Saturday, October 1, 2011

Sweatshop (2009)

Wow, two reviews in one day? Will wonders never ceases?

Anyways, when I reviewed the ultimately disappointing "Damned by Dawn", I mentioned how hype can sometimes disguise the fact that a movie ultimately isn't very good, especially once it's released. Case in point: today's entry, "Sweatshop." I remember reading about the movie two years ago, as it was a slasher movie that was getting good reviews and lots of hype in the festival circuit. It was announced sometime last year that Synapse would be releasing it, but it ended up getting picked up by Screen Media instead. It also got released earlier this year in the UK, and with it finally available to the public, word of mouth started getting a little less kind. It's now available in the US, so let's get to reviewing this sucker.

"Sweatshop" opens with a nude girl in an abandoned factory (hm, kinda like "Saw"*, but sleazier), whose being pursued by a hulking maniac known as The Beast (Jeremy Sumrall), only to be shot down by a cop played by Fangoria editor/reviewer Michael Gingold.

Cut to later on, in which a group of cyber-punk loving goth kids-leader Charlie (Ashley Kay), horndog Scottyboy (Peyton Wetzel), slutty gal Lolli (Krystal Freeman), crazy gal Miko (Julin), and one guy who sticks out a bit more (but barely) in Scotty's fat, redneck brother Wade (Brent D. Himes), as well as several others-enter the abandoned factory. Here, they are going to hold a big rave made up of Futurepop music and other kinds of things some of the kids like today or whatever. Well, they get horny, get high, and get carried away by The Beast's minions, or just caught by the big lug himself. Oh, and he's got a great weapon-a hammer that's a pole with an anvil attached to it.

I'll say this much about "Sweatshop"-it's got a nice score by Dwayne Cathey. Oh, and the gore and kills are incredible. The gore FX themselves are very impressive, and The Beast has some creative ways to kill folks-Miko's death is probably my fave. Also, this movie has created a potentially iconic killer in The Beast. Slasher movies have had plenty of large, hulking slashers in the past, but this guy has a great weapon, and is imposing to boot. Also, it's nice to have a slasher movie with a really fun conclusion to boot.

Too bad the rest of the movie doesn't really live up to all of that. For one thing, the characters and the actors playing them are absolutely appalling and obnoxious. Whenever characters like Scottyboy and Miko would open their mouths, I just said to myself "these people can't be killed soon enough." This leads to problem numero uno, in which we have to constantly see and hear these dolts bicker, fuck and dance, and that gets annoying very, very fast. My next complaint deals with the direction and editing, which feels more like it belongs in a music video than it does a low budget slasher film. Then there's my final bitching point, which is that most of the music outside of the score didn't do it for me. I know there's an audience for this kind of Dark, Gothic dance music, but I'm not a fan of that. I do like a few Industrial Dance artists (Nitzer Ebb, Front Line Assembly and Front 242 for example), but not what was featured here.

Is "Sweatshop" for you? Well, if you love wall to wall gore and nothing else, and if musical groups with named like Lucid Dementia and Android Lust tickle your fancy, then yes, check it out. The rest of us can probably do without it, or at least watch it and think "Well, the gore and kills were great. Too bad the rest wasn't."

Rating: 4/10

*Seriously, how many abandoned factory buildings are there in the city in which the "Saw" movies take place? And why haven't the police checked these things already?

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