Rating: 3.5 out of 5
If you're going to borrow wholesale from another movie, you could do worse that thieving from Alfred Hitchcock's Rope (itself borrowed from reality and the Leopold and Loeb murders).
R.S.V.P. takes the Rope recipe into the MTV zeroes, upping the body count considerably, transplanting the story to Las Vegas (in an apartment worthy of a Real World season), and packing in the sexy young stars (all up-and-comers and relative unknowns) to the point where they're spilling out the windows. Literally.
The thesis of the film has the impossibly young professor Hal Evans (Glenn Quinn, who recently died of a drug overdose) expounding on the morality of murder, while one of his students, Nick (Rick Otto) takes the lesson to heart and decides to throw a party wherein all of his friends will be offed one by one. Nick's got a lot of friends (and the girls don't much care for concealing clothing, bless their hearts), including the impossibly smiley Brandi Andres, flip-haired Majandra Delfino (whose murder is probably as perverse as they come), and Jason Mewes, the inimitable Jay from Kevin Smith's movies (not to mention unapologetic drug offender).
Writer/director Mark Galluzzo expends a lot of energy on devising creative deaths for his cast, to the point where the actual "story" gets lost in the shuffle. It's part of his attempt to misdirect us, in the classical style of Hitch, but rather than generate any real suspense it just gets in the way of all the killin'. And Otto has enough chops to keep us interested in Nick's slaying spree to the point where the plot oddities don't really matter, as we wait for the next person to meet their end in an elevator shaft or, say, an oven.
Galluzzo's one-liners aren't the best, but the movie's got enough smarts to elevate above the crush of most horror junk, especially teen-ified garbage like Soul Survivors. Oddly, this film went essentially straight to DVD, even though it's got impressive production values that are spearheaded by the incredibly rich apartment set piece constructed entirely on a sound stage.
The DVD adds deleted scenes (which unfortunately make the story line even more confusing), making of footage (at least what was salvaged after the camera was left in a hot car), and a commentary track.
Play all you want, it won't keep the knife outta your back!
Facts and Figures
Run time: 100 mins
In Theaters: Tuesday 15th January 2002
Distributed by: LionsGate Entertainment
Contactmusic.com: 3.5 / 5
Rotten Tomatoes: 20%
Fresh: 1 Rotten: 4
IMDB: 5.2 / 10
Cast & Crew
Director: Mark Anthony Galluzzo
Producer: Mark Anthony Galluzzo
Screenwriter: Mark Anthony Galluzzo
Also starring: Glenn Quinn, Jason Mewes, Majandra Delfino, Daniel Joseph, Grace Zabriskie, Jonathan Banks, Rick Otto, Lucas Babin, Brandi Andres, Nora Zehetner, Jeanne Chinn, Reno Wilson, Tommy Hoe, Mark Anthony Galluzzo