Director: Mitchell Altieri & Phil Flores (as the Butcher Brothers)
Screenplay: The Butcher Brothers
Producers: Malek Akkad, Jeffrey Allard, Michael Ferris Gibson, Andy Gould & Jeremy Platt
Starring: Cory Knauf, Taylor Cole, Bret Roberts, Christina Prousalis, Tiffany Shepis, Nick Tagas & Joe Egender
Duration: 87 mins
So, with a film that’s promoted with the info that it’s from the same producers of such films as Halloween and The Texas Chainsaw Massacre you might think you have a pretty good idea of what this one would be like. Yeah? Nah. Think again.
The basic – and I use that term very loosely – story of the film is that a Biker gang go to a hang-out in backwater USA, where some of them stay overnight but strange things start to happen. A malicious gang, seemingly from the 1950s, then turns up to claim the thing that’s growing inside the ex-girlfriend of one of the Biker’s to fulfil some diabolical aim; pretty standard fare from a horror perspective so far.
But as they say in the great tradition of QVC et al, “wait, there’s more”.
Not only do we get the usual blood-soaked gore and zombie-like antics of morons that we quickly end up not giving a toss about, we also get some weird sci-fi cross-over that’s never really explained how. The why, yes – they want the ‘queen’ that’s inside of their target, but the how – well that’s just glossed over with the leader of the 50s gang saying “we had a deal”. Lazy, lazy, writing. And that’s something which The Violent Kind was riddled with. Oh, and the dreadful acting. And did I mention the lazy writing?
Some of the special effects (and that’s special as in ‘needs’) look as if they’re poor renditions of what we’ve seen in later years on Doctor Who: light pouring out of eyes and open mouths. Although it looked as if the BBC put in a little more thought and effort into it. Some of the photography in the film reminded me of some of the classic horror films of the 70s: sudden close-ups, wide shots with zombie-like characters jumping around – a general tone of something like the original Halloween. Then other scenes were almost diametrically opposed in style – maybe that’s what you get with multiple directors. Whatever the reason was, it just didn’t work.
At 87 minutes I felt that – as far as the story content of the film went – The Violent Kind was about 70 minutes too long. You can skip the first ten minutes: nothing, and I mean nothing, of any importance happens. Then there’s a minute or two of set-up before we’re back to filler, which lasted for most of the film. Scenes were so over-played that I repeatedly found myself yelling ‘GET ON WITH IT!’ at the TV. I felt embarrassed for the poor Samsung – it wasn’t its fault. It was only doing its job. I’m sure it was just as embarrassed as I was; having to play that dross.
The film ended with **** SPOLIER ALERT, SPOLIER ALERT **** the 50s gang leader alluding to the fact that he was an alien and that humankind was about to have a really bad day. The surviving characters then make it to the local town where more strange sci-fi stuff happens, with the last shot suggesting that some kind of gigantic alien mother ship was moving overhead. What? Seriously?
The blurb for The Violent Kind says it “… mixes the savage artistry of horror, science-fiction and drama to tell a story that will leave you shocked, bemused and exhilarated well after the credits roll.” Well, two out of three was a pretty good strike rate – I was certainly left bemused at the end trying to figure out what the heck it was all about, and shocked that the film had a RRP of £15.99.
The Violent Kind is released in cinemas 22nd July and on DVD 25th August. Good luck.
Review by Andy Goodman