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The Strange Things Boutique




DVD . Adam & Eve.

Killer Bodies - The AwakeningRemember 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.

Killer Bodies - The AwakeningIronically, 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.





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