Friday, February 5, 2016

RED KROKODIL (2012) (DVD Review)


Label: One 7 Movies

Region Code: Region-FREE
Rating: Unrated
duration: 88 Minutes
Audio: English Dolby Digital Stereo 2.0 with Optional Italian, French Subtitles
Video: Anamorphic Widescreen (1.85:1)
Director: Domiziano Cristopharo
Cast:  Brock Madson, Valerio Cassa, Viktor Karam

Synopsis: Red Krokodil tells the story of a man meant to represent all men. It is the story of a man addicted to Krokodil , that suddenly finds himself alone in a post-nuclear city similar to Chernobyl. His physical decay, caused by the massive intake of drugs, is mirrored in his inner world, as reality mixes with hallucinations. The result is a film that uses the Krokodil as a metaphor of destruction. 

Director Domiziano Cristopharo's film Red Krokodil (2012) combines post-nuclear suffering with Krokodil addiction to tell a dark and hopeless story of a man living in an apartment of a high-rise in Russia after the bomb has dropped. The man without a name (actor Brock Madson) is wrapped in gauze bandages and wearing only some well-worn undies, he spends his days concocting his drug of choice while hallucinating of bunny-faced strangers, detached from reality and entwined within his own psychological issues brought on by the drug-use, wallowing in despair and waiting for death. 

The movie is largely dialogue free aside from some narration from our main character, who speaks cryptically of how he has lost his way and of his descent into madness All the while his body is decomposing, a compounded flesh-rot brought on by what I assume to be radiation sickness and the ill effects of the drug krokodil - a scarily real-life drug. Actor Brock Madson does an alright job in the wordless role, I found it hard to gauge as so very little is happening externally for him, the performance is largely internal, portraying addiction, a deteriorating mental state, confusion and frustration, and to that end he is very successful. 

The setting of the apartment is a dirty place, there's a layer of filth on the walls and floor, the place gave me an icky feeling, definitely the sort of movie that requires a shower afterward. By design the story and movie is dark and depressive, and it made for a challenging viewing, the minimal story and dark tone didn't keep me plugged in. I really struggled to make it through this one, this sort of movie is just not for me, it didn't engage me personally but I know movie fans who dig this sort of slit-your-wrist cinema, but I am not one among them.

The disc from One 7 Movies presents the film in anamorphic widescreen, the image quality is quite good for a low-budget movie. Th colors are desaturated, but the colors and black levels are good. I didn't notice and artifacting or compression issues, this a very fluid image. Audio comes by way of an English Dolby Digital Stereo 2.0 track with optional Italian and French subtitles. The box indicates an English subtitle option, but there are none. Extras include two deleted scenes, a selection of trailers, the ending with alternate music, a photo gallery and test footage for the ending scene. A pretty well-stocked release by One 7 Movies standards, which are isuallu pretty light on bonus content. 

Special Features:
- Ending with Alternate Music (3 Mins) 
- Deleted Scenes (5 Mins) 
- Trailers (4 Mins) 
-Teaser Trailer (1 Mins) 
- Photo Gallery (3 Mins) 
- Test FX for Ending Scene (1 Mins) 

Watching this I was reminded of another film that was not awful, but like this, wasn't for me, that was the movie was Phil Stevens' Flowers (2014) from Unearthed Films. If you were a fan of that you might dig the sort of darkness this is dredging up, for me it was a chore to get through, turns out post-nuclear drug addiction is a hard thing to watch, and maybe that was the point. Stay away from drugs kids, they're bad for you. 2/5