Die’ced opens on Halloween 1987 when a couple of nurses realize they’re released the wrong patient. This allows one of them to deliver a long monologue telling us all about Benjamin Newman (Jason Brooks, The Barn Part II, Zombiegeddon). He’s been locked up for the past seventeen years after “he diced up his parents’ body parts and played with them like they were pieces in a board game”.
They come to the conclusion that the only thing to do is destroy all evidence he was ever a patient there. While they’re doing that, he’s killing someone and stealing their Halloween costume, their Walkman, and a complete set of knives. I wonder what he wanted those for.
Elsewhere, Cassandra (Eden Campbell, The Mortuary Collection, They Reach) and her brother Tommy (Collin Fischer, Death’s Wager, Never Forgotten) are getting ready for a Halloween party. Tommy’s a little worried about their father, it seems he hasn’t been the same since their mother mysteriously vanished. A disappearance that may involve a figure from her past.
Writer/director Jeremy Rudd (The Dark Side) Seems to have watched Terrifier and its sequel several times and decided, “I can do that!” Die’ced’s killer basically Art the Clown in a fairly cool scarecrow costume. Benjamin even has a scene where he follows Cassandra and her friend Sarah (Esha More, Beloved Beast, The Sound of Violet) into a coffee shop with them oblivious to his true nature.
While Brooks actually does a halfway decent job of imitating Art, just about nothing else in Die’ced works. The script is an absolute mess right from the start, it really doesn’t take a genius to know that accidentally letting a murderer out isn’t that easy. Or the sheer ridiculousness of trying to make it look like Benjamin was never a patient there.
Similarly, the script makes a big deal about Cassandra’s mother vanishing, and an obsessed ex possibly being involved. But it obviously can’t be Benjamin, as he’s been locked up for seventeen years. Semi-spoiler: The mother does play into the plot, and I laughed out loud when it occurs. Laughing at, not with, the script I should add.
The rest of the script is simply an excuse for a few random people to be slaughtered before Benji sets his sights on Cassandra and her family, as well as those at the party with her, for reasons that are never made clear. It all ends in the two of them running around an empty warehouse before coming to a predictable climax. The 80s setting really plays no part in the plot beyond making calling for help on a cell phone impossible.
Die’ced does have several gory scenes done with practical effects, including a woman nailed to the floor and dismembered and someone’s eyes gouged out. Unfortunately, the effects by Brooks and Naomi Mechem-Miller (Reset, Pinwheels) are of very variable quality. Some are quite good, especially for what was obviously a low budget production, while others look extremely fake.
This could have been an OK time killer, but the largely plotless script which produces more unintentional laughs than scares and a couple of absolutely terrible performances make it nearly unwatchable.
Is there anything good I can say about Die’ced? Well, the running time is listed as an hour, but the credits kick in at the fifty-minute mark. Between that and the opening credits, it means you only have about forty-five minutes of the actual film to endure. I know it’s not a lot to be thankful for, but sometimes you gotta take what you can get.