The Daily Grindhouse: The New York Ripper (dir. by Lucio Fulci)

I’ve decided to share my love of grindhouse films by posting periodical daily grindhouse choices. To inaugurate this new feature I’ve chosen a favorite early 80’s grindhouse flick straight from the mind of the maestro himself, Lucio Fulci.

The New York Ripper is one of Fulci’s contribution to the Italian cinema genre of gialli films. Giallo (gialli – plural) films have a colorful, no pun intended, history in Italian filmmaking and it’s Golden Age last from the 70’s all through the mid-80’s when the public’s appetite for them started to wane. This  Lucio Fulci entry into the giallo genre was not his first but it was one of his most infamous one’s for the fact that many people thought it’s depiction of women and their deaths on-screen was labeled as extremely misogynistic and cruel. The New York Ripper wasn’t even one of the better films in Fulci body of work, but the label of misogynism and having been banned from many countries or being shown only as a X-rated feature film brought it attention and made it a staple in the so-called “grindhouse” cinemas that were prevalent in the 70’s and 80’s.

The film liberally lifts its ideas from the famous “Jack the Ripper” true-crime investigation and transplants it, where else, but New York City. The killings were brutal to the point that I understood the outrage many had over them. What made this film a favorite of mine is not the controversy revolving over calls of misogynism or the near-pornographic scenes of violence, but the killer himself. As you shall see in the attached trailer for the film the duck voice and quacking you will hear is not a joke added into the trailer but part of the film’s titular character’s personality.

Yes, ladies and gents…Donald Duck is the New York Ripper!

Hottie of the Day: Ikeda Natsuki

The newest hottie of the day is the one and only Ms. Ikeda Natsuki.

Ms. Ikeda was born in Kanagawa of the Chiba Prefecture east of Tokyo. She is an up and coming gravure idol at the age of 21. While her popularity is still not on the same level as the those of the so-called super-gravure‘s like Ai Hoshino, Anri Sugihara and Takizawa Nonami is it getting there. Natsuki’s early career has been well-known for several popular modeling calendar and album photoshoots. One of her albums, Queen of the Soul, has been quite popular inside Japan and has gotten her noticed by Western gravure fans as well. Ms. Ikeda also has several DVDs of her photoshoots with the first titled, Taiyo no Hitomi.

Still quite young, Ms. Ikeda enjoys her career as a gravure idol and plans to continue her said career for the forseeable future. When asked why she liked this particular career she replied that she enjoyed shooting photos of every aspect of her body. That it made her feel quite sexy. Thank God for that!

AMC’s The Walking Dead gets KNB EFX

It looks like Frank Darabont’s TV adaptation of Robert Kirkman’s award-winning comic book title, The Walking Dead, just got closer to it’s production start. Shock Till You Drop has confirmed with Greg Nicotero of KNB EFX will be part of the AMC horror tv series. Nicotero (w/ co-founder Howard Berger) and the KNB visual effects house has done many of the horror, sci-fi and action films of the past decade. They last worked with Frank Darabont in the 2007 film-adaptation of Stephen King’s novella, The Mist. They’ve also been the premiere visual effects house when it comes to bringing the classic Romero zombie look and gore on the big-screen. Romero’s last three zombie films having  been done by KNB.

This news makes me even more hyped to see how The Walking Dead translates onto the small-screen. With zombie films starting to reach a plateau when it comes to quality (Romero’s latest Survival of the Dead being mediocre at best) it will be interesting how a series centered around a zombie apocalypse and the travails of the survivors would be seen by the general audience. Having KNB EFX will at least appease the zombie fans who will flock to see this series. The question now is whether AMC will allow enough of the graphic violence from the comic book series to be shown. I’m guessing they will if their other critical-darling drama series Breaking Bad is a way to measure how far AMC will go.

Here are some of the films KNB EFX have worked on.

  • Kill Bill, Vol. 1-2
  • Land of the Dead
  • Hostel
  • Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe
  • Bubba Ho-Tep
  • Vanilla Sky
  • The Faculty
  • Sin City
  • The Cell
  • Men in Black
  • Ray
  • Casino
  • Pulp Fiction
  • Reservoir Dogs
  • Serenity
  • From Dusk til Dawn
  • Dances with Wolves

Source: Shock Till You Drop

Bloodshot Big-Screen Adaptation?

