when DVD first emerged onto the market and we were told about
all the exciting possibilities for the viewer controlling the
action with multi-angles and the like? While the concept was briefly
seized upon by adult film producers and occasionally found its
way into music videos and the odd mainstream film, it quickly
died out – partly because most filmmakers are not interested
in viewers editing the film for them, partly because switching
angles was never as smooth and simple as was claimed, and mostly
because viewers simply don’t want that level of interactivity
from their movies. In the same way that video footage in video
games was a short-lived fad, it seems that most people are happy
for the two mediums to remain separate.
Killer Bodies is quite a novelty then –
not a multi-angle film, but an interactive story – stopping
at key points (some sex scenes, some not) to allow the viewer
to choose where the story goes – or perhaps more accurately,
who we see having sex. It’s an interesting gimmick, but
I’m not sure it really works – while you can choose
which scene to watch, the film still has to return to its linear
narrative at the end of that scene, and so these are more variants
on a theme than ways of radically changing the story direction.
It’s this level of complexity (and the amount of footage
required to be shot and squeezed onto a disc –arguably more
feasible now with Blu-ray) that has probably kept the dream of
interactive films from ever really taking off. The fact that this
film is split over two discs shows the issues involved in expanding
the footage so much.
the film doesn’t really need such a distracting gimmick.
While the last film I saw directed by David Lord (half of Grindhouse
XXX) was pretty terrible, this movie – shot
with more money, a longer shooting schedule and, it seems, more
interest from the director – is actually pretty impressive.
Tori Black plays the young wife of rich and grizzled Randy Spears,
who is kidnapped by a band of would-be criminals led by Ace (Barrett
Blade), who plan to keep her caged in a warehouse for thirty days
while they subject her to intense video footage, ranging from
fast-paced cut-ups to pseudo-snuff and torture films – if
she closes her eyes, she is subjected to electric shocks, and
she’s kept hungry and drugged. Eventually – in a bit
of plot fudging that doesn’t quite hold together (switching
discs to part two, it feels like a chunk of exposition has been
lost between the two) – she manages to escape and becomes
a gun-toting avenger, tracking down and taking surprisingly brutal
revenge against her kidnappers. It soon becomes clear that this
new, violent character was exactly what the video programming
was designed to create – but by who? Well, anyone who’s
seen more than a couple of thrillers will have figured out the
twist right away.
Killer Bodies has a slick look to it and for the most
part manages a decent mix of sex scenes and story – while
throwing in a coupling from time to time to keep the target audience
happy, the film does allow plenty of story and character development.
Tori Black is pretty incredible in the lead role, convincing both
as the victim of mental torture and kidnapping and as the sexy
but deadly assassin she later becomes; Barrett Blade provides
solid support as the out-of-his-league bad guy.
Intriguingly, this is pretty violent stuff for a porn film. While
it keeps a respectful distance between the sex and the violence,
there’s certainly plenty of the latter, with gun shoot-outs
and bloody beatings. Black’s assault on kidnapper Alexis
Ford is savage by any standards (and her casual walk away from
an exploding car might be action movie cliché, but definitely
suggests she could hold her own against any action movie heroine)
and there’s plenty of blood splattering around.
So, rather good stuff – and it’s good to see something
this ambitious that isn’t a parody film. Adam and Eve’s
DVD is equally huge – as well as the movie split over two
discs, there’s a third disc of extras, including a two hour
‘making of’ (which probably should’ve been half
that length to be honest), video interviews with the cast and
director, commentary, outtakes, casting sessions and more. Only
the rather generic box cover and the somewhat cheesy title let
this down. Don’t let either put you off.