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The Killage (UK DVD)



The Killage UK DVD Sleeve

The Killage UK DVD SleeveStarring Rita Artmann, Joe Bauer, Dryden Bingham, Daniel Johnston Andrew O’Sullivan

Directed by Joe Bauer

Distributed by Left Films

It would be unfair given my recent remarks toward Fury: The Tales of Ronan Pierce (review) for its exceptionally obvious ADR if I didn’t let it be known that The Killage suffers from the same problem. It seems that just about every piece of dialogue in this low budget indie slasher/comedy is looped in post-production, and it’s off-puttingly awkward.

But there’s also one huge difference between the two: The Killage is less likely to make you crush your own carotid artery in a desperate search for sweet release than it is to have you grip your sides in good-natured laughter.

In Joe Bauer’s flick, a group of young co-workers are brought together for a team-building forest retreat only to discover that one of their number is a psychopathic killer. Picking them off one by one, the wooden-masked murderer butchers their way through the tribe in standard slasher film style while the hapless, constantly bickering survivors try to figure out who the culprit is.

Focused more on the comedy than it is the scares, The Killage is a relatively simple affair sporting an obviously amateur cast… one which, with few exceptions — most notably Artmann as kickass-survivor-with-sex-appeal Emily — feels like little more than a group of friends who have set out to have a fun time making their own film. It’s juvenile and low-brow, throwing out dick jokes, piss jokes, an asshole character named Dickman (who also happens to be in a wheelchair) and a swathe of stereotypes, like Scary Movie crossed with everything-be-damned Aussie humour — but it works.

From the hilariously deadpan performance by Andrew O’Sullivan as the knuckleheaded (and almost perpetually nude) Jock to some great running jokes such as Andre (Cameron Sowden) constantly asserting the fact that he doesn’t do drugs, at even the slightest provocation, there’s rarely a couple of minutes that go by without a clever call-back or piece of smart-mouthed smarm.

Things are occasionally pushed too far — talking severed heads, for example, just don’t work in this realm of mere slapstick — but for the most part it does well in managing its own levels. It isn’t for everyone, make no mistake — if you demand biting satire, anything remotely intellectual, or take affront to stereotypes or “lazy” humour when it comes to your comedy you’d do well to give The Killage a wide berth.

There’s plenty of gory mayhem to go around, marred only occasionally by an abundance of CGI which is glaringly lo-fi in some spots, but really quite impressively rendered in others given the home-grown nature of the film. It’s rough in more than a few places — there’s no denying that — but The Killage manages to overcome its limitations by offering plenty of spark and a breezy willingness to please.

An unexpected delight, The Killage proves a worthwhile treat once adjusted to its particular stride and irreverent outlook.

Left Films bring The Killage to UK DVD sporting a stable of special features that puts most other releases of small indie flicks to shame. First up, there’s a lively cast and crew feature commentary, followed by a staggering 85 minutes of “fly on the wall” style behind-the-scenes footage. After that, director Bauer steps in for a 33-minute look at the film’s digital visual effects… and there’s a hell of lot more in there than you’d think. This is a very enlightening and surprising featurette, made a lot of fun to watch by Bauer’s self-deprecating humour and openness.

Next up there’s a short featurette on the the film’s music (which ends rather amusingly in the composing software crashing), around 30 minutes of outtakes and bloopers, two trailers and two photo galleries from the film’s shooting which are backed up with commentary by Artmann and Bauer.

Finally, the entire 167 pages of The Killage‘s storyboards are yours to watch unfold, accompanied by the film’s score, should you wish.

A superb package overall. You simply couldn’t ask for more when it comes to a film of this stature.

Special Features:

  • Commentary with Rita Artmann, Dryden Bingham, Andrew O’Sullivan & Joe Bauer
  • Behind the Scenes
  • Visual Effects Featurette
  • Music Featurette
  • Outtakes
  • Trailers
  • Photo Galleries
  • Storyboards
  • Film
  • Special Features
User Rating 2.71 (7 votes)




Who Goes There Podcast: Episode 155 – Veronica



St Paddy’s Day has come and gone and I’ve been “pissed as a fart” for the last 4 days; so please forgive us for the episode being a little late. Veronica is the newest movie to be “too scary to finish” and we’re taking the piss out of the “based of true events” ghost story.

None of this even matters, because on this episode we finally crowned the first ever Who Goes There champion! Tune in for this historical event!

Now I have another reason to hate Christmas; it’s the Who Goes There Podcast episode 155!

If you like what you hear, please consider joining our Patreon subscribers. For less than the cost of a beer, you get bonus content, exclusive merchandise, special giveaways, and you get to help us continue doing what we love.

The Who Goes There Podcast is available to subscribe to on iTunes right here. Not an iTunes user? You can listen on our Dread Central page. Can’t get enough? We also do that social media shit. You’ll find us on FacebookTwitterInstagramTwitch, and YouTube.