The gents at Latino Review have reported that Matthew Vaughn may have another superhero project in his future. This time it looks like Vaughn may bring to the big-screen a live-adaptation of Valiant Comics’ very own Bloodshot. This title was part of the Valiant Comics resurgence of the early 90’s during the Golden Age of Comic Book Speculation. Bloodshot was one of the more popular titles of that particular comic publishing line which also could be seen with its total sales number of 7 million. An unheard of number for a title not part of the Big Two (DC and Marvel).

Bloodshot the character was an assassin by the name of Angelo Mortalli who was killed then resurrected using advanced nanotechnology. It was these very nanites who brought him back to life who also imbue him with powers like enhanced reflexes and strengths, a healing factor, increased perception and cyberkinesis. During the process of Mortalli being revived with the nanites he loses his memory and the character now known as Bloodshot goes on a journey to find out who he was and how he got to where he is now.

To say that the comic book was violent would be an understatement. With Kick-Ass already being talked about as ultra-violent both in its print form and it’s upcoming film-adaptation it is only logical to conclude that Matthew Vaughn will keep the ultra-violence of the Bloodshot comics intact. If that is the case then I am definitely putting a watch on further developments on this potential project.

Source: Latino Review

Song of the Day: Can You Stand the Rain (by New Edition)

I had to go old-school RnB with my next pick for Song of the Day. Being a child of the 80’s I was a fan of New Edition, but it wasn’t until the start of the 90’s that I really got into them as I was in high school at that time. High school meant girls and girls meant dances, dates, slow dances and everything else in-between and afterwards.

It was hard not to go to high school dance and prom and not have New Edition ballads in the DJ list. While New Edition’s Can You Stand the Rain was released in 1989 it definitely got major airplay in 1990 and beyond. This was the first true ballad from the group with their new member Johnny Gill who had replaced Bobby Brown who had left the group to go solo. To say that I still love this song even 20 years after I first heard it would be an understatement. This is the jam for couple who have hit a rough patch but who endure to stay together.

Just listening and watching the music video sadly reminds me that RnB ballads are not the same now as they have been in the past. To say that they sure don’t make RnB music like this would be an understatement. Y’all youngings can have your Chris Brown, Ne-Yo and all the new RnB upstarts. I say they still can’t hold a candle to New Edition and this song definitely makes my point for me.

Can You Stand the Rain

On a perfect day I know that I can count on you. When that’s not possible, tell
me can you weather the storm?

Cause I need some body who will stand by me through the good times and bad
times she will always, always be right there.

Sunny days everybody loves them tell me baby can you stand the rain? Storms
will come, this we know for sure(this we know for sure). Can you stand the rain?

(yeah yeah) Love unconditional I’m not asking just of you. and girl to make it
last I’ll do whatever needs to be done.

But i need somebody who will stand by me, when it’s tough she won’t run she
will always, be right there for me.

Sunny days every body loves them, tell me baby can you stand the rain? Storms
will come (Ricky) I know I know all the days won’t be perfect (this we know for
sure) but tell me can you stand it, can you stand the rain?

Can you stand the rain (4x)

(Rick)No pressure, no pressure from me baby (this we know for sure) cause I want
you and I need you and I love you girl.

(Ralph) Will you be there for me?

(Mike) Come on baby lets go get wet.

Can you stand the rain (10x)

Can you stand the rain?
Will you be there girl?
Storms will come for sure.
Can you stand the rain?

Yeah it’s hard but I’ll know I’ll be right there baby yeah yeah yeah.

Hottie of the Day: Suelyn Medeiros

Straight from NYC and Rio de Janeiro comes our latest hottie of the day, the lovely Suelyn Medeiros.

Born in 1986 from Brazilian parents in the city of  New York, Suelyn Medeiros spent her youth growing up in the Big Apple and Rio de Janiero. A country known for some of the most beautiful women in the world, Ms. Medeiros wasn’t originally interested in modeling and was looking towards a career as a doctor. She was encouraged by her friends (plus many strangers) to try out modeling. They spoke about her natural and curvaceous beauty not to mention her exotic looks and spontaneous personality which makes her a natural model. While still set on pursuing her dream of becoming a doctor, Suelyn Medeiros nonetheless decided to use modeling to help realize that dream.

