[Review] CRY HAVOC – Corny and Silly

Charles Bronson and Leatherface get into a fight.

What sounds like a cheap joke or a bad meme is really just Cry Havoc, a cheap, bad movie written, directed, edited and shot by Rene Perez (The Punished) that features a Charles Bronson impersonator named Robert Bronzi as the hero and a joke shop Leatherface wannabe called Havoc as the killer. It also features a crazy/corny character named The Voyeur (Richard Tyson) who runs a remote compound where he fools nubile young women into thinking they are going to be part of a horror reality series. Instead of becoming rich and famous, though, they get murdered on camera for The Voyeur’s growing collection of snuff films.

It’s as tawdry as it sounds.

And while most of Cry Havoc is almost instantly forgettable, it does feature one of the most unintentionally hilarious scenes in the beginning, a scene so bad that it should be included in the gag reels of not only Perez’s film but every other horror movie released in the future. A young girl wakes up in the woods chained at the wrists to the killer Havoc. She screams. He grunts. They fight. She faints. He hauls her over to a fallen tree, drapes her across it, and rips her shirt open. Her naked breasts are revealed. Havoc acts surprised and actually hides his eyes in shame!

What was he expecting to find? Is he mastrophobic as well as murderous? If his reaction is some part of the character’s psyche, a deeply hidden problem that drives Havoc to do the terrible things he does to women, it’s never explained in the film. It just makes the movie’s murderous center seem kind of silly five minutes into the film, and that’s never a good sign.

The story of the film follows a young reporter (Emily Sweet) who lands an exclusive interview with The Voyeur. The idea that she’s been able to find this guy, who just made it to the FBI’s most-wanted list when law enforcement can’t and on top of that land an interview with The Voyeur is supposed to make us think she’s a smart, resourceful woman. The fact that she allows herself to be dressed in a white negligee that lights up like a Christmas tree to do the interview proves she’s not. So it’s no surprise she ends up in the compound being chased by Havoc. It’s just surprising she lasts as long as she does, especially once Havoc sees her boobies.

What about the Bronson wannabe? While the reporter has been risking her life for her big scoop, he’s been slowly jogging around from place to place, a gun in one hand and a photo of his daughter in the other asking anybody he can find, in badly dubbed English, ‘Have you seen this girl?’

Of course, the audience has, and more of her than a father would be comfortable with since she’s the one who scared Havoc with her nakedness at the beginning of the story. She actually hasn’t been a part of the story since then, but that doesn’t seem to matter to the filmmakers. They assume the audience knows she will turn up at the end, with her shirt buttoned tight, to be rescued by her daddy. It doesn’t actually happen that way, but the cheap ending that Perez gives the film will make you wish it did.

With a lame script and some pretty bad acting, Cry Havoc depends almost exclusively on giving the audience plenty of gore to keep them from stopping the movie altogether. In fact, it even lists Special Gore Effects by Oliver Müller in the end credits, which isn’t done for just any special effects guy. So, is it gory? At times it is; the first really intense scene of a guard getting his jaw ripped off his face by Havoc looks as nasty as it sounds. But even the gore gets boring after a while in Cry Havoc. You can only watch a victim’s intestines get ripped out so many times before you start looking for faults in the effects, like the way you can tell it’s a dummy the killer is ripping into by the way the skin itself doesn’t move when his hands rip into the stomach. When that is your reaction to a scene like that, it’s a clear sign that the effects, much like the rest of Cry Havoc, aren’t very special after all.

  • John Black, Cry Havoc
John Black
John Black still remembers his first horror movie, sneaking in to a double-feature of Horror House with Frankie Avalon and a Boris Karloff film he can’t remember the name of but will always remember for giving him his first glimpse of cinematic nudity as one of the actresses moved from the bed to the door without putting on any underwear! (Fond family memory: That glimpse, when discovered by his parents, cased John’s mom to call the theater and yelling at the manager for letting her son see ‘such filth’.) Luckily, John was more impressed by the blood and horror than the bare haunches and quickly became a devotee of the genre.

John has been a professional movie reviewer since 1987, when his first review – of a Robert De Niro film called Angel Heart – appeared in the entertainment section of The Cape Codder newspaper. He’s been writing about film ever since, primarily now as the entertainment editor at Boston Event Guide. Hardly a day goes by when he doesn’t watch at least one movie, which is how he thinks life was meant to be.