Here we are again, back in the weird and not-always-wonderful world of the shot-on-video cheapie. This time around I had the rather unwanted task of watching and reviewing the latest offering from the prolific Polonia brothers. But, in the interests of providing informative insights for the good readers of SGM, I proceeded with the job in hand (no funny comments from the back, thank you).

Anyway, to cut a long story short, this wasn't nearly as bad as I expected it to be. When I saw the Sub Rosa logo emblazoned on the front cover, my heart sank initially, and expectations were low, to say the least - however, Razorteeth proved to be more enjoyable than I thought it would be and is quite an entertaining homage to Piranha.

Following a plane crash which was carrying a cargo of 'modified' piranha, the FBI send out an investigator to gauge whether the fish had survived and to destroy any incriminating evidence - including any people who may have unwittingly stumbled across this government secret. That's the plot in a nutshell and there's not much more to tell without giving away too much, as there are a couple of plot twists, which I won't spoil for you.

Obviously this is not the greatest film you will ever set eyes upon, but it has to be said that the Polonia brothers at least have a sense of their limitations and are never over-ambitious, which is a major downfall of many shot-on-video features. Of course, there's plenty to be critical of, as well - poor acting, cheap FX etc. But if I had to pin down the major flaws of this production, it would have to be the acting and the editing. The Polonia brothers really need to spend a little more time in drawing out better performances from their actors, as this tended to let down their film, especially as it was evident that they spent a lot of time and energy on other aspects of the production. The editing could have been a little tighter too, as there tended to be vacant spaces between lines of dialogue when the actors were conversing, which adds to the impression of being poorly acted. Another thing I find common to these types of shot-on-video efforts is that there tends to be too much dialogue and they end up being overly 'talky'. More time should be spent, I think, on building atmosphere and tension - simply pointing a camera at someone talking does not make you a filmmaker.

Criticisms aside, this wasn't as bad a viewing experience as I thought it would be. The Polonia brothers drive the film along at a healthy pace and at 73 minutes never outstayed its welcome. Don't go in expecting to be dazzled in Hollywood fashion, but simply sit back and enjoy what is presented before you - an undemanding hour or so of tongue-in-cheek mayhem.

The Polonia brothers definitely have something that sets them apart from other filmmakers of this ilk and it would be nice to think that sometime soon someone will give them a decent sized budget and allow them to show their full potential.

Sub Rosa present the film full-frame, which looks as it should be. The image is a little soft throughout, but this is probably more down to the source elements than to any mastering problems. Colours are stable and consistent throughout (though a couple of scenes suffer from an over-saturation of lighting) and the source elements used showed no visible defects. A stereo audio track compliments the film and dialogue was crisp and clear, but the music was a bit too low in the mix for my tastes (they should also probably consider employing someone a little more competent to handle their scores - sorry, but as a musician I'm more critical than most in this department). As far as extras go, there is an audio commentary by the Polonia brothers, a behind-the-scenes featurette, an on-camera interview with actor Ken VanSant (who gives a fascinating overview of his acting career to date) and a handful of trailers for other Sub Rosa releases. It's a nice package overall and Sub Rosa provide extra value with these supplementary additions.

Review by C J Otter

Released by Sub Rosa Studios
Region All NTSC
Not Rated
Extras : see main review