Carnage Road

Carnage Road

Now here's one that on initial perusal may just attract the attention of the die hard slasher fan, 'Carnage Road' (or The Legend of Quiltface as the front cover says) is the latest line in low budget independent pick ups by the good folk at Cryptkeeper in the UK. The cover for this one will grab you straight away, there's the aforementioned 'quiltface' character looking like the poor cousin of Jason Voorhees brandishing his machete with flames licking around his body…nice you think, then you see the '15' rating. Of course in these more liberal times that may not mean much in the blood and gore stakes, so let's take a look…

As the film begins you very quickly discover that 'Carnage Road' is indeed a very low budget slasher flick shot on video (by Massimiliano Cerchi) as the precredits sequence sees a topless lass and her canoodling companion get the chop by our main man quiltface with his precut machete soaked in tomato sauce as the hand held video captures all the (ahem) action. Once the titles are out of the way we get to the meat of the movie, ok the simplest of slasher plots…four teens head off to the desert for a modeling photo shoot (the wannabe photographer, his level headed girlfriend, the stereotypical bespectacled geek and the ultra vain prissy prom queen type). Thankfully, Mack Hail (of 'Nutbag' fame) makes a refreshingly fun appearance as the driver who's taking our inevitably luckless bunch of teens out into the desert and he makes sure to wind them up en route with tales of terror regarding the legend of (yes you guessed it) quiltface!

Now I wont bother insulting anyone by going into anymore detail about where this one's going as we all know exactly where it's heading…teens go into desert…one by one teens die! What we are better concentrating on is whether it works and is it any good? Well, in honesty, at face value it's pretty fine when you take all production values and delivery in its brutally penniless context. If you can ignore the fact it all looks like it was shot on one hand held home video camera you'll be fine. Similarly, the audio sounds as though it was picked up direct from the hand held camera also, so at times it can be almost incoherent but there's little dialogue that really matters anyway. Plotwise you'll wonder why four over age teens are doing this photo shoot anyway, why are the plain jane female models so disconcerning about the dull casualwear they're wearing, does the photographer look like he knows how to handle the camera or why the heck is the geek guy with them in the first place? Oh that's right, they're there for quiltface to kill?! Ok then how about quiltface and the killings…well you've got to at least give these folk an A for effort considering it looks as though they had a budget of tuppence (but in honesty it looks like the film was made over a weekend as a dare by some penniless bored film students) Each of the kill scenes incorporate the old effects fave of the half circle cut into a model machete so it can be placed onto a head/leg/stomach (delete as applicable) with some red stuff to look like a blade assault (though any horror fan worth their salt learned this trick at Horror Effects 101 as a teenager).

Hmm, it probably sounds as though I didn't rate 'Carnage Road' very well but to be honest for some reason I actually quite enjoyed it. Sure it's cheaply executed and poorly delivered but it also has the odd moment of inspired fun and a decent enough finale that is reminiscent of a poor mans Chainsaw Massacre (but without the chainsaw or the massacre!?)

The DVD presentation here from Cryptkeeper is very much faultless as far as you can expect for the source material - it's shot on home video and understandably the image and audio is as good as home video will deliver - the image is clear and colourful and the audio is variable in clarity but only because of the master source. As for extras, well there's none on offer for 'Carnage Road' itself but there are trailers for two other Cryptkeeper low budget indie releases…'Hells Highway' and 'Death Factory' (both of which perhaps unsurprisingly look lots more fun than this release, well the budget and gore on show on these trailers alone beat 'Carnage Road's hands down). So, 'Carnage Road' most certainly wont be to everyones liking - young kids new to the genre might get a kick from the topless lasses and restrained slasher gore, while old school slasher fans with plenty of money to burn and a high tolerance for penniless genre productions may want to give it a peek also. One to rent on a rainy afternoon!

Review by Alan Simpson

'Carnage Road' can be ordered direct from Cryptkeeper by clicking here.

Released by Cryptkeeper
Rated 15 - Region All (PAL)
Extras :