No One Lives (2012)
Review by Jude Felton
WWE Studios seem to be releasing a new movie every other week, of late, with films such as 12 Rounds 2 and The Call hitting the stores recently. Now we have what is probably the best film yet to fall under the WWE banner, and that is No One Lives. Seriously, this is one of those films that are just damned good fun to watch and the blood covers the screen from start to finish.
Before I get carried away though, I should mention that it was directed by Japanese maestro of mayhem, Ryuhei Kitamura, who splattered the screen with films like Versus, Azumi and The Midnight Meat Train, and with No One Lives the splatter continues unabated.
Driver (Luke Evans) and his girl are driving across country when they fall foul of a gang of violent thieves, led by Hoag (Lee Tergesen). They are a nasty bunch, and include in their ranks none other than WWE Superstar Brodus Clay. What the gang doesn’t realize though is that they really have picked on the wrong couple to mess with, as Driver has his own very dark secret and is more than willing to unleash a furious vengeance on those that wrong him.
The cover artwork gives you a clue as to where No One Lives is heading, but it is not until you watch the film that you realize the extent of the situation. This is one very violent and incredibly bloody film, and is a damned hoot to watch. Evans is superb as Driver, and he is ably supported by a convincing evil gang of bastards. Sure, the script is a bit painful in places but it is the violent set-pieces that take center stage. I couldn’t help but think that the film came across as a more action based version of The Collection; you aren’t getting the traps, but the outcome for most folk is a painful and bloody one. Hey, the film is called No One Lives, after all.
This is certainly not high-brow horror, by any stretch of the imagination, it’s popcorn violence where no one is really the good guy, even if you are rooting for Evans’ character. Even with all of the onscreen carnage No One Lives never comes across as cruel, as is often the case with modern horror; you want the gang to suffer for their sins.
As you might expect, from a Kitamura flick, the action is pretty much non-stop and the film looks damned good, especially on Blu-ray. It might not be quite as wild as films like Versus or Azumi, but that’s not to say that there aren’t several outrageous moments; you’ll know them when you see them!
Anchor Bay has released No One Lives on a Blu-ray/DVD combo pack, with me watching the Blu-ray version, and has delivered a fine looking and sounding disc. In terms of extras there’s just one half hour making of featurette, but it is definitely worth watching. Watch it after you’ve seen the film though, as there are spoilers aplenty. What was interesting though is that the team behind the film is looking to turn No One Lives into a franchise, so hopefully we’ll see a sequel, or prequel, somewhere further down the line.
Overall, No One Lives isn’t perfect (the script lets it down in places), but in terms of sheer entertainment and delicious wickedness, it’s a complete winner. If you enjoyed the Laid to Rest and The Collector flicks, you are probably going to dig the hell out of this one. Me? I bloody loved it!
No One Lives is released on Blu-ray and DVD by Anchor Bay on August 20th.