Dark Reel

Rated 2.0

Fifty years after the unsolved, Black Dahlia-style murder of an aspiring starlet, a mutilation killer stalks the set of a grade-Z movie; could the long-ago murderer be at it again? Directed by Josh Eisenstadt and written by Aaron Pope, this uneasy spoof of rock-bottom slasher flicks gets off to a stylish start, with a black-and-white prologue that evokes a film buff’s affection for the shadows and sultry banter of classic film noir. But too soon—and for the duration—the movie becomes a threadbare specimen of what it seeks to lampoon. The actors (even the two “names” in the cast, Edward Furlong as a fledgling actor and Lance Henriksen as the Roger Corman-ish producer) seem to have gone before the cameras in whatever clothes they showed up in that morning, and performances are jokily amateurish.