I managed to make it out of the trailer park for a while; I was going stir crazy under that house arrest! You have no idea how pesky those little ankle bracelet trackers can be! Luckily, with the aid of some cooking spray, a pie cutter, and a drifter, I’ve squirreled free and have been on the road for a little while. You have no idea the bother one tiny little missing persons report will bring you! Pat just won’t let it go no matter how many times I tell her that Bert has gone night fishing and I don’t know when he’ll be back. Granted, this trip is a bit longer than
usual, and his car is in the driveway, and the boat is at the dock, but I try not to meddle in his affairs. And yes, I had the carpet ripped up and replaced with E-Z-Kleen Linoleum and bought more than the usual share of bleach and quicklime on our credit card, and the meat tenderizer is missing from the utensil drawer…but that…that shouldn’t raise any eyebrows! Not here at The Lost Highway, anyway.
So that’s where I’ve been, on the road with my dark glasses and my hair all cut off! I’ve broken the mold a bit and have been checking out some newer flicks, some BRAND-SPANKIN’ NEW, and I have to tell
you, that bad movies are timeless. This one I have for you today is a doozy!
The Inheritance (2011) is a thriller that begins with three carloads of people complaining about their family reunion in the dead of winter. The ground is covered in snow, and everyone is whining and complaining about crazy Uncle Melvin (The incomparable Keith David) holding the reunion this time of year. We meet in turn the family: Tyrone, Simpson, Lily, Karen, and Henry. Joining the party are Simpson’s boss Martin, and his wife, Julie. Everyone has their butt on their shoulders until they arrive at the old plantation house and mess around on the snowmobiles after getting a gift from dear Uncle Martin, a box full of champagne and reefer.
Everyone gets messed up; Martin and Julie go upstairs and we get a scene of them making the sign of the epileptic platypus while the rest stay downstairs and have a talk about why they’re all here and basically how much money they’re going to ask their family for. They refer to their family as “The Elders,” which is strange at best, but hey, it’s a family thing. Then they start playing around with the various drums while Simpson reads aloud from a tattered old book. We know something supernatural is happening because we go into slow motion and Lilly performs an off the cuff ceremonial dance in the living room, then starts flipping out when the words, “THE FLESH IS THE STRENGTH” appear, written in bloody snow on the window. That’s when everyone calls it a night, and Martin and Julie get murdalized.
Now, I don’t know about you, but I’d pretty much just up and leave if I awoke from a dead sleep to one of my aunts or uncles just sitting there staring at me. This family, no, they’re not surprised at all, but jump out of bed for the festivities. And, how, what festivities!
The Elders have moved all the furniture from the living room except for some fur rugs and sigils drawn on the floor, and 5 chairs. The Elders are decked out in ceremonial African garb, they seat the cousins, and Uncle Melvin proceeds to tell the family history…in fantastic flashback!
Back in the days of slavery, their family was all on this plantation. A slave named Chakabazz survived a lynching. Turns out he was a healer and a prophet. He offered them freedom, wealth and power if they sacrificed their firstborns to him. The family brought the children, 3 boys and 2 girls. He does some spell in his cabin, all the kids start screaming, and all but one is killed. The one left alive is The Vessel, meant to start the family line over again. Chakabazz tells the adults that they must pay him tribute each generation, “Do not forget me, for I shall not forget you.” Nobody has much to say about this story aside from Simpson, who laughs and insults The Elders, and who is silenced with a slap across the face by Karen. Everyone disperses after a very creepy moment (one of many) between Karen and Uncle Melvin, who promises to talk to The Elders so everyone can ask for their cash later on.
Everyone kinda does their own thing from here, and Karen decides to take a bath. During which she falls asleep and has some bathtub dream sex with the ghost of Chakabazz, and wakes up to none other than Uncle Melvin staring at her! That’s the universal symbol for GET OUT AND FIND AN ADULT YOU CAN TRUST! She dissolves into horrible cramps, and chews on some roots given to her by one of the other Elders, but they don’t do much for the pain, they’re basically tenderizing her insides for the propagation of her family line via more freaky ghost relations.
From here it’s a mess; everyone comes under attack by African warriors, they can’t decide whether to stay in the house or in the car, Lilly drives away only to crash, then the remaining four run back into the house, Lilly’s mom makes a surprise appearance and screams about them not going to take her baby, at which Uncle Melvin laughs creepily and that’s the last we see of her. Everyone else hides in the car, and they try to drive off until they come across Lilly’s car, then find the body of poor Martin in the back and start running through the forest. Simpson breaks a leg and is being dragged by the rest on a makeshift litter, and they stumble across a bonfire and a full-on ritual.
The Elders summon the spirit of Chakabazz to come and take his sacrifice, and soon all we’re left with is Henry and Karen locked in a room in the main house. Henry is busy writing an email to tell the story of what’s happening, when Karen, all hopped up on Chakabazz, takes an axe to his cranium. THEN THE MOVIE ENDS!! OH, CURSE YOU, ABRUPT AND SORTA AMBIGUOUS ENDING!
Through all of this, the tragedy is that the story is awesome, but the movie was ploddy and boring in parts; too much plot got in the way of the story. It’s still worth a watch once or twice!
We’ve got 3 breasts, 1 beast, and 5 quarts blood; head-hacking, creepy uncle lurking, bathtub nookie, drunken ritual dancing, root eating, leg snapping, knife-fu, throat cutting, head on a stick, hatchet-fu, face slapping, spirit summoning, cannibal ghost relatives, 6 dead bodies.