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I think it's fair to say that Greece is hardly renowned for its horror movie output (to date I have only seen one other scary film from this countryNico Mastorakis' infamous 'video nasty' Island of Death), but having just enjoyed zombie romp 'To Kako' (AKA Evil), I reckon that the Greeks should spend less time smashing plates and more time smashing skulls, 'cos they're actually pretty good at it!
Director Yorgos Noussias begins his film with the discovery of an enormous cavern on the outskirts of Athens, within which lurks an evil force that is capable of transforming people into flesh-craving zombies. After initially possessing three construction workers who investigate the cavern, the force spreads rapidly throughout the city leaving only a small group of survivorsbuxom teenager Jenny, her sexy neighbour, a randy taxi driver, a soldier, and a football fandesperately searching for a way out of their predicament.
Whilst this might not be the most imaginative of plots, Noussias's superb handling of his material more than makes up for the lack of originality in narrative: genuinely atmospheric scenes of horror are expertly combined with bloody moments of knockabout splat-stick comedy to make this a thoroughly entertaining 83 minutes of scares, OTT gore and laughs. And for a film with such a small budget, this film looks absolutely fabulous, with great cinematography (the shots of the deserted city are particularly cool), snazzy editing (the MTV stylings are a little over-done, perhaps, but it's still technically impressive stuff), and loads of amazing special effects (both traditional and digital).
The blurb on the DVD packaging describes the film as 'a rapid-fire series of over-the-top-gross-out gags and gore' but I feel that this description does not really do the film justice. Yes, 'To Kako' offers gore-hounds a smörgåsbord of splatterific effects and bad-taste humourcrushed heads, decapitations, eviscerations, and juicy impalementsbut there is more to Noussias' movie than just a mindless comedy gore-fest: in addition to making viewers laugh, the director also manages to deliver carefully constructed scenes of tension and excitement, allows his viewers to care about his characters before he has them pulled apart and eaten, and presents an excellent downbeat ending that sees the last four survivors facing insurmountable odds as the undead close in for the kill, thus qualifying 'To Kako' as a bona fide horror experience.
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