Sweatshop DVD Review
Directed by Stacy Davidson
Written by Stacy Davidson and Ted Geoghegan
2009, Region 1 (NTSC), 90 Minutes, Not Rated
DVD Released on September 13th, 2011
Ashley Kay as Charlie
Peyton Wetzel as Scottyboy
Brent Himes as Wade
Melanie Donihoo as Jade
Naika Malveaux as Enyx
Julin as Miko
Krystal Freeman as Lolli
Jeremy Sumrall as The Beast
Sometimes you just want to smash something. I think that's why 99% of Heavy Metal music is in existence. The same can be said for mindless slasher movies. Sweatshop falls into that category. A group of annoying goth kids decide to throw a rave in an abandoned factory. Unfortunately for them, the place is inhabited by a handful of demonic women and a giant with a huge hammer who just want to kill everything. That's really the entire movie. When the goths aren't being horrifically murdered, they're dancing for an uncomfortably long time or dealing with pathetic relationship drama. I was actually routing for "The Beast" to take all these people out.
I had high hopes for Sweatshop because it has a killer opening scene. A woman wakes up nude in the factory with several torn-up plastic sheets hanging around her. She stumbles to her feet and bumps into this massive guy with a hammer that's really an anvil on a stick. The scene looks great and sets a perfect tone for the film that is quickly dismissed for your stereotypical torture porn movie. I wasn't looking for any deep meanings as to why this masked man was killing people or even who his harem of bloody-mouthed women were, but I was expecting a little bit more in the story department.
Despite my problems with the story, the death shots are incredibly well done. I don't know what the budget of the film was, but it's clear they invested a nice chunk of change on the makeup effects. The gore is over-the-top and looks great. Each murder is done in a unique way although they get increasingly violent and disgusting. One of the later deaths features a guy getting his testicles cut off and then forced to wear one as a ball gag. That just seems a bit excessive.
The acting is alright, but could certainly have been better. Most of the characters seem to have no idea why they're there or what they're supposed to be doing. It's almost like they know their main purpose is to kill time until it's their turn to be horrifically murdered. It's also clear that the filmmakers wanted to increase the runtime a bit as there are several scenes where the characters are just dancing to generic techno music with no dialogue.
Sweatshop is another in a long line of torture porn movies that have come in the wake of Saw. It's light on story but heavy on the gore. If you hate goth kids and want to see them literally torn apart, then this is right up your alley.
Video and Audio:
The film itself looks pretty good for a low budget flick. The video quality is on par with most major releases. The audio is only a 2.0 track but that's fine as most of the music gets very old after awhile. Keeping it in the two speaker set up is fine for this.
There's a "motion comic" that's a prequel to the movie. There's not much motion, though. The comic stands still and the camera pans from panel to panel so you can read it. The characters don't move, nor is any dialogue spoken. All of this is set to more of the generic rave music. Also included is an art gallery and a photo gallery. Both are presented as a timed slideshow with yet more music. To round everything out is a commentary with the filmmakers.