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At the time of writing this review it would seem that over 50% of IMDb
voters had given this film a rating of either a 10 or a 1. I can only
surmise then that those giving it a 10 were either cast or crew
They say that given enough monkeys and enough time and enough typewriters, those monkeys, just by random proddings at the keyboard, would eventually type out the complete works of Shakespeare. However, I seriously doubt that given the same number of monkeys and time, you could find a single one to give this movie a rating of 10.
I patiently watched the first half, foolishly assuming that the film would, on some level, develop either the plot or the characters, or maybe make some kind of social comment or provoke barely intellectual thought. Failing that, I was quite prepared to accept action, suspense, comedy, horror or even gratuitous sex as a way of holding my attention. Ultimately, I was disappointed and consequently, much of the second half was viewed at double speed as I searched in vain for some small snippet of cinematic redemption. Sadly, there was none.
If "The Choke", was put up against an episode of Scooby Doo then I'm afraid the cartoon would win hands down in terms of mystery, intrigue and unpredictability. And speaking of cartoon characters, the acting abilities of the various cast members varied between acceptable (at best) and embarrassingly poor with Brooke Bailey's portrayal of the freaky, death obsessed pseudo goth, London, being so bad I almost felt sorry for her.
I would have liked to have finished on a positive note but even the soundtrack, a second rate feast of contemporary punk rock, failed even to entertain, let alone serve to enhance a very poor flick.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
I watched this film not really expecting much, I got it in a pack of 5 films, all of which were pretty terrible in their own way for under a fiver so what could I expect? and you know what I was right, they were all terrible, this movie has a few (and a few is stretching it) interesting points, the occasional camcorder view is a nice touch, the drummer is very like a drummer, i.e damned annoying and, well thats about it actually, the problem is that its just so boring, in what I can only assume was an attempt to build tension, a whole lot of nothing happens and when it does its utterly tedious (I had my thumb on the fast forward button, ready to press for most of the movie, but gave it a go) and seriously is the lead singer of the band that great looking, coz they don't half mention how beautiful he is a hell of a lot, I thought he looked a bit like a meercat, all this and I haven't even mentioned the killer, I'm not even gonna go into it, its just not worth explaining. Anyway as far as I'm concerned Star and London are just about the only reason to watch this and with the exception of London (who was actually quite funny) it wasn't because of their acting talent, I've certainly seen a lot worse, but I've also seen a lot better. Best avoid unless your bored of watching paint dry.
Released on DVD in the UK as Axe, The Choke is a teen slasher that
fails in pretty much every department: the story is almost
non-existent, resulting in a film which comprises mostly of people
wandering around a dark building; with the exception of two characters
(who are quite obviously destined to be the film's survivors), everyone
is thoroughly objectionable, meaning that the viewer couldn't care less
when they get slaughtered; the deaths aren't gory enough (unless a
brief shot of a pound of minced beef covered in fake blood turns your
stomach); and the gratuitous sex scene features next to no nudity (an
unforgivable mistake to make in a slasher flick!).
The wafer-thin plot sees members of a punk band locked inside what appears to be the world's largest nightclub (there are endless abandoned corridors and rooms, unlike any club I've ever seen) where they are picked off by an unseen assailant. For a low budget effort, the production values are okay, and the cast are all seem to be fairly capable actors, but with not nearly enough genuine scares, a reluctance to get really messy (this is a slasher, so where's the graphic splatter?), way too much dreadful dialogue (particularly from the not-dead-soon-enough drummer) and some ill advised use of tacky video techniques in an attempt to add some style, the movie quickly becomes extremely boring.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
The Choke starts as a rock band known as The Choke prepare for a gig at
a nightclub called 'Club 905' owned & run by Guy Johnson (Andrew
Parker). Lead singer Dylan (Sean Cook) & guitar player Mike (Jason
McKee) plan to tell the other band members, bass player London (Brooke
Bailey) & drummer Nancy (Tom Olson), that they are both going solo &
their services won't be needed any longer. Once at the club Dylan
prepares but Mike doesn't show up & the gig turns into a disaster. Then
just as the band think things couldn't get any worse they find a dead
body in the cellar, that all the doors have been locked so they can't
get out & that they can't trust anyone as a mysterious killer begins
picking them off one-by-one...
Produced & directed by Juan A. Mas The Choke is a standard by-the-numbers teen slasher that really doesn't have anything going for it. The script by Jessica Dolan & Susannah Lowber (not too many horror films out there penned by ladies...) has some surprisingly good character's in it & some nifty dialogue but while it's much better than a lot of modern shot on a camcorder type horror in that respect it's so slow & boring that even a few interesting character's can't come anywhere close to saving it. As one would expect all the usual teen slasher clichés are used, from the isolated location the victims can't escape from, the cast of good looking teenagers who keep splitting up, a few murders & a really poor twist ending that tries to mimic something like Scream (1996) & be surprising but doesn't make a whole lot of sense when you think about it logically (they couldn't have done some of the things they were supposed to) & to make matters even worse I guessed who the killer was fairly early on & even though I don't want to boast I was spot on. Then there's the fact that the makers of The Choke felt that it's audience would be entertained by showing endless (well it feels endless while watching it) scenes of teenagers walking around dark corridors doing nothing in particular, I am sorry but there is only so many scenes like this that I can take before it starts to become tedious. The kill count is low, at first they all decide to stick together (good idea) but then they all just randomly decide to split up & go their separate ways (bad idea when there's a killer on the loose), the pace is lethargic, the kill scenes are unimaginative & to top it all off the twist ending is poor.
