Reviewed by Gareth Jones
Starring Wayne Casey, AnnieScott Rogers, Paul Schilens, Lisa Wharton
Directed by Morgan Hampton
Distributed by MVM Entertainment
In the wake of last week’s Backwoods Bloodbath (review here) release, MVM offer up another similarly abysmal slice of no-budget drudgery in the form of Razor’s Ring. Here the story follows protagonist Scott (Casey), a businessman out for his morning run when he comes across ruthless ex-con couple Razor and Julie (Schilens and Wharton). After witnessing them callously run over a dog on the road, Scott has a gun pulled in his face and is forced to join them on their Death Race 20000-inspired joy ride as the pair attempt to gain a better “score” than their partner.
When a young girl attending a family picnic becomes their target, Scott intervenes and the car crashes, taking out an elderly gent in the process. The family members are none too impressed and gather up our trio to be taken to see “Red” (AnnieScott Rogers), the matriarch of their extensive farm-dwelling community. Over time the captives have digits removed, are starved in a shed, and are forced to work on the farm. Eventually Razor and Julie are let go, and Scott believes it’s just a matter of time before he himself is released. When he is ultimately invited to join the family at an important dinner, he discovers Razor’s ring amongst his grub and realises – shock and awe – that the family are cannibals; and if he doesn’t escape soon, he’ll soon be on the menu, too.
In terms of the basic story it’s a serviceable, if generic, slice of genre plotting; however, in realisation Razor’s Ring is a nigh-on insufferable mess. Acting across the board is atrocious with awkwardly delivered lines galore and emoting that occasionally reaches pantomime levels when it isn’t displayed with the cinematic finesse of a mannequin. The opening scene is a laugh riot with Casey busting out the single most flaccid jogging technique ever witnessed outside of the comedy genre.
The DV-based lensing is just about fine but suffers from occasional over-exposure in some brighter outdoor scenes. The sound design is of a similar quality, thankfully avoiding too much background noise or distortion at higher volumes, but a few moments suffer from the (generic and cheap) soundtrack playing at too close a volume to the dialogue.
The pacing of Razor’s Ring is the final nail in the coffin – director Hampton really wants to make this an exercise in tension, putting the audience in there with Scott as he attempts to escape amidst the uncertainty of his future. The problem is that the direction is entirely bereft of anything resembling tension, and anyone but the most atrociously resolute idiot will be able to tell you exactly where the story is going by the twenty-minute mark. With these elements flying off-target, there are simply no further reasons for the film to exist. Well…maybe it could satisfy gorehounds?
No. No it can’t. In spite of being a film about a community of cannibals, Razor’s Ring is almost entirely bloodless. Nearly every single instance of violence occurs off-screen, and even the shooting of a police offer is laughably anemic, looking more like something out of a high school play than a feature film. A few digital effects at the climax look positively atrocious, such as an absurdly terrible explosion and one character getting hit by a train.
A twist presented at the closing moments introduces a rather interesting Wendigo-inspired outcome, but it’s far too little, too late for this movie. A decent final minute simply can’t make up for the utter torrent of messily-excreted drivel that precedes it. Even if you’re a cannibal movie fan, don’t waste your time with Razor’s Ring – trust me, I’d rather have razors fed up mine than watch it again.
Similar to previous releases, MVM’s DVD contains a selection of trailers for the feature and other releases on the label. Nothing more.
1/2 out of 5
1/2 out of 5
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