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Stem Cell

Stem Cell (2009) Movie Poster
USA  •    •  86m  •    •  Directed by: David DeCoteau.  •  Starring: Dee Wallace, Darcy Fowers, Brian Gross, Jason-Shane Scott, Oliver Rayon, Josh Yeo, Tyson Breech, Austen Dean Jesse, Brandon Stoughton, Colton Hobizal, Geramy Gant.  •  Music by: John Dickson, Michael Dobbins, Robert Douglas, Jerry Lambert, Harry Manfredini, John Massari, Troy Sterling Nies, Rique Pantoja, Mario Pettenati.
     Rita heads to the mountains to get some peace and recover from mental distress. While there she meets Pierce, a doctor doing stem cell research whose experiments have gone horribly wrong. Now Rita is the only one who can solve the problem.


The quick repetitive cuts, the flashes of the same six half-naked boys in the woods, the fact that it's on here! TV...Oh dear, I recognize that smell. Someone's given David DeCoteau another haystack of cash to set fire to, and with it he has given us "Stem Cell". Playing on the fears of stem cell research that through the GW Bush administration severely retarded that research for almost a decade, DeCoteau tells the story of Rita, a writer on the verge of a nervous breakdown. To get away from it all she travels to a remote mountain resort, where she immediately draws the attention of Ben, the resort manager and the son of the local homeopathic healer and New Age crystal enthusiast, and Pierce, a wealthy doctor who operates a free clinic in exchange for donated samples of stem cells for his research. Rita has visions of sexually ambiguous young men who stand around the woods in their underpants for no reason other than sexually ambiguous young men in underpants is the largest line item in any DeCoteau film budget. So the healer figures out that the source of the problem is angry spirits who...can bite people and infect them with mutated stem cells and kill them dead in seconds. Well that certainly satisfies Occam's Razor. While the healers chants to keep the spirits out of her house (and only her house) Ben, Pierce and Rita wander off to collect a sample of stem cells from the human carrier. Because apparently the healer can chant away the spirits using a sample. Why they don't take the healer along as like a mobile spirit force field is not explained. Anyway, Pierce and Ben get bitten (by GHOSTS) and die and Rita rushes back to find the healer dead. Rita emits a piercing scream and...

IT'S ALL A DREAM! Specifically, some sort of hallucination of Rita's caused either by paranoid schizophrenia or a car crash she was in a while back. Yes, DeCoteau has reached into the same fetid bag of mold-encrusted tricks from which he drew the ending of "House of Usher" and inflicted upon us my personal most-loathed cinematic cop-out. DeCoteau should be embarrassed to tap this well again just a year after Usher, but it's clear from a review of his career that the man has no shame. The film might possibly have been redeemed by a greater amount of male flesh, but the aforementioned sexually ambiguous undies boys appear mostly in rapid-fire cuts and the two hottest guys, the ones playing Ben and Pierce, remain fully clothed at all times. Don't even bother watching this one on fast forward.

Review by JMC4711 from the Internet Movie Database.