Movie News

The Black Waters Of Echo's Pond


by Richard von Busack

In the Meandros Valley in Turkey in 1920, a strange artifact is discovered:an ancient board game dedicated to the great god Pan. The game is refurbished, but sfter it kills its discoverers, it's hidden on a Maine island for decades, just waiting for a group of discontented 20 somethings (there seemed to be 20 of them, anyway) to arrive and play Truth or Dare around its eldritch self.

Stare into the mirror at its center and you, too, may be victim of a guy in a goat suit who will cause you to enact your darkest desires. Thanks to the stupid movie rating system, the darkest desires we see are murderous instead of lustful. Two cast members go off to play Sappho and Bilitis (“It’s liberating!”) and we don’t get a gander. Yet every bit of chainsaw pliers and knifeplay is there for our delectation.

The Black Waters of Echo's Pond is unusually hand made, though; the title alone is worth about $2; and Robert Patrick livens up things by going around consarning everything as a corn-pone night watchman or innkeeper or something; he sets bear traps for the local deer, which is none too sporting.

Actor turned director Gabriel Bologna is clearly one to watch: the synopsis of Girrl on is really poetry, and his 30,000 Leagues Under the Sea (2007) was the long-awaited sequel made for the one and only Asylum. Here: though, some gag-worthy effects, strangely little carrying on by the muy caliente Avellan twins Elise and Electra (the baby-sitters from Grindhouse). As far the Greek stuff: the “Carnival of Curses,” the cute l’il toy skeleton turning “the wheel of Ixion,” and the film’s identification of the Eumenides as “Grudge,” “Retaliation” and “Unnamable” isn’t doing more violence to the myths than Clash of the Titans did.