Director Mas does alright, the film looks OK for the most part although there are the odd occasions where he uses some annoying post production editing technique like slow motion or frame skipping. The gore levels aren't really up to scratch, there's some blood splatter, a guy with a hole in his chest, a few dead bodies & someone impaled on some metal poles. Most of the kills happen off screen with the axe kill at the end a good example of the film not actually showing anything. Since the film is about a rock band there's quite a rock orientated soundtrack with some truly horrible, horrible rock songs used on it. I am sorry rock fans but to my ears this crap is just noise pollution. It's not scary, there's no real atmosphere & the lack of blood & gore is just inexcusable when the rest of the film is so bad.
With a supposed budget of about $1,000,000 The Choke is well made with reasonable production values, it looks cheap to be sure but not as cheap as many low budget horror films look. Shot in a place called Spokane in Washington apparently. The acting is one of the films strongest points as it's generally pretty good all round, I mean no-one is going to win an Oscar but it ain't half bad.
The Choke is a throughly routine Scream style teen slasher that has one of the weakest twist endings ever & a criminal lack of blood, gore, violence, nudity & dead bodies. I mean if a slasher hasn't got any sex or gore then what's the point? Those are the only things that the average slasher is worth watching for, right?
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
THE CHOKE (aka AXE in the UK) is a slasher produced supposedly as a
straight-to-DVD movie. I say "supposedly" because the title of the
movie does not have the "V" in brackets to indicate that it was a made
for DVD movie (even though it does have the appearance of one).
The plot is simple a band is holding a gig in a former meatpacking factory and they are killed one by one.
I think most would agree that the movie was never going to be a masterpiece, but this does not excuse the faults here. Even straight-to-DVD movies such as BACHELOR PARTY MASSACRE (which has a very low IMDb rating) have a lot of redeeming qualities and sometimes come off as being one of the so-called "so bad, they're good" movies. However, THE CHOKE falls far short of being either a serious slasher (such as HALLOWEEN) or being a "so bad it's good" movie (such as THE NAIL GUN MASSACRE).
The movie does start off good with a character killed using a drill. The blood effects were very cheesy but understandable given the very low budget. But, from there onwards, it's downhill all the way.
There are so many faults in THE CHOKE that I could spend all day talking about them. But, a few obvious ones stand out and I'll go into them.
The aforementioned gig that the band holds seems to start off with around 50 people present but after the music stops, there seems to be only around 8 people left (and yet they're all meant to be locked in!).
The characters in this movie are not likable at all. Most of the band members are aggressive foul-mouthed morons or just downright weird. No one really cares about what happens to them, and even their supposed friends forget about them when they've been dispatched. The highlight of the movie is the presence of a homeless man who seems to regard the meatpacking factory as some kind of church (seriously!). He spouts some really funny lines for no apparent reason. But sadly, even his presence can't save the movie.
There are too many scenes of people walking around and talking without any characterisation. Around 65 minutes of the film is spent watching characters walk around talking. Characters disappear for long periods of time without explanation. As in other straight-to-DVD movies such as CROCODILE and GRIM WEEKEND, the characters spend a lot of time swearing at each other aggressively without any provocation at all. There are plenty of over-the-top outbursts (mainly from the male characters) and one nearly results in a full-blown fight. In fact, the format could be said to go as follows: characters walk around--murder takes place--characters walk around--murder takes place. You get the idea.
The dialogue is terrible and it seems that few lines are spoken without the f-word being used. Perhaps this was meant to be funny, but it just comes off as sad. And more to the point, we have all seen this done a thousand times before (usually to much greater effect).
The movie is totally devoid of any suspense at all. The dead bodies serve to provide the only indication that the characters are in danger. A maniac is running around loose and yet the characters just behave like total morons. They make little attempt to get out of the factory or find a weapon with which to protect themselves. And much of the time, they don't even pretend to be scared.
In the same vein as DRIVE-IN MASSACRE, the killer is not seen at the time the murders are being committed (with the exception of the final murder when the killer's identity is revealed). A random weapon appears out of nowhere to kill the victim in question. There is no one seen stalking the characters at any time. In DRIVE-IN MASSACRE, this served to make the film funny (unintentionally of course), but here it is not funny at all.
