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Nicolas De Toth,
I remember reading about this movie, when it was reviewed in Fangoria back in the nineties, after that I had pretty much forgotten about it, that is until I'd discovered that a small company was selling it for peanuts on Ebay.
I mulled over whether or not I should buy it, even at the price of peanuts, for one simple fact. I'm a huge fan of horror movies, down through the years I had indeed watched the good, the bad and the indifferent and usually I find myself swayed by a good looking cover if nothing else appears on offer.
Such was the case with this little number, although yes I had read the brief synopsis I found myself suckered in by the cool looking character on the front of the cover.
Now this I have to say, upon reading what the movie was about and looking at the trailer before actually watching the movie itself, and I was drawn to the notion that this movie resembled such classics as 'The Dead Pit' 'The Dead Pit' and 'The Convent, perhaps for certain themes or ideas present in the trailer if not the movie itself.
The actual running time of this U.K. release that I watched was 85 minutes which by all accounts ran about seven minutes shorter than the director's cut. Did this one fact halt or hinder my enjoyment of this low budget horror yarn? In all honesty any movie that suffers at the hands of the censors will always suffer when it comes time for the true horror fan's enjoyment, and perhaps this attributed to the lack of cohesion that I felt towards the movie.
The movie began promisingly, however that notion appeared short lived as each and every scene that followed failed to engage my interest, and no moment during the movie did I want to switch off as with every film and the unified effort that goes into making it should always warrant some kind of respect.
However, as good as the film looked, the director's choice of using sharp looking blues and red colours throughout the proceedings certainly gave the film a lush look, certain other technical aspects of the film let it down, notably in the sound department, at certain points in the film I had to turn the movie up full blast much to the annoyance of my upstairs neighbours.
The acting in the movie was pretty decent, for a largely unknown cast they didn't descend into that cue card form of reading their lines.
Of course with any film of this nature, star power is the name of the game, B movie king pins like Fred Olen Ray and Al Adamson where past masters at giving genre veterans much deserved screen time, in this case the mere presence of John Saxon and David Emge was indeed for me at least the proverbial crowd pleaser.
In saying that, both performances were fleeting and pivotal to the movie's storytelling progress, Having glanced at John Saxon's filmography and having watched much of his output down through the years, I found myself thinking, did this fine actor of such genre fare as 'Cannibal Apocalypse'have a hefty bar tab to pay off, although the same must be said for that of the appearance of David Emge, who although not prolific in his output did at least leave a lasting impression with his performance in 'Dawn Of The Dead' as well as playing one of the freaks in Frank Henennlotter's 'Basket Case 2'.
Although I have lambasted the notion that these two fine actors have appeared in this movie, and the fact that certain technical aspects of the movie might have let the movie down, it must also be said that the script written by Douglas Schulze himself was really lacking in every department, a total lack of flare and characterisation, if you are going to make a fine model of a bad screen villain at least give him something good to say and at the very least make him speak with a modicum of sense.
After having watched this movie, my head was buzzing for all the wrong reasons, hence the reasons for this review the star rating attached for this movie is attributed to the fact that I had just viewed the 1 hour and twenty-five minutes version, that and the presence of John Saxon.
Other than that I pity the poor fool like me who parts with his pennies, for he is the chump who will sit and suffer just like i did 2/10 I think i'll go and watch 'Street Trash' instead.
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