She accepted a friend’s offer and invitation to participate at a fashion show during Fashion Week in NYC on 2005. It didn’t take long before a modeling agency signed her up and her career as a model began to take of. What began as a way to help her pay for her studies to become a doctor soon turned into a successful modeling career. Ms. Medeiros has done photoshoots for swim wear and lingerie catalogs not to mention becoming a mainstay for many urban-style magazine covers and spreads. This in turn helped her move towards the nex phase of her modeling career as she’s entered the world of hip-hop as a music video model. She’s even appeared as herself in the teen comedy movie, Still a Teen Movie.

While her dreams of becoming a doctor has been put on hold, it is safe to say that her career in modeling should keep her busy for years to come.

Cronenberg and Mortensen line up for another Eastern Promises

2007’s Eastern Promises was a film well-received by both critics and the public alike. People loved it because it was David Cronenberg dipping his artistic toe into the pulp crime genre of mob films. Some loved it because it had Viggo Mortensen in what could be his best role to date. For some the film ended just when it really got interesting. The scene in the end with Mortensen’s Nikolai Luzhin sitting alone finally reaching his ultimate goal and an unanswered question of where his loyalties truly lie now.

It’s has now been reported by Deadline Hollywood that producer Paul Webster has lined up both David Cronenberg and Viggo Mortensen for a sequel with Mortensen reprising his Russian mobster Nikolai Luzhin. Plans to have the film to start filming later this winter using a screenplay by Steven Knight (also wrote the first film) may hinge on whether Cronenberg and Mortensen can finish their current project together. This current project, their third together as a creative team, is the Sigmund Freud film The Taking Cure.

No matter how this project develops in the coming months one of the questions fans of the first film will be asking is whether Vincent Cassel will return as well to reprise his role from the first film. Not to mention Naomi Watts and Armin Mueller-Stahl. There’s also the question of how Cronenberg will top the original film’s now famous Turkish Bath House fight scene that’s now considered one of the best, if not THE BEST, fight sequence ever put on film. Or will he even try.

In the end, this is just great news. From all the talk The Taking Cure looks to continue the success the Cronenberg-Mortensen duo have had and this sequel to Eastern Promises may just keep that success going.

Source: Deadline Hollywood

Review: Eastern Promises (dir. by David Cronenberg)

In 2005 Canadian filmmaker David Cronenberg brought to the silver screen a film that was both a taut, smart crime-thriller and also a well-done film treatise on the nature of violence and how it changes not just witness’ perception of an individual but about themselves as well. The film also introduced what might be the newest creative pairing that could be on par as other pairings like Scorsese-DeNiro and Burton-Depp. The pairing I speak of is that of Cronenberg and his growing repertoire with actor Viggo Mortensen. They scored a critical hit with A History of Violence and in 2007 they collaborate in another crime-drama that more than lives up to their initial collaboration. Eastern Promises is a taut and meticulous drama which brings new eyes and a different approach to the mob film genre made famous by Coppola and Scorsese.

The film begins innocently enough with a very pregnant teenage Russian girl named Tatiana entering a neighborhood store. While Cronenberg chose to open up A History of Violence nary any musical cues and backgrounds to create a sense of naturalism and plant a seed of unease in the audience of what’s to come, he does the opposite with Eastern Promises by allowing long-time collaborator Howard Shore to score this opening scene with a haunting violin solo. Even right from the start Cronenberg’s propensity to use a sudden image of violence to shock the audience works well to set the tone for the film. It is not the usual filmgoing experience to see a young girl, looking lost and afraid of her surroundings, suddenly and bloodily starts to give birth in the middle of a store. It is from the diary entries of this young girl where we get glimpses of the true meaning of the film’s title and sets up the clues and tidbits that Cronenberg gradually fills in as the film progresses and the main characters investigate the girl’s death and the full contents of her diary.

We’re quickly introduced to Anna Khitrova (played with touching compassion and a certain naivete by Naomi Watts), midwife at the London hospital where Tatiana dies from bloodloss due to childbirth. Having had experienced her own personal tragedy regarding a past pregnancy Anna takes it upon herself to find the next of kin or, at the very least, close friends who might know Tatiana and thus claim the child and care for her. It was finding Tatiana’s diary and the business card tucked within amongst the young girl’s meager possessions which gives Anna a starting point for her investigation and search. It is during this search into Tatiana’s life that Anna encounters Nikolai Luzhin (Viggo Mortensen at his most chameleonic), the personal driver of one Semyon (as played by Armin Mueller-Stahl). Semyon charms Anna with his old world grandfatherly persona yet both the audience and Anna feels something off, even sinister beneath the charm and twinkling eyes. Semyon is not just the owner of the Trans-Siberian, a Russian restaurant, but a boss in the vory v zakone also known as the Russian Mafia. It is through Nikolai that we see the underbelly of Tatiana’s life before her death.

