Chill DVD Review
Written by Sharon Davies
DVD released by Safecracker Pictures
Directed by Serge Rodnunsky
Written by Serge Rodnunsky, based on H. P Lovecrafts “Cool Air”
2007, Region 2 (PAL), 88 minutes, Rated 15 (UK)
DVD released on 28th May 2012
Thomas Calabro as Sam
Ashley Laurence as Maria
Shaun Kurtz as Dr Munoz
H.P Lovecraft’s work has been immortalised in many a classic horror, from Re-animator to tens of short stories and with Chill we have another adaptation of his twisted and macabre work.
The story revolves around the secrets of a deli store. This liquor come butcher shop is owned by the mysterious and cloaked Dr Munoz, and from the off it’s clear that the good doctor, along with willing henchman, seems to be a Buffalo Bill in the making. Enter Sam, a troubled writer who has just moved to the area looking for a new start. A job in the doctor’s shop and a fledgling relationship with Maria, the shop keeper across the street, should ideally set him on the right path — well that would be the case if the doctor wasn’t killing and skinning people in the back of the shop.
Sam’s new employer’s insistence to keep himself refrigerated and his penchant for hooded cloaks would leave most people with the sense to keep him at arms length, but not our hero. Sam consistently digs at the doctor’s odd “condition” and the strange noises around the shop which leaves me wanting to shout, “don’t dig if you don’t want to find out what’s buried! “
As Sam gets more entangled and the hooker bodies continue to pile up on meat hooks the net closes on the Shop of Horrors. But what does the Doctor want with all this skin? Who is the faceless henchman who so gratifyingly supplies the new bodies? What does Dr Munoz want with Sam? Watch and see.
This bottom end of low budget film does have some quirky and original concepts, mainly from the novel story of a man who must refrigerate himself in order to not decompose. All other additions make the story a little discombobulated.
The acting from the main character Thomas Calabro (Melrose Place) is mediocre, but the addition of the legendary Ashley Laurence (Hellraiser) is one of the few actors that give this piece some weight. Shaun Kurtz does a good job of ensuring the Doctor is creepy enough to make my skin chill (excuse the pun) but the main issue with this film is just odd choices in execution. Why on earth Sam insists on wearing that stupid beanie throughout is beyond me. Why is there a stalking detective thrown in the mix? And the opera music-loving, Necronomicon reading, waistcoat loving elements of the doctor seem to just be thrown in for good measure.
The effects in Chill are simply terrible. I’ve reviewed films before and said that the effects were bad, but this takes the biscuit. Not so much the skinning parts, but a distinct lack of blood regardless of slit throats / bullet holes and a preposterous, if not diabolical ending,this really made the film lose any brownie points it gained. Plus the director really makes some bad editing calls, the camera work is over clipped, the supposed supernatural entrance of the doctor made me scoff and some parts of the edit actually made me think something was wrong with my DVD player.
In all not a total loss, suspense was built in parts and I cant say I was bored, but again this is mainly due to the original dark story and the addition of one Hellraising cast member.
Video and Audio:
The Video is strained and very saturated although the quality in parts is good. The audio sounds like someone might have had their first go on an electric keyboard - has anyone seen that episode of Friends where Ross makes songs on his keyboard consisting of industrial sound effects and synthesizers? Well he may have been commissioned to do this piece.
None to speak of other than trailers.
Want to comment on this review? You can leave one below or head over to the HorrorTalk Review Forum.