Revenge Flick For Gorehounds…

Ryûhei Kitamura is one of a very few Japanese directors, to have successfully taken on an English language script, and added some of his own excellent touches to great effect. His first attempt, The Midnight Meat Train, was a solid film, starring Bradley Cooper (just before real fame came a knocking), but, for whatever reason it didn’t get the success it was rightly due, but this film, which also has some well-known faces, should do far better. The story is by first time writer David Cohen, and while it isn’t brilliant, it does add enough originality to raise it above the usual fare in this genre. In actual fact, there were one or two nice touches that Hannibal Lecter would have approved of.

No One Lives
Directed by
Ryûhei Kitamura
Luke Evans, Gary Grubbs, Adelaide Clemens
Release Date
10 May 2013
Ed’s Grade: B

I loved the ‘man with no name’ theme, as it added an extra layer of mystery, to our crazed psycho killer, and while there were clear nods to several classic horrors, The Silence of the Lambs, being one of them, it had plenty of its own story, so creating a highly entertaining low-budget independent production.

It’s one of those ‘picked on the wrong dude’ type of thriller horrors; not completely unlike the set-up of Law Abiding Citizen, as a gang of thieves are forced to abandon their haul of stolen property, thanks to the owners of the house they are emptying, returning unexpectedly. One of the gang members, Flynn (Derek Magyar, Phantom) opens fire and kills the family of three to the annoyance of the others. So now they must stop what they are doing and walk away. Flynn is warned by the gang leader Hoag (Lee Tergesen) to make things right, otherwise something unpleasant would happen to him, so while they are in a bar, Flynn starts annoying a couple who are trying to have a meal. A huge mistake. It turns out Luke Evans’ simply named Driver, is a serial killer, wanted by police, and he isn’t the type of guy you want after you.

The killings were nice and messy with all manner of weapons and wood chippers put to good use. Driver (the name he is listed under) rigs up loads of traps and wires, that kill and maim our hapless gang of miscreants, rapidly reducing their numbers. None of the traps are very original but Kitamura worked his horror magic making it nastily fun and enjoyably wicked to watch. As well as looking good, the acting really lifted this uncostly flick above the fray, with the sexy Adelaide Clemens (The Great Gatsby) putting in a solid and convincing performance. Luke Evans also played the role well, as the unstable but very much able, nutcase killer who is extremely hard to kill.

It touches on several subjects, like torture and forced captivity, but in the process it adds depth to our characters. There were, of course plot holes and things that didn’t make much sense, but this isn’t a film to be taken seriously. It is, after all, a low-budget horror, but it has so many things in its favour, that to judge it anything less than worthy, is to miss out on a very well put together movie and not know greatness when it presents itself. And, to me it has presented itself very, very well.

Review by Ed Blackadder, Lead Entertainment Writer

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