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I mean, what fan of classic horror films wouldn't be even just slightly
excited by the prospect of this 'film'? After all, it's the first movie
to be released with the backing of Hammer Studios since TO THE
DEVIL...A DAUGHTER way back in 1974, and 34 years is a long time to
wait for arguably the best horror studio in history to make more
movies. Despite many promises over the years to get back in production,
Hammer lay in the doldrums until the release of BEYOND THE RAVE in
The title made me a little nervous for the film. Ignoring the bad pun, the 'rave' element doesn't sit well. It sounded just like Hammer were dumbing down their movies for the teenage masses, and how right I was about that. Secondly, the release format. Instead of releasing it to cinemas, or even straight to DVD, this was released in 20 four minute instalments via the Myspace website. Again, this didn't sound good at all. Four minute instalments so those with short attention spans might just sit through it if it's spoon fed to them all the way to the end? Sadly, I had no idea how bad this film was to be. The two nights I spent watching it were some of the most miserable of my life. Hammer for the new millennium is in a tragic state, with style and direction seemingly borrowed from the likes of HOLLYOAKS and SKINS. The film is packed with teenage arguments, teenage humour and endless scenes of people dancing at a rave. There are comedy-thug-drug-dealers who seem to have wandered in from LAYER CAKE and vampires that are just a mindless retread of the age-old creatures: they can jump fast, heal quickly and bite people on the neck. It's all so... passé! The whole idea of the vampire rave was done better in the BLADE movies but somehow this drags the one-note story out to eighty minutes or so.
The worst thing about BEYOND THE RAVE is undoubtedly the expletive-laden script, written by somebody without a clue of how real people sound when they talk on the street. Every other word is the f-word, every other word the c-word. It comes across as moronic, which is exactly what the film is. The whole cast are either teenagers or 20-somethings, with a few recognisable faces here and there: there's that psycho guy who was in EASTENDERS playing virtually the same role; there's Ray Winstone's daughter; there's Sadie Frost; there's an old actor I saw on TV a few times. The only link with the original Hammer films is Ingrid Pitt, who makes a lonely cameo here. The leads are charisma-free and the only actor I liked was Tamer Hassan, who played a heavy in EASTERN PROMISES. Hassan seems to realise the crap he's appearing in and just goes hell-for-leather with his 'performance'.
The episodic nature of the broadcast format only highlights the repetitive structure of this 'movie'. People are killed with a monotonous regularity by vampires, and in the end a few vampires are killed in turn. Characters are introduced in a four minute segment and then killed off straight away, then the process is repeated with nauseating stupidity. The gore and violence is spread liberally around, but without wit or style. This is charnel fare, lacking intelligence and originality, and even Hammer's poor final film TO THE DEVIL...A DAUGHTER is about a hundred times better.
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