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A South Bronx gang rape and kill the residents of an isolated tenement. The tables turn and the surviving residents viciously despatch the gang. There is a gruesome scene depicting the repeated stabbing of the leader with a TV aerial followed by a lightning strike for good measure. Written by
Sujit R. Varma
Tenement may clearly be a very cheap production, but this is excellently masked by the thoroughly mean exploitative style. The film is along the same lines as urban exploitation such as Assault on Precinct 13 and The Warriors and is similar in style to both also; although the film actually reminded me a lot of the Lamberto Bava trash classic "Demons", also released in 1985, as the main focal point of the film is on a disorganised group of people trapped in a claustrophobic building and facing off against a group of ravenous thugs. The central setting is a run down block of flats in a poor area of The Bronx. The flats come under attack from a violent street gang and naturally the residents call the cops and get them hauled off to the station. The gang doesn't take lightly to this, however, and after being released a short while later; they decide to take revenge by returning to the flats and trapping the residents inside. The gang hold the residents to ransom with brute force, but things take a turn for the unexpected when the locals turn the tables...
Despite obviously being made on a budget, director Roberta Findlay clearly put aside enough of it to ensure that the film features plenty of gory kill scenes. The violence is not constant though it is gratuitous when featured and I'm sure that will delight anyone with a mind to see this film. The style of it verges on post apocalyptic and the costumes worn by the central gang reflect this. The block of flats at the centre of the film provides an excellent location for the film to take place and the director does a good job of enforcing the central situation on the audience and ensuring that the claustrophobia comes across as well as possible. The plot doesn't contain a lot of surprises and it's always obvious where it's going, so it's a good job that getting there is a lot of fun to watch. You can be sure that there's going to be another kill scene just around the corner and the film is pulled off with a pitch black sense of humour which bodes well with the unpleasant goings-on and atmosphere. Overall, this is a cheap and cheerful eighties gore-fest and I'm sure that it will please anyone lucky enough to track it down. Recommended.
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