Plot: A hitman decides to bail on his mission and escape the hotel.
Cast/Production: Giulio De Santi was the writer/producer/director/vis fx supervisor. When one person has that many roles, it’s always disconcerting! Michael Howe as Jorge Misandria (the voice of the employer) and Frank Zimosa (Rayner Bourton) as the hitman, whose viewpoint we watch the film.
Thoughts on the film:
• The main selling point is that it’s shot entirely in first person. This is what sold me on watching the film. (I enjoyed the first person scene in DOOM)
• The majority of the film is spent in a cheap hotel and running around different poorly-lit, cheaply-furnished rooms. It must’ve been extremely cost efficient.
• The antagonist Jorge, your (former) employer accompanies you throughout the film, via a voice over. It’s explained via high-tech glasses, a radio or speaker, whatever’s convenient.
• The voice acting is poor. It’s painfully obvious that both the hitman and Jorge recorded their lines some other time. They lack the sense of urgency. In particular Frank the hitman’s acting is desperate.
• The writing is poor. The mysterious employer and hitman speak about being professional, but the dialogue is the opposite. Basic plot points, like what kind of hitman bails after successfully completing his murders? He’s literally got a few minutes’ work left and he can go home. (I blame Jorge for hiring such a shit hitman.) Jorge knows exactly where Frank is. Why does he never alert his men to his whereabouts?
• First person fight scenes feel quite weird and slowly choreographed (lead pipes, strike down three times) and the edits are hidden well in constant visual glitches/zooms.
• Gore is plentiful and over the top but hilariously cheap. This becomes extremely tiresome halfway through, and it’s just a cavalcade of how can we kill someone in a slightly different gory way next. It completely loses it’s impact doing it so many times. There’s a scene where Frank sterilises his hand wound, come off a bit comical with really fake rubber hand and the protagonists attempts at wailing.
• Many, many long scenes staring at a blinking monitor (not unlike Talkie Toaster) with Jorge shoveling exposition down your throat, while some knob makes scary symbols on the wall. It’s awful. Blah blah cult, blah blah pain monster.
• I was annoyed that whenever Frank turns around or closes a door, people stop trying to get him. At least an hour in one of then says “we need him alive”.
Is there anything good about the film? Yes, there’s some videogame tropes thrown in, which are amusing:
• VO: “You’ve just found a secret area”
• More notable enemies (eg guy with a chainsaw) do their taunt and ready themselves before a fight! (meanwhile, Frank stands there patiently)
• He literally acquires (a hand-drawn) map from a dead body.
• There’s hilarious “item get” music that starts he gets a bomb. Check inventory, two left!
• I really like the idea of making a first person film and fight scenes but this is low rent in every sense of the word. So cheap I feel bad for insulting it as it was obviously slapdashed on a tight budget.
A taste of the lines you can expect:
“Uhh… Sorry for asking”
“What weird things could a software engineer see? A weird cable?” – “Yeah. Heh heh heh.”
“Hey! I’m talking to you! Watch me!”
“When I find you I’ll kick you ten times over, fucker”
VO guy chimes in with exposition. “This hotel is a cover you see, for what is really going on”
Overall: Fuck man. This is what you get with low-rent actors and writing make a budget gore film overloaded with coma-inducing cult/demon exposition. It was horrendous. Awful. A struggle to finish. Avoid like the plague.
5 Highly recommend
4 Recommend watching
3 Enjoyable but wouldn’t recommend
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