The Garden of Evil (1998) from Johnny Web (Uncle Scoopy; Greg Wroblewski) and Tuna
|aka The Gardener, aka Silent Screams.
Two thumbs down, for a bad film that showed some promise but failed to deliver.
Scoop's notes in white:
This is pretty much of a Vincent Price movie, updated to the 90's, with Malcolm McDowell in the Price role.
|Angie Everhart plays a police detective whose partner disappeared one weekend. They found the missing partner's car parked outside of a private botanical garden with a retail outlet. Turns out that the gardener is a very strange fellow with one of those accelerated aging syndromes, a 35 year old genius who appears to be 65. Angie is convinced that he is responsible for her partner's disappearance, but she can't prove anything, and her captain is really upset that she is harassing a sweet little old florist who only wants to bring beauty in the world with his prize-winning flowers.||
course, Angie takes a leave of absence so she can harass the man on
her own time, but the brilliant fellow senses what she is up to, and
leads her through all sorts of misleading trails. In fact, he finally
gets Angie in his confidence long enough to drug her and kidnap her.
Once she is in his underground lair, she's strapped up in a flower
bed, in which Malcolm plans to use her for mulch or something, so she
can be reborn as a flower. Turn out that's what he did with the
partner, a woman named Iris who is now a prize winning iris. How
convenient. Are you picking up the whole Vincent Price vibe here? If
you've been following closely, you'll see that this is the same movie
as The House of Wax, except the sculptures are made of flowers instead
Meanwhile, Angie's captain got back a DNA test which shows that the missing girl's hair was in the florist's sink, so he heads down to the florist's garden in time to save Angie. Yadda, yadda. Of course, if Angie had waited about two hours for the lab report before socializing with the guy, she could simply have arrested him uneventfully, but then there would have been no movie.
Also, the lab reports came back in the dead of the night, and Grieco was still at his desk. I can buy that he's a workholic, and would still be at his desk, but what's the deal on the lab boys?
It's mostly a grade-b straight-to-vid, saved only by some all too infrequent humor, and an oddly beautiful sense of cinematography, which takes advantage of the beauty of the flowers.
|Sorry to see Malcolm
McDowell fallen to a depth where he co-stars with Angie and Richard
Grieco is cast very strangely here, by the way. I think he can be OK when he's cast as some kind of psycho or lowlife. But here he plays the police lieutenant, and he's scarier than any of the criminals. With his usual spiky haircut, shifty eyes, and Elvis sideburns, he makes one of the oddest policemen ever seen on screen, and every simple action he takes seems to be laden with sleaze, implying that he's corrupt and evil. I actually thought it would turn out that McDowell was innocent and Grieco would turn out to be the killer! Since it did not turn out that way, since there was no hidden evil in his machinations, one wonders why he was cast in this role.
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