Do you remember the cartoon, Hey Arnold!? As the father of two kids, I unfortunately do. If you don’t consider yourself lucky. Why am I talking about old cartoons? Because Lane Toran, the voice of Arnold has co-written, directed and starred in a movie, Getaway, formerly Getaway Girls.
Tamara (Jaclyn Betham, Ulterior Motives: Reality TV Massacre), Maddy (Scout Taylor-Compton, Eternal Code, Penance Lane) and Brooke (Landry Allbright, Feral) are three women out to have a good time. However, a drugged drink puts Tamara in the hands of a trio of rednecks with some very strange religious beliefs.
Pa (Lane Caudell, Satan’s Cheerleaders, Archer: Fugitive From The Empire) and sons Kib (Noah Lowdermilk) and Merv (Lane Toran, Hey Arthur!, Recess) kidnap women, impregnate them and then kill them “to create angel babies in Heaven”. Things take a twist when Tamara claims to be a witch and curses them. Pretty soon Merv is seeing what appears to be the ghosts of previous victims. Is it the result of a curse? Or a troubled conscience? Or something else entirely?
Getaway is something of a family affair. Star and co-writer Jaclyn Betham is Lane Toran’s wife. And Lane Caudell is his father on-screen and off. Giving family members a potential career boost while saving on the bottom line is a smart idea for a low budget film like this. And it was nice seeing Caudell, who was in two of my favourite cult films make a rare appearance. But it can’t save a fatally flawed film. And Getaway has some serious issues.
With its tale of brothers dominated by their father and his warped religious beliefs Getaway starts out as a bad riff on Frailty. But then it goes off into left field and tries to be I Spit On Your Grave. And the switch-up truly does come out of nowhere. It feels like Toran and Betham couldn’t figure out where to go next with the plot, so they cooked up a whole new angle and just bolted it on. It’s the second film I’ve seen recently to use this same twist, and it was just as unconvincing then as well.
There’s also a lack of likeable characters in Getaway. Tamara is an obnoxious bitch. She spends most of the first act scamming free drinks off of guys and generally using people. Her two friends are vapid and vanish for the film’s second act. Even the villains are bland, lacking the kind of depth or charisma that would hold our attention. Tolan and Caudell mostly glare, smoke and insult the nerdy Kib when not menacing their hostage.
Getaway isn’t just the film’s title, it’s a warning. Avoid this dull and derivative film at all costs. Even the film’s producers didn’t seem to have much faith in it. The film’s Facebook page was abandoned in 2016 after only two posts.
Getaway will be released on DVD and Digital April 14th by Uncork’d Entertainment.