The latest offering from SGM friend Jason Impey is a 33-minute return to the more overt horrors of earlier works such as SICK BASTARD, THE TURNING and HOME MADE. In fact, EXPLOITED is described by the auteur as a loose updating of the latter.

In it, Impey himself portrays the lead character, a nameless wannabe filmmaker who narrates his story to us. We learn how he started out making erotic horror films but, when they failed to register either with an audience or him, he progressed to shooting hardcore porn. Cue footage of him receiving a blowjob while his camera fills the event from the corner of his bedroom. It's nice to revisit footage of Michelle Young too, her of Impey's NAKED NAZI...

As his voiceover becomes more aggressive, Impey informs us that this still wasn't enough to sate his cravings. He wanted something truer, more real. Before long, the inevitable has happened - and he's taken to preying on defenceless females to slaughter on camera.

Still looking for more kicks, Impey then decides he needs his own scream queen to star in his next film. Someone who he can brutalise and torment before finally extinguishing her light on the screen. And he knows exactly who fits the bill: model Kaz B, a voluptuous blonde who's recently posed naked for a photo shoot with him.

He lurks in the shadows one evening and pounces on Kaz as she walks by. The next time we see her; she's naked and tied to a chair in Impey's home...

Simplistic in plot, EXPLOITED does however touch upon some interesting themes once you scratch its surface. Specifically, it examines the very human nature of always seeking more - like an addiction, where the next thrill has to be greater than the last one. It also scrutinises the filmmaker's relationship with their audience; the supply and demand nature of violent cinema in particular.

These subtexts demonstrate how Impey has developed over the last decade, no doubt spurred on by branching away from the horror genre and into more ambitious dramas such as SEX LIES AND DEPRAVITY and the excellent TWINK in the meantime. In addition, the writer-director's growth is also evidenced in how much more stylish the newly shot footage for EXPLOITED is than the original HOME MADE. Colour-filtered lighting, far more greatly considered camerawork and crisper editing prove that Impey has come on leaps and bounds (not that the original HOME MADE didn't possess a charm of its own).

The occasional hint of giallo-esque music on the soundtrack reinforces Impey's attempts at evoking an atmosphere akin to Dario Argento's cinema at times. If he's only semi-successful on this front, that's down to budgetary limitations rather than lack of talent.

In terms of violence, EXPLOITED packs in a few kills and the odd bit of rudimentary gore considering its meagre running time. The final 5 minutes are where the film really pushes the boat out though, with Kaz B (last seen in Impey's short LUSTFUL DESIRES) spreading her legs and stroking a dagger - albeit a patently fake one - perilously close to her exposed labia.

There's a minor twist of sorts, and the whole thing zips along at a most agreeable pace.

On the downside, Impey's voiceover is a little erratic. I may have missed the point and it could be that his character is suffering from multiple personality disorder but, as that's never explained, it just sounds wildly inconsistent instead. There's also a horrendous Goth rock song used in the film's latter half (and again, over the closing credits) which really was quite distracting in its badness.

These minor gripes though, as I really enjoyed the film - twice - and look forward to Impey venturing further into horror territory with his newfound technical prowess.

And where else are you going to find a film where the killer approaches a woman standing alone in the night, humming the theme from "Strictly Come Dancing" to himself while he plans what he's going to do to her?!

EXPLOITED was sent to us on a screener disc, and looks great in a colourful, pin-sharp 16x9 transfer. The English 2.0 audio was equally reliable.

For more information on this and other Impey titles, visit his site here.

By Stuart Willis

Directed by Jason Impey