September 11, 2011

Filthy Review - Sweatshop

Sweatshop (2009)

Review by Jude Felton

Sweatshop first came to my attention way back when folk, myself included, actually used Myspace, so you know we are going back a bit. Since then it has travelled the tried and tested route of playing film festivals up and down the country before finally getting its official DVD release.

The minimalist plot involves a group of kids, well young adults, breaking into an apparently abandoned warehouse in order to set up and run a rave. Unfortunately, before you can don a pair of baggy pants and drop a Rick James baseline, it becomes hammer time, as a hulking behemoth of a man, or Beast as he is known, starts picking off the assorted ravers with a hellacious fury. Tis a simple plot I tell thee.

Sweatshop harkens back to the glory days, or not so glorious depending on your point of view, of the 80’s with a faceless killer dispatching of folk who break the rules by indulging in sex, drugs and booze. Or any one of the three. In Sweatshop the killer’s weapon of choice, although he is not limited to this, is a bloody great foundry hammer. This fucker is huge I am telling you, and it does not leave much left of its victims.

This really is where Sweatshop excels, the violence and subsequent death scenes really are quite special. The level of brutality is something is to be seen, with 100 Tears director Marcus Koch being partly responsible for the carnage on screen.

Now, whilst the violence is quite exquisite, other areas of the film do suffer somewhat. We get treated to lengthy great scenes of the mostly obnoxious cast bullshitting with each other, dancing, screwing and otherwise slowing down proceedings. The fact I found most of them obnoxious though only stands to say that their performances are all quite decent. The real problem was that in most films of this ilk the final girl, or guy, is usually quite apparent from early on, that wasn’t the case here for me.

Visually the film impressed too. Shot on a budget that was less than most new cars it really lived up to its name. The entire movie is a grimy, sweaty, industrial looking affair which when accompanied by the almost constant music all added up to an impressive looking flick.

Sweatshop starts with a bang (look out for Fangoria’s Michael Gingold) and ends just as abruptly. It doesn’t answer any questions, maybe there are plans for a sequel (?), it just serves to assault the viewer, and this it does very well. Director Stacy Davidson has delivered a punishing, and admittedly fun, movie. The pacing could have done with a little tweaking as it does drag in places, but the kill scenes, the sweet, sweet kill scenes more than make up for its shortcomings.

Sweatshop is a fun movie that really needs to be viewed with a group of friends, preferably friends with beer and hard liquor.

Sweatshop is released on Sept 13th through Screen Media Films

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