Tuesday, July 9, 2013

DVD Review: THE DEMENTED (2013)

Blu-ray+DVD Combo Pack 

Region Code: A/1
Duration: 92 Minutes
Audio: English Dolby TrueHD 5.1, English Dolby Digital 5.1 with Optional English SDH, Spanish Subtitles
Video: 1080p Widescreen (1.78:1)
Cast: Sarah Butler, Kayla Ewell, Richard Kohnke, Brittney Alger, Ashlee Brian, Michael Welch
Director: Christopher Roosevelt

When six pretty-faced and slightly annoying 20-somethings head out to the rural southern estate to get their party on thing turns ugly when a biological weapon is detonated in the nearby vicinity. It's a pretty slick looking indie thriller with a cast of up and coming young talent but this thing is pretty generic. First things first they dispense with the cell phones early on, it's quickly addressed why there's no reception but it draws attention to itself, I always hate the 'why the phones don't work this time' scenarios, but it's a necessary evil. They arrive on scene, it's a pretty sweet paryt pad and we get the obligatory montage of beer, barbecue and bathing suits, there's even a slip n' slide... but no nudity! Already were off to a poor start here, I'm no more of a perv than the next guy but sweet Jesus if you're gonna bore me with the umpteenth standard zombie/infected straight-to-DVD feature for the love of horror please throw me a nudie-bone - a little bare breasts will go a long way towards entertaining me, that's all I am saying. There's a stripper in every podunk town looking to get a film credit in exchange for a little skin onscreen. Think about it, when she's working that stripper pole and the marquee outside says "Tonight Only! Stormy Delight  from the film THE DEMENTED!" it's bound to increase the draw. I'm just saying you should use someone else's daddy issues to increase the production value for your film and maybe broaden your appeal. 

Anyway, back to the film.... the cast is just this side of decent, it's above average for a low-budget feature film, it stars Sarah Butler who was actually quite good in the I Spit on Your Grave (2011) remake. The problem for me was the super-generic set-up and the fact that when the bio-weapon goes off,  these kids are nearly at ground zero mind you, no one seems to give a shit, there's no panic about the situation at hand for what feels like hours until a ravenous dog shows up in the backyard salivating like a son-of-a-bitch. The infected canine chases the teens back into the house where they feel a bit safer  that is until the infected start showing up, 28 Days Later-style, fast-running and ready to fuck 'em up with a vengeance. 

That's pretty much how the film plays out, it's pretty shallow and doesn't really bring anything new to the table. I started tuning in and out at the 40-minute mark and was never able to recover after. It's not all shit, what the film does do well is capture some of the frenetic energy, the action sequences are pretty decent but there's about zero atmosphere, no suspense and no gore whatsoever. Apparently the budget was spent on the fancy Digital HD Red camera, but there's precious little splatter and the character are either flat out douchey, or worse yet, just unmemorable. It's not Plan 9 from Outer Space awful, it's just so middle of the road. 

The Demented (2013) arrives on Blu-ray+ DVD Combo Pack from Anchor Bay Entertainment on July 30th without benefit of special features. I cannot recommend this to anyone but I cannot stop you either, might I recommend that if you feel the urge to rent it you at least wait for it to stream on Netflix and avoid the Red Box rental altogether. Mark my words, you will loathe yourself while driving back to cornerstone to return this, just avoid it altogether, there's are just so many better movies out there for you to watch. 1.5 Outta 5