Cradle of Fear
Dir: Alex Chandon
Star: Emily "Bouffante" Booth, Dani Filth, Eileen Daly, David McEwen
Cert / Year: 18 - R / 2001
Format: DVD R2

A brutal and shocking anthology which takes you on a gore filled, murderous ride through four stories of vicious revenge! Kemper, a former stage hypnotist, satanist and all round twisted serial killer is currently festering in a padded cell far from any human contact. Unfortunately it takes more than a padded cell to prevent him from wreaking his revenge on those who he holds responsible for his imprisonment and through his satanic assassin, known as "The Man" (Dani Filth) he exacts his bloody revenge on the outside world. The mentally scarred police detective in charge of Kemper's case originally, follows the bloody trail in a desperate nid to locate the source of the heinous crimes but he is also on Kemper's list.... who will get to who first?

Ok, I'm not going to pull any punches here and waste time. This is an exceptionally BAD film. When compared to another "recent British horror outing" in the excremental form of Razor Blade Smile this does scarily enough, have a good point. Meagre though it may be, but Cradle of Fear isn't quite as bad as Jake West's frightful turd event that is Razor Blade Smile, but it is a close run thing.

The film begins like part of Michael Jackson's Thriller, lots of smoke, shadows, eerie lighting and silhouettes then degenerates as a farcical exploding head and some cheesy face pulling / gurning and posturing ensures that the viewer bursts into fits of laughter. This silly little set piece is immediately followed by an excursion to a dodgy "underground" club and some heavy, epileptic fit inducing strobe lighting. The whole thing has a cheap student film feel and the direction would have benefited from the infusion of at least a modicum of talent or someone with an idea about what they are doing. Not even the appearance of "Brit chick" Emily Booth in "Goth" regalia in the club is enough to hold the viewers attention for long. After several shots of her leering at "The Man" (Dani Filth) like a welsh farmer at a flock of sheep, she nips off to do some "lines" with her pal before "seducing" him in a way which sets the "womens movement" back 40 years. This quaint (tongue in cheek) sub-story adequately displays Emily Booth's "talents" as she manages a striptease, a nude shower scene and another fit inducing strobe light assault that is supposedly a sex scene, which naturally devolves into a real bloody mess and culminates in a sleazy old cop having a good grope.

This dull and frightful event is promptly followed by yet another dodgy, drug fuelled head wrecker starring the truly awful Eileen Daly. Whatever it is she does, she always manages to play the same character, no matter what the film and always looks like a 3rd rate soft porn actress ageing poorly (maybe its because that is what she is). The "star" of Razor Blade Smile, the vaccuous Eileen Daly somehow manages to land a starring role here but still seems to be playing the same crapulent character she always plays or maybe she isn't actually acting. Whatever she is doing I wish she would just stop!

All the sub plots are truly awful and tied together by the story of a hypnotist and child molester / murderer striking at the children of the persons whom he feels are responsible for incarcerating him in a lunatic asylum (well, you would wouldn't you) by means of his demonic offspring known only as "The Man" and played by the abysmal Dani Filth. Just when you thought his music his music was awful, he finds something else he stinks at.... acting.

The "direction" is truly awful and I think that Alex Chandon should be tried at The Hague for crimes against humanity or just hung drawn and quartered, for making such a dreadful and painful foray in film. Despite laughing at the general awfulness of this film on the whole it is hard going and quite a chore to endure and I do mean endure. Someone really should point out to this fool that incessant strobe lighting really isn't cool and is no substitute for good or fast paced direction and it soon becomes most terribly annoying.... Provided of course, that you haven't had an epileptic fit. Chandon has a lot to learn and with this production he displays a complete lack of vision ensuring that this film is essentially... Bloomin' awful. If there is really such a thing, then the film's only redeeming feature to elevate this frightful mess above Razor Blade Smile is the special effects. The effects are from the same team that brought us Hellraiser and Black Hawk Down and I bet they are regretting their involvement here. There is copious amounts of splatter and gore, some Pink Floyd album cover inspired general freakiness and a distinct air of American independent film. All of which contributes to a hammy, cheesily violent and very messy experience.

Cradle of Fear may as well have been called Cradle of Loathing as the whole affair is just so terribly poor. In fact it is worse than that, even the typically die hard, hormone enraged fans of Emily Booth are likely to find it hard to glean a redeeming feature from this insipid discharge. This is a tedious, dreadful and mind numbing cinematic event which just drags on and on, you can feel the will to live just ebb away the longer you watch it. One viewing of this migraine inducing mess is more than enough and probably one viewing too many! If this is the sort of rubbish we are churning out then perhaps us British horror fans should truly despair that the talent has gone from our shores!


Its not if they die, it's how...

Rating: 1 out of 5

Picture 2.85:1 anamorphic Not a bad transfer but looks cheap and grainy
Audio Dolby Digital 2.1 Unimpressive, bassy and bland
Features Dull unimpressive menu
2 theatrical trailers
Stills gallery
Behind the scenes featurette / footage
Verdict Not a particuarly good disc, which is in keeping with the rest of the presentation.

Rating: 1 out of 5

Reviewed by Logan Back Top Home