Unrated: The Movie

Dir: Timo Rose, Andreas Schnaas
Star: Eleanor James, Eileen Daly, Timo Rose, Magdalèna Kalley

How do you provide analysis of a low-budget splatter film which is as much a parody of low-budget splatter films as one itself? Any criticism that this is poorly-made, borderline incoherent and apparently filmed without an actual script - and it's certainly guilty as charged, on all three counts - is easily countered with, "Yes, that's the point..." A Z-grade director (Rose) takes his four ladies out to a remote cabin, only for things to start falling apart quickly, once the actresses realize the appalling conditions. One (Daly) is a coke-snorting has-been, another bails almost immediately (though suddenly turns up again later on, with no apparent explanation) and the only character that appears to have her head fully screwed on is Samantha (James), an up and coming scream queen. However, even she has no idea what she's in store for, once the director finds an old book, and decides to incorporate it into the movie as a prop. Any genre fan will know that's never a good idea, and lo, a gateway to hell opens, through which come a variety of nasty monsters that Samantha must chop, dice, shoot, stab, dismember and blow up.

Who said Germans have no sense of humour? Probably someone who watched this film. Because there's hardly a genuine laugh to be had: instead, you get "zany" sound effect more befitting a Warner Bros. cartoon, or the film-within-a-film director masturbating while gazing at a picture of the real film's co-director, Schnaas. Add a painfully over-extended cameo by German porn starlet Vivian Schmitt, plus dialogue that seems made up on the spot, with no second takes permitted, and there is so much here that is just painful to watch. And yet... Daly kicks enormous ass, chewing scenery to great effect and having far more fun with a self-parodying role than you'd expect, and James is not unsympathetic. Once the portal finally gets opened, the gore starts to fly, and the film doesn't disappoint on that level, Samantha ending up blood-drenches, and fighting the demons, clad only in a thong. However, the most disappointing thing is how little Schnaas has apparently evolved in 20 years: if you compare this to, say, how Alex Chandon has progressed, it's clear that this is no different from Schnaas's earlier work like Violent Shit.

[November 2012]

Unwatchable: the movie?
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