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</script></div>{/googleAds}What do you get when you cross Saw with a caper film and sprinkle with a British sketch show? A "2007 New York City Horror Film Festival Best Feature Award" apparently.

With so many horror films starting to look like an assembly line mishmash of piss-poor knock offs, 'homages,' and watered down shadows of those that came before them, it's a rare moment when one from the genre surprises. Botched is definitely a surprising film, but this reviewer isn't sure it's one that'll endear itself to many.

Debut director Kit Ryan's odd film tells the story of a high-end thief (Stephen Dorff, who also picked up an award for best actor) that, after a botched diamond heist, is sent to retrieve a rare crucifix from a Russian building to repay a debt on his family. Lumbered with two buffoons for accomplices, the robbery again goes awry, and the undesirable trio find themselves taking hostages and trapped on a floor that is anything but normal...

As pitched without giving anything away this film sounds like your run-of-the-mill caper storyline, but it is anything but. The story leaves reality behind very quickly once the boys are trapped within the building. What unfolds is an over the top romp that throws everything from blood and guts to characters so out there a stoned Martian would seem more normal. But by far the most surprising element is Stephen Dorff's character, who ,despite the anarchy and costumed morons that fluff about him like a bad cartoon, plays everything completely straight, like he's in the Italian Job or something.

The actual structure of the film is solid, but the sudden shifts in tone, while definitively standing the picture out as unique, are not as easy to stomach. I suspect some will appreciate the irreverence and wacky humor that enters the story with the subtlety of a donkey show at a presidential dinner, but for the majority it all becomes a bit too much.

The writing is deliberately inconsistent to deliver this carnage-filled and tonal shift the makers so guardedly prize. Taken in their separate portions, it's not bad at all. Combined it feels like a marriage made in Hell.

The performances from the cast lend themselves to the sketch comedy arena, with the exception of the previously mentioned Dorff, and reek of trying too hard for a laugh in some instances.

For the gore hounds this film delivers and then some with so much carnage and blood it looks like Leatherface and the Texas Chainsaw Massacre family moved into a high-rise.

The cinematography is rich and varied, with many different palettes challenging the camera throughout the course of the film.

This film is one of extremes, both in content and in the response it's going to entice. What can be said from someone who didn't quite gel with its recipe is that it is a film confident in its own intentions, whether accepted or not, and is adeptly crafted throughout. A well-made horror/farce, but not one that floated this reviewer's boat.


DVD

DVD Details:


Screen Formats: 1.78:1

Subtitles: English, French, Spanish

Language and Sound: English: English: Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo

Other Features: Color; interactive menus; scene access..

* Previews

Number of Discs: 1 with Keepcase Packaging

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