Sunday, July 8, 2012

Death Factory Bloodletting, The (2008)

Directed by:
Sean Tretta

DEATH FACTORY (2002) was a super-cheap shot-on-video effort from Brad Sykes that starred Scream Queen Tiffany Shepis as a woman exposed to some kind of chemical who turned into a white-faced, S&M clad, zombie-like killing machine (obviously patterned after the zombie femme fatale from RETURN OF THE LIVING DEAD III) who stalked teenagers in an abandoned factory. Though mildly watchable, the film didn't make much of a ripple of the indy horror scene and isn't very well known, so it's a surprise to see that someone even bothered to make a sequel.

Hard-edged Ana Romero (Claudia Vargas) is a depressed junkie looking for revenge against the killer(s) of her young daughter; who ended up starring in some sick pervert's snuff tape. The footage somehow ended up online on a website catering to criminals, killers and degenerates. Ana has spent the last two years infiltrating the group to find out where the tape came from and who made it. Through the site, she finds out about a special event called "The Bloodletting;" where for two thousand dollars site members can witness someone being murdered before their very eyes. Since the man she suspects of killing her little girl will be there, Ana decides to attend the event so she can bust a cap in his ass.

After passing a frisking (having tucked a gun and bullets safely away ... in her vagina!) she's thrown into a van and shipped off to a brick-making plant where she meets a bunch of sickos from the site; a white supremacist who likes rape and snuff films (Shane Dean), a black pimp (Kareem McRoy), a blonde hooker (Jeanna Coker), a kinky goth chick (Nadine) who walks her slave (Joth Andrews) around on a leash, a fat pedophile (David C. Hayes) and a nerdy budding terrorist (Josh Bingenheimer). Little do they know but they've actually been lured there under false pretenses by religious fanatic Denny (Noah Todd), who wants to punish them for being degenerates and make a little money on the side by making a snuff video of it. Denny doesn't even have to get his hands dirty since he's the brother of Alexa, the mutant killer from the first film. Alexa (Michelle Mousel) has steel claws, metal teeth, is dressed in some kind of leather harness / bikini outfit and needs injections of some kind of special chemical to keep her alive.

For what it is, nudity and blood quotients are all adequately met, the leading lady gives a decent enough performance, the film starts out strongly, there are a few decent twists here and there and it all looks a hell of a lot more professional than the first.

The film's undoing comes at the hands of a director who seems to have been badly influenced by nearly every single hack horror filmmaker currently flooding the market with their dreary torture-filled, heavy metal-soundtracked, shakycam-riddled, cliché-ridden crap. The premise of people paying to see someone getting killed in a secret facility is obviously copied from HOSTEL. The jittery camera-work and bursts of metal music during nearly every single kill scene is swiped directly from the SAW series. When the characters are first introduced, their names and nicknames, along with their deviant interests, are written out on the screen exactly as it's done in FEAST. There's also numerous pointless freeze frames which Rob Zombie uses in nearly all of his films. I know imitation is supposed to be the sincerest form of flattery, but why anyone would go out of their way to copycat so many mediocre films and filmmakers shows a general lack of taste, as well as talent.


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