It is during the second half of the film that the film takes a clear turn into Cronenberg territory. With all the players in play Eastern Promises starts to peel the layers on all the characters. Just like in A History of Violence every character in this unofficial follow-up to that film go on through the film living dual-lives. Even Anna’s seeming naivete, in regards to the danger she faces in Semyon and his unstable son Kirill, shows a modicum of world-weariness born out of personal tragedy and those she sees on a daily basis when working as a midwife in the hospital.

Cronenberg doesn’t just try to tell a crime drama about the mob and the subculture they live and die in but he adds his own personal stylistic and metaphorical touches on the mob film conventions. While in the past he has taken on the immutability of the body and the physical nature of man in his later years he has moved on to the amorphous nature of man’s very nature as both a civilized and reasoned animal to the primal being which lurks within each. Eastern Promises delves into this metaphysical topic by showing the natures of both Nikolai and Semyon. Both of whom, at first glance, inhabiting a particular stereotype but soon showing the opposite as the audience gets to know them. Even the twists in the story in the middle section and close to the end doesn’t seem like cheap plot tricks but a logical and almost mathematical conclusion to the very themes Cronenberg has been exploring right from the beginning.

The performances by the cast was top-notch from top to bottom. David Cronenberg’s always has had a reputation for being an actor’s director. His willingness to allow his actors to not just play the part but find ways to become their characters makes his films some of the more well-acted one’s of the last quarter-century. From Watts’ own touching performance as the moral center of the film in Anna to Cassel’s unstable and coward of a bully in Kirill the work put on by the actors adds a level of gravitas to a story that has it’s roots in pulp crime stories and not the high-brow tales prestige films like Eastern Promises has been compared to. But the two stand-out work comes from Viggo Mortensen as the enigmatic Nikolai and Armin Mueller-Stahl as Russian mob boss Semyon. Where Watt’s performance was subtle and Cassel’s literally scene-chewing both Mortensen and Mueller-Stahl bring forth nuanced performances full of life and complexities that makes both characters stand out above a cast already doing great work.

Mortensen’s work as Nikolai actually surpasses his previous Cronenberg-directed role in Tom Stalls of A History of Violence. Viggo has always been quite the Method actor and really loses himself in every role he takes on, but it took him being paired up with Cronenberg for critics and cineastes to finally realize how great an actor he really has become in the last decade. His Nikolai oozes a charisma from the moment he enters the film. He makes Nikolai not just a thug with a brain and a semblance of compassion beneath the rough surface. Mortensen literally becomes Nikolai right down to the very tattoos which tells his character’s criminal past in ink. One could not help but be mesmerized by Mortensen’s work in this film that it was easy to forget that he was playing a part and not actually living that life. To say that Mortensen may have found his creative soulmate in Cronenberg would be quite the understatement and with more projects in the future linking the two together it wouldn’t be a surprise if the two in conjuction finally get the critical awards that has eluded both.

While A History of Violence showed that Cronenberg could work beyond the genre and esoteric genres of his part works, it is with Eastern Promises that we see him move towards a more mainstream type of work. Yet despite a work more accessible than before he still was able to add his own style of storytelling and explore themes usually not seen in crime dramas and mob films. It is this ability to marry the violent pulp with the intellectual high-brow which makes Eastern Promises a delight for both the general filmgoer and the arthouse cineaste. Time will only tell if the successful streak by the duo of Cronenberg-Mortensen continues as the two continue to work together in the years to come.

Song of the Day: Harvest of Sorrow (by Blind Guardian)

Who would’ve thought that a German power metal band will end up penning and composing one of the best ballad’s dedicated to a story from J.R.R. Tolkien’s classic novel, Silmarillion. Power metal bands has always been quite adept at using fantasy-related subject matter as inspiration for songs and entire albums. The band Blind Guardian have pretty much made a career out of using J.R.R. Tolkien’s stories and tales as inspiration. They’ve even dedicated an entire full-length album to Middle-Earth: Nightfall in Middle-Earth.

