|Star:||Jeffrey Combs, Andrew Divoff, Isabel Brook, Mark Frost.|
|Cert / Year:||18 - R / 2000|
After being beaten and forcedto watch the brutal and sadistic murder of his model girlfriend, artist John Jaspers' (Mark Frost) life is changed forever. Unwilling to go on without her and knowing that he couldn't get to those responsible, Jaspers stands atop a bridge, ready to end it all and join his"love". Until he is approached on the bridge by the suave and enigmatic cult leader known as "M" (Andrew Divoff). "M" offers John the chance, tools and power to quell his appetite for vengeance, the price?..... his immortal soul. Consumed with rage, Jaspers agrees and signs his soul away on the mysteriously appearing "contract" to the devilish "M". Unfortunately, after John avenges his lovers murder with his retractable razor sharp claws (sound familiar?) he is forced to become a merciless killer for "M" and his mysterious cult, eventually leading to his arrest by impetuous cop Dan Margolies (Jeffrey Combs) and his meeting with "sexy" psychotherapist Jade De Camp (Isabel Brook). Learning of a conspiracy and John's intended murder, Jade breaks him out of the asylum where he was being held and they go on the run, helped by Margolies they try to piece together the puzzle behind the conspiracy whilst being pursued by the police and "M" along with his slinky assistant Claire (Monica Van Campen) as the stage soon sets for a showdown between good and evil....
Well, the story by David Quinn based on his "graphic novel" is a bit of a strange brew really. At times it seems that this is outright plagiarism as elements and similarities are wrought from such sources as Spawn, The X-Men, The Crow whilst milking the classic German tale of Faust by Johann Wolfgang Goethe with a seasoning of David Cronenberg for good measure it would seem. This really has a bit of all of them rolled into the one film, which bears an over the top camp factor akin to the 60's Batman TV show starring Adam West. That isn't a compliment as here it doesn't really work. Basically, this is just like any other comic book anti-hero, tortured soul / hero seeking revenge story. In typical Brian Yuzna fashion, this is gruesome and very graphic and for anyone familiar with his production The Re-Animator then this will not be of any real surprise. When it comes to this sort of trashy, camp horror moviemaking then Yuzna is the man. The script really is quite poor though, and the cast know it, so ham it up at every opportuniy. The "back story" concerning "M" is better touched upon and has some nice spins on his character and his role in history, but even that is lacking and generally missing... something. You can tell that there are too many other works and films here vying to either get out of or have dominance in plagiaristic hell.
The special effects are your typical run of the mill, excessive and absurdly over the top fare from effects nutcase Screaming Mad George. I have to admint that the scene where Claire (Monica Van Campen) is reduced to her sum parts / attributes (T & A) was quite funny, in a freakish Society sort of way. She certainly isn't a shy girl, I'll say that for her. Compared to the original story, this is truly absurd. A schlocky rip off of many ideas, resulting in an unimpressive rubber suited ham with retractable claws and a "Spawn" cape. No, I'm afraid this isn't what you would expect or particuarly want. Just an unstimulating farce, that you probably won't be bothered watching all the way through. I did, in the hope that it might get better.... but it doesn't. The characterisations do a 180 in the latter half of the film and destroy whatever credibility they may have gleaned up to that point. Andrew Divoff is his typically menacing and scowling self and with a script throwing out lines from Hellraiser and failing to capitalise on Divoff's abilities. He was excellent in The Wishmaster but his charismatic albino demon / devil character here, despite being the strongest and best developed of the characters just doesn't fit with the rest of the hopeless characters.
Brian Yuzna production regular, Jeffrey Combs gets a rum deal here, and is woefully under used. Just when you get to grips with him having a good, serious character it all goes west and ruins what starts out as a good performance. Mark Frost was an interesting choice for the lead, as he hasn't really done anythiong notable since Blue Juice way back in 1995, but he has a couple of good moments in an otherwise poorly written performance. I would love to say that Brit' babe Isabel Brook has has come a long way since her feature debut in Razor Blade Smile, but she has and she hasn't and her performance in that turkey was the most memorable of the film (especially, her death scene) . She receives a more prominent role here but she is still lacking some acting talent, perhaps she could turn to TV acting instead. At least she fares better than the writhing, moaning shenanagins of Monica Van Campen who seems to have a problem keeping her clothing on, and delivering lines without sounding as if she is mid-orgasm.
Brutal, gory, excessive andunfocussed. Misses a lot of potential and immerses itself into TV show horror and hero territory, losing sight of a powerful and cerebral story. About as believable as a politician and loaded with gore, typical no brain entertainment. Some good effects and some stylish direction combined with a couple of sequnces are the only redeeming feature to this film.
Everything has a price.
"The desires we deny find us as fate"
|1.85:1 Widescreen||Excellent crisp image|
|Dolby Digital 2.0||Pretty good for surround sound|
|Small behind the scenes feature|
|Small interview segments|
|Set of cast notes|
|Not terrible and not exactly stimulating, just like the film really.|