By Ross Wildish - 5th May 2014
MurderDrome isn’t a high-budget flick and this is immediately obvious in everything from the special effects to the acting. Much of the cast, according to my research at least, have very little experience in acting and it shows. That’s not to say there aren’t some great characters; Louise Monnington’s character ‘Psych’ is easily the funniest character in the film but doesn’t get nearly enough screen time. I couldn’t help but feel like she would have been a better choice for a lead.
Other than hers, many of the scenes felt like the little pieces I did in my drama classes at school. They were all awful, but that was because they’d been written a few minutes before performing them. This was unfortunately the same vibe I got from many of the scenes in this film. They felt awkward and unrehearsed. Whether that’s part of the whole low-budget, 80’s B-movie style MurderDrome is aiming for or whether it’s just poor execution is hard to say, but I’m leaning towards the latter. It must be said though that it is nice to see a film with large cast of strong female characters, even if the acting was a little off here and there.
Beyond the acting, the general style of the film as this low-budget flick (more truth that artistic choice) can be too obvious. The audio is poorly edited at times, with the dialogue being too quiet and the music is overpowering. The composition for some scenes looked odd, as if the shots hadn’t been properly planned. When shots aren’t composed properly, the viewer notices and is pulled out of the moment, so bad camera angles can distract from what is actually going on.
As a result, the whole film has a very amateur feel to it, but that’s not necessarily a bad thing; there are plenty of great amateur films out there and as an aspiring filmmaker myself, it would be unfair to attack those with the same dreams as I. I struggle to be too brutal on MurderDrome, as it seems like it was a passion project with friends, people who really believed in the story and just wanted to bring it to life. It’s difficult to knock something with such honest and respectable intentions.
Unfortunately though, MurderDrome just lacks that bit of finesse that would have made it something really special. It’s really a great concept, and the whole 80s B-movie style can work great- when it’s done well. In the case of this film, it needed a bit more work to pull it off. It seems as though MurderDrome might have been more successful as a music video. But with all that said it’s not that bad. If you don’t take it too seriously (which evidently, it’s not meant to be) then it’s quite funny and quirky. It’s worth watching for something a bit different, even if it could have done with a bit more polish.
MurderDrome is released on UK Blu Ray and DVD on 12th May.
MurderDrome is a rather unusual tale of demons and roller skating, two things that often go hand-in-hand. It’s evil on wheels, set to a punk soundtrack.
The plot is simple enough: Roller Derby skater Cherry Skye has been having some freaky dreams, and after receiving an amulet from a crazy man (nothing good ever happens from getting an amulet, especially from a weird person) things escalate, culminating with a face-off against Satanic skaters in the MurderDrome.
Straight away you can tell this isn’t going to be a film that takes itself too seriously, but perhaps in many ways it should have done.