The Violent Kind DVD Review
Directed by Mitchel Atieri and Phil Flores
Written by Mitchel Atieri, Phil Flores and Adam Weis
2010, Region 2 (PAL), 90 minutes, Rated 18 (UK)
DVD released on 25th July 2011
Cory Knauf as Cody
Taylor Cole as Shade
Bret Roberts as Q
Christina McDowell as Megan
Tiffany Shepis as Michelle
Nick Tagas as Elroy
Joe Egender as Vernon
Joseph McKelheer as Jazz
Samuel Child as Murderball
Mackenzie Firgens as Trixie
Ilea Matthews as Pussywagon
The Butcher Boys' latest film The Violent Kind has one mission. And that mission is to confuse its viewers. That or just plain piss them off. Either/or really.
When it comes to what this film is about, it’s pretty much a bizarre series of events that don’t really have much rhyme or reason to them. It’s like three films in one, which in one sense, at least, is quite the bargain. Essentially, a hard as nuts motorcycle gang (very reminiscent of Sons of Anarchy or Hell's Angels) rules the local town through fear and violence. They are close knit and take pride in their heritage and commitment to each other. One night they hold a birthday party for one of the group’s elders, and needless to say it’s pretty wild. However, once the party is over, we’re left with just a few members of the gang and things get wilder and weirder. Ex-girlfriend of Cody (Cory Knauf), Michelle, returns to the party bloody and not in her right mind. In fact, she has been possessed and attacks everyone in sight. While this is going on, guests of the party have started disappearing and there is a presence getting closer to the house. When the party is crashed by a group of ‘50s Rockabilly dudes looking for a girl who is possessed with the key to the end of the world, things get messy. Well... messier.
So yeah, it’s a pretty radical storyline. There are elements of all sorts of genres in here; paranormal, slasher, torure etc. The problem is there's no coherent plot, and there are far too many sub-plots that are hinted at but never resolved. It’s well shot, it looks authentic and the acting is really good, but once you get past that, there’s not much else keeping it together. We know small bits of information about the characters, but are never told any reasoning behind it. We know that the group from the ‘50s are missing people, we know that they made a deal with someone to use as a host for their leader, but we are never told why or how they got there.
The scenes with Michelle possessed on the bed were the greatest things about this film. It was a fantastic performance; she had a crazed look in her eyes and a manic laugh that reminded me of Nancy in The Craft and the gore was on form for this portion of the film. Michelle is covered from head to toe in blood and the people who have come in to contact with her come away with gaping wounds, very gross but believable. You’re not going to get away with making a film that deals with possession and not get comparisons to the classic The Exorcist and the Butcher Boys' take on it has less green bile and more blood. The whole film is just dripping with blood. I found closer similarities to last years The Last Exorcism; in one scene Michelle is on the ceiling, primed in the corner ready to jump out down onto the gang of friends. This position was used heavily in the poster campaign for The Last Exorcism and is too similar to go unnoticed.
The rockabilly gang that wants Michelle are dapper and suave, yet vicious and unpredictable. It’s an interesting twist because, up until now, the bikers have been the hell raisers you wouldn’t want to mess with and now, they are the ones in terror. This brought in a whole new dynamic to it and I especially enjoyed leader Vernon’s (Joe Egender) character, very unhinged. If you thought you knew where the film was headed before they came on screen, you sure as hell can’t once they pop up. Problem is you most likely still won’t once it’s finished.
The Violent Kind has done well to have such a polished and professional look to it, but it is all style and no substance. There’s no getting away from the huge holes the plot brings, it’s so insane it is still hard for me to get my head around it. In one way that’s good because I was never fully anticipating anything... all bets are off. But really, how much can you take from a film that offers no discernable plot and gives little effort to try and explain it? If you like the Butcher Boys it is definitely worth your time, otherwise prepare yourself for a confused outlook on it afterwards. I’m still, very conflicted.
Video and Audio:
The video is shown in 1.77:1 aspect ratio and is very clear as is the audio, which is handy as one think I really enjoyed was the awesome soundtrack accompanying the film.
It’s a pretty sad state of affairs in the DVD extras portion of the disc…in that there aren’t any. Just your bog standard scene selection and nothing much else, pretty disappointing really I would have liked to have seen some sort of making of, any kind of insight into this fantastical story.