DVD region 2. High Fliers Films.
co-written, co-produced, visual effect supervised, sound designed,
location scouted and presumably enjoyed by Stacy Davidson, Sweatshop
is a film you want to like – a full-on splatter
shocker with a cyber goth theme and an amusing looking killer
o the front cover. And it’s had some positive reviews, a
fact that may or may not be related to the number of genre critics
and magazines / websites name-checked in the closing credits.
But in reality, this is fairly generic stuff, with a few plus
points that don’t quite cancel out the minuses.
Goth club promoter Charlie (Ashley Kay, trying hard with attitude
but struggling with dialogue delivery) and her crew of not-entirely
convincing misfit punks, Goths and rednecks break into a warehouse
to set up the sort of rave that only American filmmakers seem
to think actually happens (seriously – unless the party
has a theme of 'fetish chicks and chav dudes', I’m just
not buying this, and I’ve been to enough of these events
to actually know what I’m talking about here). After getting
drunk, making out and bickering over things that no one watching
will give a damn about for thirty long minutes, they start getting
snuffed out one by one by a couple of women from Demons
(knowingly referential nods presumably trumping any charges of
plagiarism) and a large Jason / Leatherface type in a welding
mask who has the most hilarious weapon I’ve ever seen –
an anvil attached to a steel pole. There’s no explanation
as to who these people are (the psycho killer is fair enough,
but the demons? What the fuck?) but it’s fair to say they
hate cyber goths, and in a series of extraordinarily gory scenes,
the cast is rapidly whittled down. Eventually, the mad killer
(Weldface?) goes apeshit during the rave itself (an even that
has apparently spontaneously occurred, as there was no one from
the organisers left to open the doors, sell tickets, play the
music or work the lights) and brutalises his way through a bunch
you love gore, you’ll certainly be impressed by the killings
her, which combine the torture elements of Hostel
with some of the most spectacular scenes of splatter that I’ve
seen in some time – heads are ripped open, sliced into and
flattened; limbs and genitals sliced off (and used as ball-gags!);
bodies disintegrated and entrails spilled – the lesson being
that you really don’t want to be hit with an anvil.
To give the fil credit, these effects are very good -
better than a lot I've seen in much bigger budget films.
However, none of this comes quickly enough, and we have to spend
way too much time watching the antics of the characters, who manage
to be both one dimensional and annoying as hell, a fact
not helped by the rather limited acting skills on display. Much
of the film is bathed in that annoying green light that too many
low budget filmmakers think gives their movie atmosphere and class
(in reality it does neither), and while the clichéd structural
approach might well be a deliberate throwback to Eighties slasher
horror, there’s a reason why that decade is so widely dismissed
by most serious genre fans who weren't teenagers at the time –
those films sucked even then.
More patient gorehounds might enjoy this. But I’ve seen
the same thing done too much, and much better..
IT NOW (UK)