One of the bonus tracks from Nightfall on Middle-Earth is our “Song of the Day.” It is a song based on Tolkien’s tragic tale of  Túrin Turambar as he mourns the loss of his sister Nienor. One would expect Harvest of Sorrow to be full of metal riffs and overdubbed vocals common in metal power ballads, but this is not the case in this Blind Guardian ballad. The band has instead gone renaissance folk-rock in their composition. I will say that their stylistic choice fits the song well. The song has been so popular that there are nine versions of the song. There are the seven recording variants in addition to two live versions. There are two English versions, two versions in Spanish, one in French and another in Italian with another a mix of all versions minus the English acoustic.

So, those who think that metal is all about sturm und drang with screaming and guttural noises will be in for a surprise to know that they can also be quite subtle in the music they make. Harvest of Sorrow is a fine example and quite easy to sing-along to. Just pull up a chair at the table, grab a stein of ale or a horn full of mead and sing-along using the lyrics provided.

Harvest of sorrow

She is gone leaves are falling down
The tear maiden will not return
The seal of oblivion is broken
And a pure love’s been turned into sin

At the dawn of our living time
Hope may cover all cries
Truth lurks hidden in the shadows
Dreams might be filled with lies
Soon there will be night
Pain remains inside

Suddenly (oh) it seemed so clear
All the blindness was taken away
She closed her eyes and she called out my name
She was never ever never ever seen again

Harvest of sorrow, your seed is grown
In a frozen world full of cries
When the ray of light shrinks
Shall cold winter nights begin

She is gone and I fall from grace
No healing charm covers my wounds
Fooled’s the dawn and so I am
Fooled by life and a bitter doom
To bring you the end of the day

At the dawn of our living time
Hope it soon will pass by
Facing a darkness
I stand (alone)

Harvest of sorrow, your seed is grown
In a frozen world full of cries
When the ray of light shrinks
Shall cold winter nights begin

Review: Repo Men (dir. by Miguel Sapochnik)

In the beginning of 2010 a scifi-horror film arrived in the theaters to much internet hype. This film showed a future world where a massive societal change and the resulting health crisis following it was described in detail. It was a film which cleverly built a world so different from out very own yet still very similar in its foundation. This film was Daybreakers and for all the wonderful world-building it did to establish a foundation for the story being told the film couldn’t find it’s way to having the film’s plot match what the filmmakers’ established in the beginning. I say this because it is now late March 2010 and another film has done another wonderful job of establishing a future world so very different and yet so very similar in many ways. Where the Spierig Brothers failed in more ways than one to have the rest of Daybreakers live up to the world established in the beginning and a premise that was quite new, Miguel Sapochnik did a much better job — albeit still flawed — in allowing the plot for Repo Men live up to the world established in the opening minutes of the film.

In the near future of Repo Men medical science and technology has advance far enough that most organs and parts of the human body can be artificially replaced when they failed. While this detail of the film sounds like the makings of a future utopia it’s actually much closer to our own reality in that these organs, despite being mass-produced, are still only affordable to the rich. Artificial organs (artiforgs in this film’s vocabulary) sold to the rich like luxury items. Those not-so-rich, but desperate to try and find a way to change a fatal health situation, also offered these artiforgs on a monthly payment plan suitable to their current expense situation. It’s mostly these payment plan artiforg owners who experience the skill sets of the so-called “repo men.” These are individuals employed by the artiforg company called The Union who sell the products. When someone misses too many payments on their artiforgs and goes delinquent on their payment plan then the repo men will be knocking on their door to take back the synthetic organ. It’s similar to banks repossessing cars and homes when payments are not made.

The film’s told in the point of view of one of these repo men. Jude Law’s character Remy is one of The Union’s top repo men who we see enjoys his work despite the ultimate consequence of what he does to the people whose artiforgs he takes back. His partner is Jake (played with childish glee by Forest Whitaker). The two have been friends since grade school and both share a similar sense of sociopathy when it comes to violence. To say that they’re like brothers minus the shared genetics won’t be too far off. The first third of Repo Men shows the audience these two organ repossessors in their element as they hunt down those delinquent in their plan and those who have turned to the black market for their artiforgs. The film’s touches upon the current public hysteria of the two sides in the health care debate. While the film touches upon this current debate it does so without being too broad or preachy. It’s done subtly and without having it distract the audience from the film’s story.

