arms and legs. Just as the slimy creature attached to those grabby, slimy hands is about to suck her neck, Julie wakes up.
Pausing at her mother's grave (she committed suicide about a year ago) during her morning jog, Julie enjoys a moment of quiet reflection. I hope she did in fact enjoy it, because her dad is waiting for her when she gets back. Telling her to get in the car, Julie's father wants her to come help clean up an old house he recently purchased. As they're pulling out of the driveway (her dad wouldn't even let her take a shower), Julie's friends pull up in a car.
Okay, what do we have here? The guy behind wheel, that's Jake (Ethan Krasnoo). Riding shotgun is a brunette named Lisa (Alexandra Boylan). And sitting in the backseat is the cutest blonde I've seen all week. Winning me over almost immediately with her top-notch "I'm annoyed" face, the luminous Samara Doucette plays Tanya, a platinum-haired breath of fresh air in this frightfully stale universe. When she catches wind that Lisa is hinting that she wants to help Julie and her dad, Tanya flashes her first annoyed face while saying something to effect of: "Yeah, like, that's how I wanna spend my Saturday." 
After employing a flurry of annoyed looks and a smattering of eye-rolling, Julie and her friends eventually go their separate ways. To the surprise of virtually no-one, the house Julie and her dad are supposed to clean up is the very same dump from the derelict melting prologue.
Meanwhile, over at USA Subs, Tanya is showing her friends, Jake and Lisa, the proper way to look adorable while sitting in a sub joint. The key to Tanya's adorableness is the white scarf she wears in her blonde hair, as it gives her already jaunty demenour an added layer of jauntiness. Isn't she in danger of becoming too jaunty? Hell, no. Just asking. Crashing Tanya's makeshift adorability symposium is a jerk named Wade (Rob Gorden), a floppy-haired punk in a green army jacket. As Wade is stealing food off Tanya's plate, she tells him, "Get your own food, asshole!" Yeah, baby! To which Wade responds, "Tanya! You're so damned cute!" Stealing her food was definitely a dick move on his part. However, he does know unadulterated cuteness when he sees it; you gotta give him just gotta.
I must admit, the amount of energy I'm expending extolling the virtues of Samara Doucette's performance as Tanya is off the charts in terms of misguided enthusiasm. However, I'm starting to feel as if it's not entirely justified. Don't get me wrong, from a visual stand point, Miss Doucette is the best thing about Drainiac! (her perky, colourful look is way more interesting than the two bland brunettes sporting ho-hum ponytails and their asexual companion). It's just that the film itself is basically a teens in peril flick. Except in this film's case, the machete-wielding madman has been replaced by the kitchen sink.    
Don't lose hope. At least not now. Why's that? Well, look. Huh, it would seem that Tanya, Lisa, Jake, and Wade have decided to pay Julie a visit after all. (They agreed to bring her lunch - Wade shows up uninvited - That's So Wade.) This could be interesting. If you're in a film called "Drainiac!," the last thing you want to do is to wander off on your own to wash your hands. Surprisingly, the results of Tanya's hand washing adventure are actually quite comical. While attempting to wash her hands in the kitchen sink, Tanya is splashed with water.  Screaming, "the faucet exploded," Tanya alerts her friends to the kitchen. What makes the scene so humourous is that when Julie, Lisa and Jake are discussing the faucet, Tanya periodically interrupts them to say, "I'm wet here." The look on face on Tanya's face as she tries to pass this information along to her friends is priceless.
The same can't be said for the film's other confrontations with plumbing fixtures, as Julie's frightening encounter with some gooey tentacles while taking a bath and Wade's similar one involving a toilet (his attempt to expel the urine that's accumulated in his bladder goes somewhat awry) aren't funny at all. Well, seeing Wade's crotch blood go splat all over the walls of the downstairs bathroom was sort of comical, but I digress. Anyway, the only difference between the two fixture pickles being, Julie's bath-tub nightmare was just that, a nightmare (the real horror, me thinks, is taking place inside her head).
This is what Samara Doucette's feet look like without shoes or socks. You're welcome.
You could accuse writer-director Brett Piper being a lot of things. I, on the other hand, have chosen not to take that road. He has somehow managed to make an entertaining film about a dilapidated fixer-upper that kills its occupants with faulty plumbing. And he should be commended for what he was able to achieve this with little-to-no money. That being said, if I ever bumped into Mr. Piper on the street, I would give a stern tongue-lashing for not giving us any clear shots of Samara Doucette's teal-ish (they could have been turquoise) Mary Jane-style Doc Martens. Yeah, yeah, I appreciated the shot of her feet (see above), and the tickling/spanking scene, but I think most people will agree with me when I say: We want to see her shoes!

video uploaded by popcinema


  1. "..... echos of the original 'Evil Dead.'"

    Yeah, really distant echos.

  2. Wow --- I've never had a review of one of my movies end with a complaint that I didn't devote enough attention to a supporting actress' shoes! By the way, you still don't know what Samara's feet look like, but you know what my friend Heather's do.

  3. Call me paranoid, but I had a sneaking suspicion that those might not be Samara's feet. And now my suspicion has been confirmed. Am I sad? Not really. Am I an unctuous slab of easily duped idiocy? You betcha. :)

    The video store I found Drainiac! DVD at has it proudly displayed on its main wall. It's a beautiful thing. *single tear*