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Wednesday, 21 October 2009

Live Feed (2006)

While the cover may make it look something like a cross between Hostel and 8mm, Live Feed is a rather different animal, but not all that different. This fun little horror film had a woefully low budget, but a lot has been done with the money that was available, and the tension is palpable in several scenes towards the end. This low budget romp will please fans of the above mentioned films along with stuff like the first couple of SAW films, My Little Eye and similar titles. The set-up of the film is hackneyed and a little silly, but once the chaos gets going, there are some thrills and (blood) spills to be had.

The film follows a bunch of young friends (each one pretty much fitting one horror film stereotype or another) on holiday, who fall foul of a gang and wind up taking refuge in, of all places, a seedy adult cinema/hotel/brothel. There, they discover all manner of nastiness going on, and without giving too much away, they're soon fighting for their lives as the gang, along with various psychopaths including a giant man in a rubber apron, start picking them off in horrific ways, and serving, erm, 'parts' of them up to their boss as freshly cooked delicacies.

The premise is mental, as is much of the film. The cinematography is great for an independent low budget film, giving it a great visual aspect for the most part. The use of CCTV footage and a film-within-a-film idea help it look interesting, too. There are scenes in which the budget, the shooting schedule and the limited resources are evident, but the gore is top notch and the violent scenes look great. Even the edit is of a pretty good standard. There's blood, guts, OTT violence, naked flesh, insane characters and stir-fried cocks. What more could you want in a horror film?

Maybe a decent script, for starters. Where the film lets the viewer down is the dialogue. To be frank, it is terrible to the point of giving me an aching neck from all the cringing. Couple this with a motley cast of 'people who can act' and 'people who wandered in off the street' and it makes for uneven viewing. The cast varies from terrible to pretty good. Taayla Markell is the star of the bunch as Emily, and unlike the usual standard of talent in this kind of flick, she has some actual presence.

It may not be high art by any stretch of the imagination, but it ticks all the boxes for gore lovers and fans of the current batch of popular fright flicks. As a whole, the film does play like a lesser cousin of recent films like The Hills Have Eyes remakes, Hostel, Wrong Turn, Wolf Creek and similar titles, but it has enough entertainment value for you and some friends to have a fun evening in with pizza and beer. That's probably why I enjoyed this cheap-ass lump of gore and sleaze, actually...

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