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Prodigy Review – This Kid Is Killer



Starring Richard Neil, Savannah Liles

Written and directed by Alex Haughey and Brian Vidal

From the minds of Alex Haughey and Brian Vidal, Prodigy could have easily debuted as a stage play instead of an intimate sci-fi horror film delivered straight to your television. Told with a confident grasp, the story unfolds in only one location with two characters responsible for carrying the entire narrative. Good performances, sure-handed directing, and a solid script highlighting tense moments make the claustrophobic setting seem much bigger in scope. A little telekinesis thrown in to good effect and a creepy killer kid don’t hurt the momentum either.

Under constant surveillance at a remote black site, an aging psychologist named Fonda (Neil) is tasked with assessing a dangerous young girl called Ellie (Liles), who is highly intelligent and possesses supernatural powers. Fonda attempts to inject some humanity into Ellie, but she is cold and calculating and seems to be toying with him at times and the onlookers watching from behind the glass. The back-and-forth between both characters is competitive and often riveting, with Ellie slowly revealing her abilities to her wide-eyed new audience. Wrapped up in a familiar setup, the decision to study or dissect this meta kid is the central question of Prodigy; but the execution of a simple premise is what keeps the story afloat.

On a very small scale, Haughey and Vidal make the setting feel cinematic with crisp images and smart shot selections that help maintain the tension. There’s a strong backbone in place that allows both actors to bounce off of each other in a well-choreographed mental dance as the dangerous game they’re playing begins to unravel.

Several scenes where Elle demonstrates her powers are the standouts in Prodigy with chairs and tables flying and glass breaking to great effect. These sequences diffuse some of the tension for a moment, only to fully explode late in the film when Elle’s emotions unleash. It’s only then that there has been any kind of breakthrough that could possibly help to save her life.

That gets to the heart of the real question posed in Prodigy: Is an extraordinary life still worth saving if it threatens ordinary lives in the process? Also, does the fact that this potential weapon is housed inside the body and mind of a young, lonely girl make a difference to whether it should survive? These questions and how they’re answered make Prodigy a micro-budget standout in the indie horror genre well worth taking the time to rent this weekend if you’re not planning on attending a St. Patrick’s Day parade somewhere.

Prodigy is now available to on iTunes, Amazon, and other On Demand platforms.

  • Prodigy


The questions raised and how they’re answered make Prodigy a micro-budget standout in the indie horror genre well worth taking the time to rent this weekend if you’re not planning on attending a St. Patrick’s Day parade somewhere. 

User Rating 0 (0 votes)


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Cold Hell (Die Hölle) Review – Giallo Terror Invades Vienna



Starring Violetta Schurawlow, Tobias Moretti, Sammy Sheik

Written by Martin Ambrosch

Directed by Stefan Ruzowitzky

I have a serious soft spot in my horror-loving heart for serial killer films. Movies like Seven, The Silence of the Lambs, The Crimson Rivers, and the like draw me in with their cat-and-mouse mentality. Couple those kinds of movies with non-US settings and I’m 100% hooked. So when I was introduced to Die Hölle (aka Cold Hell), which just started streaming on Shudder, I didn’t hesitate to enter this giallo-inspired thriller.

Cold Hell follows Özge Dugruol (Schurawlow), a Turkish taxi driver in Vienna who clearly lives a strained, almost broken life. The fares she picks up verbally abuse her, the Thai boxing gym where she lets go of her anger has banned her after a violent sparring incident, and her family has its own fair share of problems, including infidelity, lack of responsibility, and painful memories of early years.

One night, after coming home from a long shift, Özge opens the window in her bathroom only to see across the way into the home of another woman who is lying on the ground, flayed and burnt, her dead eyes staring at Özge. Stunned into shock, she can only look on before realizing that the man responsible for this woman’s death is standing in the shadows, looking at her. So begins Özge’s journey of terror as this killer makes it his mission to find and end her life.

Cold Hell has an interesting juxtaposition running throughout the film where cinematographer Benedict Neuenfels’ gorgeous visuals are used to highlight the near-squalor and seedy underbelly of Viennese life that Özge lives in. Each scene is bathed in vibrant colors, streetlight reds and neon greens painting the frames. Marius Ruhland, who composed Ruzowitzky’s Academy Award-winning film The Counterfeiters, lends beautiful and thrilling music that knows when to coil up and provide tension before exploding to mirror the chaotic frenzy of the on-screen events.

A direct commentary on religion’s antiquated view of the place and purpose of women, Cold Hell doesn’t shy away from making nearly everyone in this movie a flawed character. People who were unlikable become understandable once the breadth of their circumstances becomes more clear, as is the case with detective Christian Steiner (Moretti), who originally treats Özge with an almost xenophobic attitude only for us to later see that he cares for his dementia-ridden father. While not excusing his previous behaviors, such a revelation gives his irritation and frustration a more justifiable foundation.

When the action strikes, we are treated to breathtaking car chases, blood splashing across the screen, and believable reactions. The characters in this film get hurt and they show it, limping painfully with their cuts and bruises open for the world to see.

The film is certainly not flawless. Some characters feel shoe-horned in and there are rather lengthly segments where the film comes to a crawl. However, the engaging and nuanced performance from Schurawlow easily kept me glued to the screen.

  • Cold Hell


With beautiful music and gorgeous visuals, Cold Hell is an engaging, albeit slow burn, serial killer thriller. This is one film that should not be missed.

User Rating 5 (1 vote)


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