The film does sing and move at an entertaining pace during the first third, but inevitably it does reach a point where the conflict of the story shows itself to add a dramatic ingredient to the film. It’s during what was to be Remy’s final repo mission before he heads over to a less paying, but safer job as sales in The Union that he goes from the repossesser to potential possessee. The switch in roles soon has Remy unable to do what he’s been so good at as cutting into someone delinquent on their artiforg when he himself now has one keeping him alive. It’s a common storytelling telling idea of the insider getting a taste of their own medicine and seeing how the other side lives. Avatar used it late last year and Daybreakers did it clumsily earlier this year.

This second third of the film has some character development flaws which could be attributed to some of the script’s weakness. While Remy’s sudden inability to do his job as a repo man after his own artiforg surgery makes sense the one-note characterization of his wife (played by the Black Book‘s Carice von Houten) who leaves him during this crisis of faith adds an unnecessary factor to his problems. In actuality the roles of the wife and Remy’s son could’ve easily been left off the film and just had the story be about Remy and his long-time friend and fellow repo man Jake. This would’ve been enough conflict and drama to power the rest of the film. This is where less would’ve definitely more and keep the story lean, mean and definitely more efficient. But even with this misstep in the film’s script it doesn’t sink the film. This could be attributed to some strong performances from Jude Law who manages to credibly transition from what amounts to be a paid serial killer to one having his eyes opened to the devastation he has wrought on individuals and families. Even the scene-chewing done by Whitaker as Jake doesn’t diminish Law’s performance and instead just shows that despite some of the horrible things Remy’s done he’s actually the sanest person in the film w/ everyone else close around him playing certain caricatures whose roles are to push him one way or another to picking a side on the issue of artiforgs and their repo issues.

It is in the beginning of the third act which may make or break the film for those who have stayed with it through the first acts. A particular even happens which transitions act to three which ramps up the action to it’s bloodiest and, at times, quite Cronenbergian level. It is this third act which pays homage to several great action-thrillers of the past decade. One scene in particular tries to emulate the classic hallway fight scene from Oldboy. This time around more weapons are used from knives, guns and all the way to a medical hacksaw. This scene leads up to another which pays homage to another Jude Law film of the past with a Cronenberg pedigree. While bloodier than similar scenes in eXistenZ there’s no denying that Sapochnik sure loves his Cronenberg. The climactic finish to the film before a sort of epilogue of a twist just builds and builds throughout the third act. For some the epilogue’s reveal may and will ruin the rest of the film as it seems like a cop-out of a plot twist, but I thought it was actually well done and gives a new meaning to the conventional Hollywood happy ending to an action-thriller.

As a first-time feature-film director Miguel Sapochnik has a deft and keen eye for visuals. The artistic design of the near-future world of Repo Men shows influences from the consumeristic dystopian future of Blade Runner up to the grounded in futurist science of Spielberg’s Minority Report. He’s quite adept at blocking and handling the many action setpieces which helped keep the film from being bogged down by flaws in the script and some uninspired characters. Sapochnik does need to get a better feel for how his cast interacts with each other. As stated earlier with the exception of Law’s Remy character and Liev Schrieber’s delicious turn as a gleefully amoral example of corporate evil at its best, the rest of the cast seem uninspired from von Houten’s role as Remy’s wife right up to Alice Braga’s performance as Beth, the artiforg addicted singer Remy hooks up with halfway through the film.

Repo Men could’ve easily gone highbrow in addition to keeping to it’s genre trappings the way the Spierig Brothers tried to do with Daybreakers. Fortunately, Sapochnik w/ writers Eric Garcia and Garrett Lerner kept things focused on Remy’s journey from hunter to prey to “savior” without trying to overly explain his motivations. While they weren’t subtle in all things they tried to tell with the story they gamely tried to stick to the rule of showing and not telling everything. For his directing debut Sapochnik does a good job despite he flaws and shows promise.

In the end, Repo Men is a very good scifi action-thriller which delivers on its title. Despite missteps in the writing and some uninspired characters the film still turned out to be quite entertaining. It was a fast-paced film with several bloody, gore-filled action setpieces timed to pick up the film when dialogue and exposition starts to drag it down. Miguel Sapochnik’s debut feature-film could easily have turned off the rails and went in so many different directions but he kept things on the straight and narrow. While for some the ending will infuriate and negate what fun they were having through most of the film it also would be seen by others as an inspired take on the Hollywood happy ending. Repo Men won’t be mistaken as the next Brazil and Sapochnik won’t be mistaken as the next Cronenberg or Park Chan-wook, but both filmmaker and film is better than it should be and wholly entertaining from start to finish.