One by One Movie Review
Written by Daniel Benson
Released by Fabrik Drei
Written and directed by Martin Oroszi and Marco R. Strobel
49 minutes, Not rated
Katrin Kanzler as Asia
Sebastian J. Laubert as Boris
Marco R. Strobel as Cesar
Steffen Schwabe as Dillon
A group of Reservoir Dogs style gangsters pull off a casino robbery. Back at their warehouse base, they await the arrival of The Big Boss to share out the spoils. Tensions are frayed, and pill-popping Asia (Katrin Kanzler) isn’t helping much as her chemical reliance is making her increasingly paranoid and twitchy. During an argument with Dillon, the drugs get the better of her judgement and she shoots him in the stomach. Naturally, the rest of the gang aren’t too pleased about this and, within minutes, Asia’s on the losing end of a bullet in the brain.
Deciding to hide the body, the rest of the gang drag her down to the cellar to their ‘victim store’, where bodies are concealed in barrels of toxic waste (Sound familiar?).
Before you can say “245 Trioxin”, the warehouse is overrun with zombies and the remaining gang members have a fight for survival on their hands.
I often wonder, when watching foreign language movies, if my lack of fluency in whatever foreign tongue is enough to hide shortcomings in the performances. In some cases, I don’t doubt that it’s true, but the cast of One By One couldn’t hide the fact they’re awful if they performed the entire story in sign-language. Everything, from the wooden dialogue to the clumsy looking physicality of the actors, smacks of a cast who have very little, if any, acting experience. Even Cesar, the supposed “swordmaster”, yields his blade with the same finesse as that guy from the Star Wars Kid videos that went round the internet a couple of years ago. Give him his dues, Star Wars Kid would probably kick Cesar’s ass on a good day.
So that’s the bad, but is there any good? Well, yes. Once you get past the poor acting, and the rather dull introduction to the movie. Once you forgive the shameless rip-offs of … sorry… homages-to Reservoir Dogs and Return of the Living Dead, it picks up pace and turns into a pretty decent gangsters-versus-zombies action piece.
Every last scrap of effort has gone into the action sequences, which stand up very well against movies of similarly low budget. There’s even a smattering of CGI to help with some of the special effects. CGI? In a low budget movie? Surely that must suck!? It certainly doesn’t. And while it doesn’t perform as well as Hollywood CGI, it doesn’t detract from the movie at all.
At 49 minutes the film is, unfortunately, stuck somewhere between short story and feature length movie. This is a shame, because there’s a lot of love and effort gone into the making. It would be an ideal pick-up for a drunken festival crowd who want a gory, zombie-based no-brainer to sink their teeth into. I’d like to see more from the Fabrik Drei team, something with more of a budget and more original material in the story.
Video, Audio and Special Features:
Not rated, as this was a DVD screener only.
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