A group of medical students, in varying stages of drug addiction, start rapidly falling apart when one of their number is found brutally raped and murdered by a serial killer thought to be long dead. Or do they?
I was tempted to leave the review at that, but we don’t get the big bucks (current ISCFC wages: £0) for writing two sentences. This film is billed as a throwback to the days of grindhouse, where blood was chucked about liberally, political correctness was an unknown concept and blah blah blah violence and sex. Thanks to Quentin Tarantino, this lineage of cinematic rubbish (seriously, try and watch some “real” grindhouse films and see how long you last before your brain just gives up) is now influencing a new generation of filmmakers, including the makers of this.
The one thing this film absolutely nails is the tedium of drug talk. Now, my friend (definitely not me) told me many stories of getting stoned as a University student, and the endless boring conversations that would break out in the room. People congregated because they liked drugs, not because they liked each other, and there was always that passive-aggressive asshole who everyone wanted to beat the crap out of. “Someone’s Knocking…” ramps it up a bit, but otherwise it’s distressingly well-observed and made me, er, my friend, flash back to those bad old days.
The students are experimenting with a drug called Taldon, and for reasons unknown this causes a long-dead psychopathic rapist-murdering married couple to come back to life and start killing people again. Or does it? There are arrests, strangeness and a pivotal moment where the cast decide to visit the disused records wing of an old psychiatric hospital to find the information about the killer and what they can do to stop him.
I’m still not quite sure what to make of this film. As with all films featuring mental breakdown and heavy drug use, you can be fairly sure there’s going to be a “whoops it was a dream” fakeout at some point; and the slightly unreal nature of even the most tedious of scenes leaves you with a sense of never being able to get a handle on things. The sound is absolutely magnificent and whoever did all that should be working on much bigger films immediately – auditory hallucinations abound, and it’s the most effective part of the characters descent into their own hells.
But as far as the film itself goes, I don’t think I can recommend it. It’s like a teenager trying to do handbrake turns during his first driving lesson, and although you can get a sense of what the filmmakers are trying to do, they’ve a love of gore over plot combined with a really trite ending to cope with. But I think they could really do something good. Director Chad Ferrin is used to working at the no-budget end of things, but give him a better script and a few $$$ and I think he could become a director worth watching.