I had fun, yes, I had fun. It has its flaws, and it’s far from a perfect film, but in the end, “Land of the College Prophets” is a fun B action horror that really does bear an original concept. It’s an interesting mixture of many ideas and concepts; a little bit of “Fight Club”, a little bit of “Mortal Kombat”, and a little bit of “In the Mouth of Madness”, it’s without a doubt an odd amalgam of many concepts intertwined in to one fun action flick about the end of the world caused by two considerably self absorbed individuals. I wasn’t sure what to make of this film in the end, because I really wasn’t sure what in the hell it was that I’d just seen, but I liked it.
It’s an action drama that never really takes itself too seriously, and is never afraid to be delightfully campy (ahem–Jonah Joe). When two friends named Tommy and Rye–both devoted to fighting and anarchy–engage in a vicious love triangle over Bells, Tommy’s ex-girlfriend, they accidentally re-awaken a cursed well which begins to threaten society. Tommy and Rye, teamed with an ex-rival, and a demon slaying friend, must now put an end to the well’s magic, and to its mindless drones whom are intent on doing the well’s bidding. As a whole “Land” ends up becoming a satisfying sleek action fantasy with more pros than cons.
Tommy and Rye are very fascinating anti-heroes whom end up playing a more prominent role in the fate of the world than they realize, especially since violence is running rampant and odd events begin to occur. “Land” is surefire B movie fodder with colorful characters, a kinetic plot, and engrossing lore. For such a low budget, there are also some great special effects (exploding mouse) with realistic gory and often gross moments. The radiation from within the well causes some people to become increasingly violent, and our heroes are affected internally vomiting out any food they eat, and changing in ways they’re not entirely sure about. “Land” and its first half often felt too much like a retread of “Fight Club”.
Repressed males with a slight sense of rage manage to express it through bashing each others skulls while stirring up their own community was often times too reminiscent of the Fincher film, and that’s not a good thing. To me. Because “Fight Club” sucks. And this didn’t. So, stop. Moving on, “Land” does start off slow with its basic focus on the romance melodrama and then heads right in to the plot that I found important regardless of Bells being the catalyst. “Land” is also overly long with a story that went on five minutes too long. And I was never sure what the well did. Especially to Tommy and Rye. Was the radiation killing them? Would they have died had they done nothing? Or did it just not affect them anymore? Why yell at poor Phil Hall? Well, that last one is a bit of an over the head joke uh–I digress.
I was never fond of the acting, especially by Guerette whose performance felt forced, and was often stiff. And for a film that relies on fight scenes really did have anything but amazing choreography, the action sequences were often immensely repetitive. That said, “Land” is original taking a more mystical angle towards the second half where Tommy and Rye must finally face down the evil and it’s pleasing to watch them kick some demon (?) ass. There’s a well–in a city. And a lot of vomit. And a weak first half, but “Land” is a fun, and engrossing bit of machismo fueled entertainment that I really got a kick out of. It’s an odd and often original bastard child of many concepts that form a very interesting story, and a film that really will garner a following. If it plays its cards right.