Memory – inZane in the membrane
The movie Memory and its 4-movie value pack, serves as a reminder that there is a time in every movie collector’s life that you must finally sit down and watch at least some of the films from the dollar bin value packs that you have purchased over the years. Joining Memory on this four pack are Tobe Hoopers “Mortuary,” and two other low budget backyard horror films of little note.
Starring Billy “Lucious Locks” Zane, Dennis Hopper and Tricia Helfer, Memory sides more on the psychological thriller aspect of horror. Billy Zane aside, being packaged with the quality company of “Wages of Sin” and “Bloody Mary,” I can’t say I was looking forward to watching this one. In a way though, it surprised me. Of course I don’t know if it’s because my expectations were oh so very low, or if there were some legitimate good parts in this film. Either way, I am not watching it again so I guess I’ll never know.
Memory sees Billy Zane’s hair as a scientist trying to cure Alzheimer’s disease in an attempt to help his mother and stave off what he sees as his doomed future. Well, he actually doesn’t do very much science, nor does he engage in any curing attempts, but he does spend some time in science-like labs, and one hospital.
During this time he accidentally gets exposed to a powder made by a small, not so lost tribe of dream walkers. The powder is made with a gland in your head that secretes a special liquid into your brain as you die, which apparently is an attempt by your brain to calm you as you pass away… or something like that.
The powder makes him see past visions of others who share his DNA, and then he passes out. A lot.
To be honest this movie is really dull and looks like it was filmed for a Lifetime movie of the week. It looks glossed over, as if someone took an airbrush to it in post. Its only saving grace is that eventually (with only 20 minutes left), it becomes a kind of interesting thriller. But I am getting ahead of myself.
First, as the viewer, you have to sit through Billy Zane’s hair, in seemingly every waking moment of its life. Hanging out with Dennis Hopper, macking on Tricia Helfer and passing out from visions. Then, about an hour and ten minutes in, the writers remember that this movie has to eventually have a plot and they start to push it away from the wanderings of The Zane. At this point his character dumps everything going on in his life and spends the next few minutes trying to catch up to the original story.
Finally, as the movie comes to a close, Billy tries to figure out if the killer is real and still alive, or if he is just inZane in the membrane.
I apologize for that joke.
Now we get to the real meat of the movie. There are hints of religion, mixed with a “who’s the killer” plot, creepy dolls, and masks made from the faces of kidnapping victims. Add in a scary atmosphere and the chance to save one of these kidnapped girls and you have a really solid thriller. Now if only they led with that plot!
All the fun stuff takes place in a 20 minute span near the end after sitting through the daily life of Billy Zane and his gorgeous locks. I feel like they were trying to build up to a big finale, but they spent too much time meandering around. That is what makes this really frustrating to watch. Memory felt like it was supposed to be a slow burn thriller, but was more interested in showing the relationship drama than anything else. This would be fine, in a different type of film. But for a thriller, I don’t think I have ever felt the need to have so many lighthearted dating scenes.
I doubt I could convince myself to recommend this, although the payoff is interesting, even bordering on good! But most of the film is a waste. I am sure there are a ton of better thrillers you can fill your time with before even pretending to want to watch this one.
You could always watch it for Billy Zane’s hair. I know I did.