The horror of 'Tamara' is its gory overkill

THE BALTIMORE SUN

The sun never comes out for Tamara (Jenna Dewan), a gifted but woebegone student of literature and witchcraft. Her high school's generic-brand jocks and jockettes, angered by her school-newspaper expose of steroid use, humiliate and accidentally kill her. The good news is she rises again, all buff and sassy, sporting a wardrobe so tight it appears to be fastened subcutaneously. (It includes a Madonna-middle-era bustier and a little red dress.) The bad news is she's now evil. Nothing can halt her homicidal mischief until she wins the object of her desire: the high school English teacher (Matthew Marsden) who used to cheer her up with lavish praise and literary quotations.

With Carrie as their base, writer Jeffrey Riddick (Final Destination) and director Jeremy Haft put half a dozen horror films into a blender stuck on chunky cycle. Exploitation films used to be occasions for hungry young filmmakers to show off their visual chops or vent off-the-wall humor. But there's no zest or glee behind the gore of Tamara.

Tamara (City Lights) Starring Jenna Dewan. Directed by Jeremy Haft. Rated R. Time 93 minutes

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