Why would actor, writer and director Miles Doleac (“Hallowed Ground,” “The Dinner Party”) set his latest horror fiasco in Der Black Forest of Deutschland? Did he meet folks he’d eventually cast in it at a continuing education class, Conversational German?
Just a guess. But there is no guesswork, or mistaking the sounds of second year community college German from the villains of “Demigod,” a disastrously dull dud of a thriller that makes you question the origins of the word “inept,” because “ept” never figures into it.
Robin (Rachel Nichols of TV’s “Man in the High Castle”) and Leo (Yohance Myles of TV’s “First Family”) are a couple checking out her late grandfather’s Black Forest home when they stumble into the legend — or a cult that’s really into it — of Cernunnos, “Supreme hunter” in this forest according to forest lore.
Not for a while, mind you, For nearly half an hour, we’re bored to tears by them wandering around the house, admiring grandpa’s stuffed critters, gutted critters and antique gun collection, eventually stumbling into Mr. “Yah, I knew your grandvatter,” the hunter Arthur Fuchs (Doleac in front of the camera). He briefs them on these “haunted woods” and the “monster” who lives therein.
This demigod/demon was “der lord of de before,” Arthur intones in Olde Hollywood Germanic English. “Before men began to wreck ZE VORLD!”
People disappear here and “It iz as if ze voods SWALLOWED zem whole!”
The couple is then attacked and kidnapped in the dark of night by this cult, mostly women, in one of the lamest kidnapping scenes ever staged in front of a camera.
But that’s nothing to what happens, slowly and dully, to Robin, Abe, Arthur and others rounded up by that cult and tied up in what looks to be a pine forest in the rural American South.
“Let ze disemBOWELing commenze!” Because they must make things ready for their “hunter” lord’s return.
“Ve vill repay hiss comink mit fresh game und sport!”
Every act of violence against the group of strangers tied up in the woods is met with an awful under-reaction by one and all.
Every line is worse than the one before, with those deigning to speak German sounding as if they’re not quite finished with Hooked on Der Phonics.
“Demigod” is awful, so bad that I grow weary of mocking it. Approach at your own peril.
Rating: unrated, bloody violence, entrails and whatnot, and profanity
Cast: Rachel Nichols, Yohance Myles and Miles Doleac.
Credits: Directed by Miles Doleac, scripted by Miles Doleac and Michael Donovan Horn.
Running time: 1:34