Thursday, January 7, 2016

Deathgasm - Review - @BrandonCSites

Deathgasm (2015) *1/2
D: Jason Lei Howden
C: Milo Cawthorne, James Blake, Kimberley Crossman, Stephen Ure, Sam Berkley, Daniel Cresswell, Delaney Tabron, Colin Moy

Plot Synopsis: Two teenage boys accidentally summon an evil entity by delving into black magic.

Review: In Deathgasm, we have characters who are perfectly posed and stylishly outfitted, even though they're supposed to be outcast. Why couldn't the costuming department let these characters truly look like outcasts?!? Instead, the characters look like they're modeling rocker gear for an ad campaign. 

The outcasts recite cool dialogue. Flashy editing techniques are employed. Heavy metal music is played. There's references to other horror films. And, of course, they throw in buckets of gore while finding unusual weapons to use as instruments of death ....including dildos. 

All of this is an effort to pay tribute to the genre. To me, it's ripping off various things that have made other horror films successful, but they copy these elements without an understanding as to what made them successful to begin with.

When the characters say cool things, there's a chuckle or two, but no real person would say these things. In a way, we have the 1996 slasher classic Scream to blame for this with its use of referential dialogue. However, with Scream, the dialogue was used to make a point about the cliches associated with the slasher genre and the media's obsession with violence. The dialogue recited in Deathgasm is employed, because the writer wants to show us how clever they are. Doing this, makes the film come across as smart alecky and, as we all know, know one likes a smart aleck.  

Or, in other instances, there's countless scenes of gory violence, one on top of the other. After the main characters play a rock song, it turns everyone within ear range into crazed demons out to kill anyone left alive. That pretty much sums up the plot in a nutshell. Anyway, getting back on point, after this rock song is played, almost immediately, everyone is turned into a demon. There's no tension, no build-up, no genuine suspense. We're thrust into situations in which gallons of blood are seen coming from bodily orifices and characters are killing one another.

The film Dead Alive, aka Braindead (from Peter Jackson), had gory, over the top imagery. However, most of it was saved for one show stopping piece. When you keep seeing gore after gore after gore (as is the case with Deathgasm), it becomes rather numbing. It loses its power to affect you. Dead Alive saved most of its gore for the finale and, in the process, it allowed this scene to stand out and be a WOW moment not just for the film, but for the horror genre itself. 

In a way, the gore, the editing, the dialogue, all make for an eye catching experience. Some horror fans will no doubt be entertained by it. However, we've all seen these techniques used far more effectively in other films. Deathgasm employs them for the sake of vs being something that's in service of the story. There's no real point as to why they're being utilized. Even if there was no real point as to why they used the gore, the dialogue, the editing, etc., they've failed to bring anything new, original or creative to table and have simply recycled the spare parts of other films. [Not Rated] 86 minutes.

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