Resurrecting The Street Walker DVD Review
Written by Daniel Benson
DVD Released by Kaleidoscope Home Entertainment
Written and Directed by Ozgur Uyanik
2009, Region 2 (PAL), 80 minutes, Rated 18 (UK)
DVD Released 28th June 2010
Put a “lost footage” film in front of me and I’ll wince. Two films always spring to mind; Ruggero Deodato’s Cannibal Holocaust, a brutally sadistic and uncomfortable viewing experience that capped the exploitation genre and The Blair Witch Project, a completely underwhelming snorefest that was a triumph of hype marketing over good filmmaking. So I should be grateful that Ozgur Uyanik’s Resurrecting The Street Walker doesn’t revolve around the fate of some unlucky bunch in a newly discovered reel of film, but an unfinished horror movie that becomes a film student’s obsession.
James Parker (James Powell) is a wannabe filmmaker who takes a job as an intern at a London film publicity company. During his time there he discovers some reels of film in the basement from an incomplete 1980s slasher movie, The Streetwalker. There is little plot to the footage; a lone male charms young women back to his home and butchers them in a soundproof room. James becomes consumed with a plan to shoot new footage to enable the film to be completed and released.
Resurrecting The Street Walker is told as a documentary, complete with soundbites from friends and family. James’ best friend Markus (Tom Shaw) follows him everywhere with a video camera to fill in the gaps. It’s always going to be a big risk to try and shoot a mockumentary as the cast has to be able to act like they’re real people being interviewed rather than actors delivering a line. Fortunately the cast are very capable of carrying the premise and 99% of the time they nail their scenes, whether being interviewed by the narrator or taking part in the footage that Markus shoots.
Powell is the keystone in this film, creating the pivotal character about whom everything revolves. His day to day life is mundane, he hates his job and the bitchy publicist for whom he works but has to tolerate it, seeing the job as his springboard into the world of filmmaking. As he becomes more involved with trying to complete The Streetwalker, the pressure builds and his mental state declines. Convinced that the footage contains a real death, he pours over every frame in detail and becomes fanatical in his drive to fill in the missing scenes. Disasters follow setbacks, which push him over the edge into a murderous desire to finish the film at any cost.
There’s no happy Hollywood ending to Resurrecting The Streetwalker, no neatly tied up ending at all, just a final reel of his own footage that shows the lengths he was willing to go to in order to complete his project.
While the found-footage concept might be a little worn by now, Ozgur Uyanik has injected some fresh ideas and a talented cast to create a faux documentary that is as dark and disturbing as it is inventive.
Video, Audio and Special Features:
Video, Audio & Special Features not graded as this was a screener, but the DVD release promises Deleted Scenes, Test Footage, Cast Interviews and an Audio Commentary.
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