Inhuman Resources (DVD)
Directed by Daniel Krige
Distributed by Naedomi Media
Formerly known as Redd, Inc., Inhuman Resources brings a whole new meaning to the term "corporate headhunter." *rim shot*. But seriously, the movie sucks the audience right in with a surprisingly bloody opening sequence, and it simply continues to deliver the viscera from there. Fans of practical F/X will be thrilled to know that Inhuman Resources delivers the red stuff in spades, and it does it the old fashioned way.
Inhuman Resources tells the story of Thomas Reddmann, an executive sent to prison for the brutal murder of several heads of corporations. According to the story, he was incarcerated, attacked, killed and his body was burned. He was identified by an arm found at the scene. So why is it that we now see him holding six people hostage in a makeshift office? Reddmann, or Redd as he's calling himself now, is completely off his rocker. His physical appearance seems almost normal, but there's definitely something just a bit off about him, and it makes the character very compelling. Oh, and there's also the fact that he's got six hostages chained to desks in front of computers and he's forcing them to work…or face the consequences.
And those consequences are the fun part of the film. Redd tells his hostages early on that they will be given four warnings (and you'll love the way he keeps track of how many demerits each has). On the fifth occurrence, a performance review is executed…and you don't want a performance review. As would be expected, hostages don't make the best office workers, and each of them draws the ire of Redd. Enter master of horror Tom Savini, who supervised the special effects in Inhuman Resources. Savini appears in the film as a character named Peter Bava (how about that for a nod to the classics?). But Savini's work on the film, of course, is felt most powerfully in the F/X department, and they are well done. In fact, as Inhuman Resources rolls on, it seems to be primarily a vehicle for the effects work because that is certainly one of the strongest parts of the movie.
The story, written by Jonathon Green and Anthony O'Connor, is quite entertaining. It becomes an unexpected mystery partway through and has a nice twist to it. And a compelling rivalry develops between Redd and our heroine, Annabelle Hale. She's an online stripper and one of the witnesses to the murder that got Redd put away. Hale is played entertainingly by the very cute and lively Kelly Paterniti (perhaps the next Danielle Harris?). She makes for a great, spunky character who proves to be a fun protagonist and manages to look really good while doing it. Other quality performances are given by Hayley McEhinney and Alan Dukes, both of whom portray captives of Redd.
There is a nice undertone of comedy in the film, like Savini's Bava character sporting a Dawn of the Dead poster on his wall, or the murderous Redd drinking from a "World's Best Boss" mug. Of course the premise is a bit far-fetched and viewers will certainly question the reactions of the hostages, quite tranquil at learning that they are being held against their will by a homicidal maniac, but these are just details. Inhuman Resources makes up for its shortcomings by being fun as hell! And what's more important than that?
And then, surprisingly, as the film moves along, an actual plot develops that has you questioning the guilt of Redd, whom we saw covered in blood at the murder scene with the axe in his hand. Suddenly this movie that wasn't quite a gorefest, but certainly driven by bloody F/X, has itself a cool story and an unexpected twist. In all honesty, the twist is a bit of a reach, but it actually works. And almost like a cherry to top things off, the film ends with excellent music playing over the credits. "Dirty Pretty Lies" by Nelli Scarlet is the perfect song to put the exclamation point on this film.
It's no masterpiece, but Inhuman Resources is an entertaining film. It won't give you nightmares and you won't spend hours trying to piece together the complex story, but director Daniel Krige does an impressive job working some great F/X into a serviceable story to make a good film with a small, but impressive cast. It's not perfect, but Inhuman Resources is definitely a good time.
3 1/2 out of 5