And, as another reviewer has pointed out, the soundtrack includes music that is very bad, even for those who like punk rock. The extras look uncomfortable dancing to it. The score (at the end, there is no music at the beginning!) consists of a band of Sugarbabe wannabes singing some very bad song that is completely unrelated to the movie.
Don't misunderstand the points made in this review. This reviewer likes bad movies (such as THE NAIL GUN MASSACRE and BACHELOR PARTY MASSACRE) as much as the classics (such as HALLOWEEN and Friday THE 13TH). But, it seems that THE CHOKE tried too hard to fit into one of those categories without fitting into either. And even as straight-to-DVD movies go, this is a poor effort.
On a positive note, the film does contain some fairly good gory murder scenes. But, when the surviving characters do not take the situation seriously, these scenes lose their importance quickly as the intensity they provide disappears into oblivion.
Fans of the traditional 1980s B-movie slashers should take steps to avoid this movie. And fans of the classics such as HALLOWEEN and Friday THE 13TH should do everything in their power to avoid it!
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
Having just watched this movie, I almost feel like having wasted 2
hours of my life, but I guess there is some good in everything:
If I was to rate this as any other movie, it can only receive 1 or 2 tops, but if I grade it like a low budget ind. movie, it may get 3 or 4. That is a movie is supposed to be 'complete' and without too long passages of boredom or waste of time. This movie isn't. But I guess a lot of independent movies are about showing movie skills, and considering this, this movie has a few highlights. If I am to comment on what the directors should take with them to their next project, I guess the distorted sound effects had some quality. They also manage to build some characters, this however takes me to what they should leave out in their next project, because the character building takes too long, since it is mostly irrelevant for the movie plot. Neither should the long spaces of time dedicated to walking around be continued in the next project - whats the point? I guess this movie tries to be a little bit of everything (building characters, suspense and a plot), and ends up being nothing (not a lot)
This movie tries too much and too hard, and I guess it should have been cut to a short film. I could easily manage to find one hour of walking around or pointless dialogue to cut from the movie.
There is too much irrelevant things going on in this movie. The story should have been more streamlined. I know there is supposed to be some mystery in this movie, but a slight surprise to who the killer is, doesn't make a mystery. The story behind the "mystery" receives almost no attention during the film, which leaves the final "point" as a quick an unsatisfying wrap-up.
Therefore I would like to say this movie was a nice try, but I cant. I hope the directors learn from their mistakes, and produce a better product next time.
If you don't have an interest in bench learning from producing low budget movies, there is no need to watch this - not even too see why everyone thinks its bad.
As others have stated I am pretty sure the many 10's given to this movie are from people somehow involved in the movie. This movie could not receive a "10" judging from any remotely objective standpoint.
If anyone else have had the misfortune to watch the Juan A. Mas (among others) directed "The Coroner" from 1999 they will understand that I almost decided not to watch "The Choke" after knowing Juan A. Mas had something to do with it. But I must say things have gotten very better. Mr. Mas made a giant leap forward. The Choke is a good suspense packed film with a nice twist to it. The actors are okay though the lines are somewhat forced. But that's not their problem. Also hats off to the writers for making a script in 6 days (I was told in the DVD extras). Worth a watch on a Sunday evening with a bag of potato chips nearby. I give this film 5/10 - and I wish Mr. Mas and all involved in this the best. You've done a rather nice job.
Wow, these reviews are wrong. This was an entirely entertaining movie with an enjoyable soundtrack, fine acting and good camera work. The building it is filmed in was almost a character itself. Some of the gore was unrealistic as well as some of the manners of death, but this movie also never took itself too seriously. I am surprised at how bad some of these reviews were and I wonder if they are truly impartial. I didn't expect much when I rented it and I was very pleasantly surprised. Almost all of the characters were engaging and plenty of character development was undertaken before the plot really thickened. On top of all of that, I was truly surprised by the ending "twist." This was well worth the rental.
Yeah, basically I liked the movie a lot, and thought it was rather entertaining. It is a you either love it or you hate it type of film. I would give it a nine out of ten. This movie keeps you guessing throughout the entire thing. You are not sure who the killer is until the very end. The acting is not the best in my opinion, but I think that adds something to the movie. It makes it kind of funny. The Choke is a "slice 'em dice 'em" movie, but you are not going to be grossed out by a lot of gore. I also thought the background music was amazing! I would like to hear those bands, but I can not find anything about them. I would definitely recommend people watch this movie. So, that is about it.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
After seeing this I can happily say thats there is a direct to video horror flick that 80's slasher fans can enjoy. Everything that a person hoping to find a gem in the rough is present in this movie. Over the top characters, Well done gore effects, Teens locked in some type of building, and a surprisingly not so obvious killer. This movie is really cheesy but in a good way, I'm glad I gave it a try. Far far better than most direct to video horror flicks. However like Iv'e said about some other movies, this one should be watched solely by people who are fans of campy slasher films and not someone looking for a movie that will actually scare them. Everything about " The choke" pleased me. And the special feature is pretty fun to watch too.
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