|Star:||Eileen Daly, Chris Adamson, Jonathon Coote, Isobel Brook|
|Cert / Year:||18 - R / 1998|
When I first saw a trailer for Razor Blade Smile it was in 1998 and from what you saw it looked brilliant. It had Babes in Leather, Guns, Vampires, you know the stuff that you really want in a film. "SFX" magazine reviewed it as the best film of the year. (1st of January 1998 obviously, with no other competition)
Razor Blade Smile is written, directed and produced by Jake West and is a MANGA LIVE presentation, but don't let that put you off. The film is about Lilith Silver (Eileen Daly) a hit-woman who also goes by the name the "Angel of Death" (how original) who just also happens to be a vampire, since she got shot in 1850 and to save her life as it were, mysterious oddball Sir Sethane Blake (Chris Adamson) changes her into a vampire.
The premise of the "story" is that Lilith is hired to knock off several members of a secret sect called the "Illuminati" and all goes well until her "agent/manager" Platinum is kidnapped and she goes into a spate of rampant bloodletting whilst being pursued by Scotland Yards finest. (yeah right)
To be honest I think that the thought of a British horror/vampire film may have jaded my judgement in trying to attain a copy of this film. Despite the rather splendid trailer this film it is not what I had hoped.
The beginning of the film is shot in black and white and is set in 1850, the house used as a backdrop clearly has telephone and electric cables in addition to a TV aeriel visible which I am pretty certain were not around in 1850. Dogged by some quite nauseous camera angles which are constantly changing and sequences of imposed colour onto black and white which are truly awful and appear rather tacky, leave the viewer more likely to feel sea sick than scared. The imposed colour onto black and white effect used in moderation for Schindlers List may have worked well for Steven Spielberg but not for Razor Blade Smile .
Whilst watching the film you get an overwhelming feel of Art College tat, the film tries too hard to be something that it isn't. What it is in my opinion is an overzealous attempt to make a good old fashioned Great British horror film, trying to cram in too much. In places the film emulates "The Lair of the White Worm" which was of course a classic Ken Russell movie. (nudge, nudge, wink, wink)
Great Britain has in the past produced some of the greatest talents for the Horror genre, from William Henry Pratt (Boris Karloff) to Christopher Lee and Peter Cushing and not forgetting writers from Mary Shelley to Clive Barker. So with such impressive pedigree as this how can this film be so bad?
Eileen Daly is an attractive buxom woman and looks very nice running awkwardly around in the leather bondage gear, which does seem to strain to contain her (which is nice). Unfortunately she puts on a totally awful and hideously false "British" accent whilst trying to carry sexy overtones which to be quite honest just make you cringe, and the overworked camp cliche of the open mouthed, fangs showing whilst hissing vampire just gives you the urge to throw something at the screen due to it's awfulness. Her other works are primarily either "Salvation" and "Redemption" movies or "Electric Blue", which you should use as an indication of her background. I would like to say that Chris Adamson puts in a good performance as major protagonist, Sir Sethane Blake....... but I can't as he is even worse. He should have called it a day and quit after playing "Mean Machine" in Judge Dredd, but instead he takes on an even cheesier role, and his spoken parts.... Adamson is another one of those actors trying to emulate the power and outright sinister menace of Pinhead from the Hellraiser films. His voice changes into a painful imitation of Doug Bradley at every oppurtunity which just doesn't work at all.
The final battle has so much potential because it involves swords, but it is so terribly choreographed that it is filmed in slow motion segments that are quite frankly..... bloody awful.
Razor Blade Smile is a good idea and it is about time that the British started showing the world that when it comes to horror, we do it best. But as a film Razor Blade Smile is badly written, badly acted, badly directed, badly produced and nauseatingly shot..... Basically very poor and I am VERY Disappointed. Do not under any circumstances ever agree to watch this mindless drivel.