Like a lot of the films I am assigned to review here at Bloodtype, I didn't know a thing about my current assignment, "Botched". The only bits of information I was able to obtain before my viewing was from the DVD box. On the front of the box it is proudly displayed that the film was the 2007 New York City Horror Film Festival movie of the year. Also, the film's lead, Stephen Dorff, was the recipient of the festival's best actor award. This instantly peaked my interest since I considered the fact that a film that was voted the very best at a New York film festival had to at least be watchable. Trust me folks, I set low standards. Sometimes simply being watchable will suffice. Anyway, this review will reveal if it lived up to its festival winning hype or simply passed by as being watchable.
The film is written by Derek Boyle and the Friel brothers, Eamon and Raymond. The film is directed by Kit Ryan. This is Ryan's directorial debut as in his previous film experience, 2002's "Puckoon", he acted as second assistant director. As mentioned in the first paragraph, the film's lead and biggest star is Stephen Dorff ("Blade"/"World Trade Center") who is supported by a lessor known cast including Jamie Forman, Jaime Murray, Geoff Bell and Hugh O'Conor. The story begins with master thief, Ritchie (Dorff), doing what he does best. He opens a safe at an auction house and steals a shit load of diamonds. Everything is going absolutely perfect as Ritchie and his two cohorts make their getaway. Unfortunately, though, the unexpected soon happens. As the thieves zip around city streets, an unsuspecting woman steps of a nearby curb. The getaway drives quickly veers out of her way which sends their car directly into a wall. The two fellow thieves are killed in the crash as a shaken Ritchie grabs the diamonds and begins to stumble from the accident. As fate would have it, Ritchie is now hit with a car while on foot! The briefcase holding the diamonds flies through the air and spills open. A battered Ritchie must give up on the diamonds and hobble himself to safety.
After the catastrophic events of this opening scene, it is revealed that Ritchie was to steal the diamonds for a powerful Russian criminal named Mr. Groznyi (Sean Pertwee). Obviously furious that Ritchie returns without his diamonds he must take the rap for the whole thing since the other two are dead. Groznyi decides to give him one more chance. He must travel to Moscow with two of Groznyi's men and steal an ancient artifact. The remainder of the plot follows Ritchie and his two bumbling Russian assistants as they ascend a huge skyscraper to the penthouse where the artifact is located. Ritchie's luck has obviously run out as this heist goes even worse than the one in the opening scene. Soon, Ritchie, the two Russians and a handful of hostages find themselves stranded on the mysterious thirteenth floor of the building. It is on this floor that the remainder of the film takes place. As Ritchie tries to figure out a plan, the group begins to be hunted by a vicious unknown killer. A bloody free for all ensues. As in so many films like this, the question becomes; who will survive?
The technical aspects of the film are all quite positive. The film may be on the lower budget side of things but this is really tough to tell. Being that a good portion of the movie takes place on one floor of the building I believe that some of the money from the budget was able to be dispensed in other areas. Obviously, this did nothing but help. Also, I would have to guess that a lot of this money may have been put into the effects. The gore and make up effects throughout this feature are outstanding. I really have to give a shout out to the writing, too. As I'll be getting into in a little bit here, the script for this film is freaking phenomenal. The blend of "true" horror and comedy is a difficult thing to pull off and it starts with the writing. Furthermore, what makes the script come to life is the actors. The ensemble in this feature blew me away. Dorff does great as the unlucky lead character. The scene stealer's, though, are in the supporting cast. I would have to list off all four great supporting players in their own paragraph. For length constraints, though, I will just say that those who view this film will be able to see for themselves who "steals the show".
In conclusion, although this film is from 2007, I have to say that this is my favorite "sleeper" hit of 2008. The DVD box mentions that if you enjoyed "Shaun of the Dead" or even "Evil Dead" you would like this movie. I couldn't agree more. As I briefly stated before, a successful "true" horror/comedy is very hard to accomplish. What I mean by "true" horror/comedy is that opposed to the film being a spoof it is actually a really good horror movie that is also very funny. "Shaun of the Dead" and "Evil Dead" are perfect examples of this. Add "Botched" to the list. The film is chock full of great gore, violence and horror elements yet it is also fucking hilarious. I couldn't tell you how many times I burst out laughing watching this film completely alone. That just says it all. If you're looking for a fun assed roller coaster of a film see "Botched" as soon as you can!