Unlucky 13: Cast members of Warner Home Video’s creepy comedy Botched include (first photo) Russell Smith, Gene Rooney, Bronagh Gallagher and Norma Sheahan, and (second photo) Geoff Bell, Hugh O’Connor, Jaime Murray and Stephen Dorff.
Just when you think you’re stuck
watching the umpteenth crime-caper-gone-bad flick, however, things get
moderately interesting. During the trio’s getaway in a crowded
elevator, they all get stuck on the building’s mysterious 13th floor
(uh-oh), where passageways lead to mazelike confusion, doorways are
bricked up and a loony murderer (Edward Duly Baker) dressed in Highlander
garb chases down the elevator’s passengers. Then plot surprises start
to crop up amid the quota of beheadings and impalements, such as a
spike-laden floor that rises into position accompanied by disco lights
and the fakest-looking king-sized rat that would be more at home on an
Edward D. Wood movie set.
Revealing more would be churlish, since the grisly off-kilter humor is what really keeps Botched on the bouncy side. Co-financed by the low-budget division of Zinc Productions, created by uber-producer Joel Silver (The Matrix, Speed Racer), Botched succeeds as a semi-parody in the same vein as director Roger Corman’s 1961 comedy Creature from the Haunted Sea, albeit with not-quite-existential nods to No Exit.
Director Kit Ryan maintains a rapid pace
as his cast members scamper aboard sets constructed at Ardmore Studios
in Bray, Wicklow, Ireland. Ryan also manages to corral something
approaching deadpan drollery out of Dorff, who’s been stuck in too many
straight-to-video time-killers. It’s drippingly violent most of the
time, yet Ryan always finds room for comedy, accentuated by the amusing
performances of Bronagh Gallagher as holy roller Sonya and Geoff Bell
as alleged Russian special forces agent Boris Bogdanovich, who
proclaims, “I am what psychologists call an alpha male,” then proves it
by cauterizing his wound after a cleaver mishap. You were expecting
Warner Home Video has issued Botched
in a letterboxed (1.85:1 ratio) presentation that captures all the
splatter that matters in the film’s sharp visuals. No commentaries or
behind-the-scenes stuff, however, just some previews of product from
other Warner and New Line Home Entertainment releases, such as an
upcoming sequel to The Lost Boys starring Corey Feldman. Now that’s scary.