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cast: Jason Mewes, Glenn Quinn, Majandra Delfino, Brandi Andres, and Grace Zabriski

director: Mark Anthony Galluzzo

95 minutes (18) 2002
widescreen ratio 1.85:1
MIA DVD Region 2 retail

RATING: 4/10
reviewed by Barry Forshaw
Close-up of a hand grabbing a bar as a figure makes his way across shadowy rooftops. But the echo of Hitchcock's Vertigo in R.S.V.P. is a bit of false-footing on director Mark Anthony Galuzzo's part: yes, Hitchcock is about to get a homage/rip-off (delete as applicable), but the Hitchcockian locus classicus here is Rope, Hitchcock's famous 'single-take' movie based on the thrill-killing duo of students who murder a friend as a demonstration of intellectual freewill (also the subject of Richard Fleischer's Compulsion).
   But non-movie-literate viewers will soon be aware of the genesis of R.S.V.P, as not only does Hitchcock's 1948 movie get a namecheck from its psychotic protagonist, there's even a reference to Leopold and Loeb (misspelled in one onscreen reference), the real life avatars of the various adaptations. But the gay elements that Hitchcock hinted at are not explored among the bratty preppies committing bloody murder here (multiple murder at that); after all, repressed sexuality provides no frisson in an era when anything goes.
   The trouble is, Galuzzo can't come up with anything particularly resonant here, as the high bodycount is far less specific than the single murder of earlier Leopold/Loeb adaptations, and the youthful cast are all (deliberately) unpleasant and ingratiating. Technically, all the marks are hit, but bizarre music decisions underline the director's ironic approach to his material - the use of classical music as score (Grieg's Peer Gynt, for instance, underscores a frenzied garrotting). And as befits current teen movies, adult characters barely get a look in (and, at that, even less palatable than the younger characters) - fair enough, if your youthful cast can carry the emotional weight. Here, the result is watchable but never persuasive.
   DVD extras include un-illuminating deleted scenes, a cursory behind-the-scenes feature and production notes - the latter are fine, if you give a damn.

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