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|3 reviews in total|
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
So Low-Budget, but full of fresh wind Jeremy Gardner's Zombie Drama
THE BATTERY reminds of the debut of a certain Mr. Romero.
Two guys, Ben and Mickey, as different as they can be, in a Post-Apocalyptic Journey Through the abandoned Woods. Ben a bearded Chav with a "Ryan Dunn "-Memory-Look, accustomed to Killing and resigned to the Situation. Mickey a sensitive Soul that misses his family, hiding between his Headphones, escaping into his own World. Besides the fact that they survived the Zombie Plague, both are connected by the Love to Baseball. To pass the Time the Twentysomethings throw a few Balls or beat the Bat on Windfall. The picturesque Landscape creates moments of silent Poetry, for example when the two lost Walkers pet Cows or watch Grasshoppers. Ben and Mickey stripes through the sunny American Wilderness, looting abandoned Houses and rummaging in the Memories of Strangers. Beaten by Loneliness and sexual Frustration the sensitive Mickey jerks off to a pretty hot Zombie Girl. Rather bizarre scene! The Protagonists end up in a Car surrounded by a crowd of Undead, where they barricade themselves. To a whiskey knowing Death is near, they sing a Song, which mustn't be missed in a masterpiece: "Show Me The Way To Go Home , I'm Tired And I Wanna Go To Bed ..." ( JAWS , PIRANHA 3D).
THE BATTERY was advertised with the Tagline "Best Zombie Movie in Years", which holds its Promise. Director Jeremy Gardner, who also wrote the screenplay, produced the movie and took over the Main Role, created one of the best Independent Films of the last Years. The Result is a melancholy Film with many quiet Moments and probably the coolest Duo since the two Guy from DAWN OF THE DEAD. The Movie is neither built on high tension and action, nor shock effects or gore, but on silent Beauty and authentic Characters. Also, the soundtrack fits very well, especially the Title Song by "Rock Plaza Central ". And by the way there are actually some Zombies.
For sure one of the most sensitive Zombie Movies ever!
Pauline (AnnaLynne McCord) is a quite typical teenager - not. She's an
outsider, who has no friends, but pimples, herpes, and oily hair. In
her imagination she has blood splattered sex , covered in blood like
Countess Bathory or does it with headless corpses. Actually Pauline is
quite a freak. The grades in school are fine. In other ways she doesn't
get along. Whether parents (Traci Lords), her teacher (Malcolm
McDowell), classmates or the priest (John Waters), all think Pauline is
sick and bizarre. In addition her destiny is overshadowed by the one of
her little sister, who has a serious lung disease. But the gifted
wallflower Pauline already cherishes plans ...
EXCISION is an exhilarating roller-coaster ride through the ups and downs of youth, consisting of disorientation, feelings of inferiority, sex and murder fantasies. Actress AnnaLynne McCord shows courage and her ugly face. Her consistently outstanding performance carries the film. She sniffs used tampons, pukes on a classmate during class and lets her boyfriend satisfy herself orally, although she has her period, resulting a bloody lipstick and disgusted displeasure. German writer Charlotte Roche's "Wetlands" greets violently. The visually dreams, bathed in neon colors and blood, are another highlight of the film. Although these are only short sequences, they have a perverse degree, allowing the comparison with films like MARTYRS or HUMAN CENTIPEDE. In these dreams Pauline breaks her "ugly duckling image". In them she is a splatter queen full of beauty ideals.
The plot of the film is quite weak. It's about several themes like sexual curiosity, confusion, hormone surges, low self esteem, lack of confidence, problems with trying to cope with society ergo: relatively "normal" teenage problems. Indeed they are shown in an extreme way, but relatively normal problems. The story jumps from one topic to another. First, Pauline wants to get rid of her hated virginity. Then she takes part at a dance class she hates. Then there's the problem with her sister with the lung disease. One central theme is not given. Only main character Pauline, who is quite nice to watch.
A genre friend freaks out, when he takes a look at the cast list, containing the heroes and flagships of former Mondo-, Porn-, Sex- and Sleaze-Cinema. Ex-Pornstar Traci Lords plays the conservative middle-class mother and housewife, Malcolm McDowell the strict teacher and John Waters, who let Trashqueen Divine eat dog poo, plays a prude priest. The appearance of these stars is like a gigantic broad hint and makes EXCISION to a kind of homage to the experimental sleaze movies of the 70s.
EXCISION is hard splatter, a breaking with morality and criticism of the small town life, and a story of minor matters. The images are more powerful than the plot. The film is a play with taboos, sometimes crude, mostly brilliant. As a fan of movies offside the mainstream you will have to love this to hit in the face of decency.
Resume: American BEAUTY goes MARTYRS puberty as a splatter film.
Tommy (Aneurin Barnard) is plagued by misfortune. His girlfriend is
attacked and killed by gangster children in the common apartment. The
case is dropped because of lack of evidence. Now he is alone with the
raising of Elsa, the common baby, and forced to be brave, Tommy doesn't
manage. Alone and isolated, he now lives in a shabby suburban flat and
develops a fear that prevents him from leaving the house. But the
demons of the past find him even there, breaking in and ravage the
apartment. The kids, who killed his girlfriend, like Tommy says. And
this time they're after Baby Elsa. Now time has come to fight the
CITADEL, the debut of Irish director Ciaran Foy, reminds in many ways of the French Comet-Horror DEAD SHADOWS, but especially of the English movie HEARTLESS, mainly because of his Hoodie Monster. As a viewer you will be long kept in the dark about what these hoodie kids, who also remind of the Satankids from the "Come to Daddy"-Music Video by Aphex Twin, really are. Whether demons, zombies, possessed ones or simply but only dis-social behaving, aggression and violence as a way of life practicing youth from the lowest social class. Hard to say. The film will define that a little clearer, but it raises the question whether you take the showings at their word, or perhaps should lenses behind the facade of his imagery. Much of CITADEL's plot is metaphorical and worth of interpretation, as if one should not accept what is offered visually. Take the main character Tommy: a sissy, a crybaby, a weakling of superlatives. He has the word "sacrifice" literally written on his forehead. The few people, with whom Tommy maintains contact, doubt his version of the zombie children and that they have targeted Elsa. Much more logical it would be Tommy as an outsider and Wunderling stamped with mental h problems. Only a boorish priest - played by James Cosmo (Braveheart, Trainspotting) - Tommy helps to fight the personified evil. They both go to the crime scene from the past, a ruin-like high-rise complex, and deliver a showdown with the demonized kiddies.
CITADEL is not easy to watch, which actually may be an advantage, because it brings the brain to work. Offered are typical horror movie elements like shockers and an all-encompassing darkness, which destroys any lust for life. Taking Citadel and its plot literally, it is not the most satisfying horror movie. Recognizing its intuition and its therapeutic value, you'll find a very interesting piece of independent cinema.
Resume: Super dark urban horror of emotional cripples, personalized fears and demon kids. From the psychological point very interesting.