Friday, 12 May 2017

Film Review: CHICAGO ROT (2015)


CHICAGO ROT *** U.S.A. 2015 Dir: Dorian Weinzimmer 100 mins

On his release from years spent in jail, Les (Brant McCrea) or The Ghoul, as he is known, is a vigilante killer jailed for murdering a screwy cop. As he walks free he is accosted by some gang members and thrown into a van. The gang is led by Elion (Jonez Jones) who appears to be the Devil incarnate, he not only killed The Ghouls mother but also took his soul at the same time.
Now, not only is Elion trying to finish off The Ghoul for good, hence the abduction outside the jail, but The Ghoul is also after revenge against him for the loss of his mother and is trying his best to get to him by killing as many of his men as he can. Without his soul The Ghoul’s killing sprees often involve him being mortally wounded by which he seems to be able to heal himself, to an extent, by taking bits of his victims skin and stitching them onto himself like some kind of self made Frankenstein’s monster. Not only does he have all that to contend with but he is also being pursued by the partner of the cop he killed.
This starts off like a gritty vendetta movie with oodles of gore and violence which is quite graphic and inventive, at one point a dildo is used as an aide to disembowel a gang member known as Lou the Jew. At a few points along the way it veers off down a more fantasy inspired Sci Fi route and The Ghoul is transported off  (or maybe it’s flashbacks, I’m not sure things get a bit confused) to other worlds to battle wondrous monsters of nightmares and such like. The practical effects used for the gore and violence are really quite good, as are the monsters and berserkers, but they are all based on familiars we have seen before. The acting is again pretty good with great performances from Brant McCrea, Shira Barber as Alex and Jeremy Vranich as Charles. The soundtrack is fine but often quite relentless which I found a tad distracting, mainly the live music parts, but boasts great title and end tracks. The main down side to it being the way it switches between the Horror side and the Sci Fi for me just didn’t seem to sit right. I also found the effects for the more fantasy side of things e.g.: the weird glowy light stuff , more low budget and amateur then the better practical effects used earlier on. I think it needed trimming down in places which would have helped things seem less confused and cut the running time down. It starts off great but when it got to the last half an hour my enthusiasm for it was beginning to dwindle.

Review by Sarah Budd





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