*Disclaimer!* I wrote a handful of articles for a now defunct e-zine called BthroughZ a number of years back, and when that site went belly up, so did the reviews I wrote for it. I didn’t want to lose the articles I worked so hard to write, so here I am, reposting them here, in all their imperfection, for your mild enjoyment.
Tell me if you've heard this one before: five college kids head out to a secluded wooded location for a weekend of rest and recovery, which is code for a weekend of alcohol fueled debauchery. On their way to this wooded party paradise, the group makes a quick stop at a shanty convenience store for supplies such as beer and zig-zags. You know, the essentials. It’s at this point that the group first meets the store's two proprietors, Stanley and his twin brother, Simon.
Now, if Stanley is the normal brother, then Simon––as you would guess from the film's title––is the oddball of the two siblings. However, despite being incredibly strange and just as awkward, Simon knows what he he likes, and when he meets the group of college students, he instantly takes a liking to one of the girls. Unfortunately for the kids, however, Simon has a funny way of showing his affection. Well, funny unless you consider it normal to stalk and kill her friends so he can have her all to himself.
Directed by William Dear, Simon Says is about as clichéd a slasher film as it gets. A group of teens partying out in the woods, only to find themselves in peril, has been done more times than Jenna Jameson. And thanks to a couple of Deliverance style town hicks, the teens even receive a firm warning, followed by a horrific story about an awful death that occurred in the very woods where the teens plan to focus on biblical studies and promise rings.
Yeah, bible studies…
As one would expect, the teen characters in Simon Says do an incredible job of fulfilling the average slasher quota for character stereotypes. You get the slut, the stoner, the ain't-no-fun/ain’t-boning-no-one girl prude, the cool guy and his almost as cool but tired of his bullshit girlfriend. This is a motley crew of truly abysmal characters, and as is often the case with any pairing of these specific stereotypes, I cannot help but wonder why the hell any of them hang out with one another?
If there’s one thing that makes Simon Says a worthwhile watch, it’s the characters of Stanley and Simon as brilliantly portrayed by Crispin Glover. I think it’s obvious to most movie fans that Glover is a bit of an odd duck, and I believe it’s the madness that burns inside of him that worked as an inspiration to play this dual role in Simon Says. And to say that Glover’s performance is over-the-top would be an understatement, as Glover simply GOES TO TOWN, chewing up scenery left and right, and it’s obvious that he’s having a total blast doing it.
The character of Simon brings about the bulk of entertainment value that viewers get with Simon Says. Simon has many a great moment as he stomps down on puppies, drops a few bad (good) puns (he must say "You Forgot to Say…Simon Says!" like 17 times) and runs around in a Ghillie suits like he’s on to catch a predator. Crispin Glover and his bizarre performance are cracked enough to lift Simon Says out of the depths. The acting is bad, the direction is bad, the film is bad, but it's oh so worth a viewing for Glover's performance alone.