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DVD Review

DVD cover



Starring: Dmitriy Orlov, Svetlana Metkina and Aleksandr Vysokovskiy
Lionsgate Home Entertainment
RRP: £9.99
Certificate: 18
Available 16 May 2011

A small group of men plan a bank robbery, which doesn't quite go according to plan when innocent people are killed and the police arrive on the scene earlier than anticipated. However, they have meticulously planned their escape route. Taking two woman hostages and a policeman from the bank, they descend into the tunnels below street level, covering their tracks as they go. They attempt to follow directions on a map which was given to them by another gang member; it should take them to a point where they can emerge once again at street level and escape with the money, but they soon start to lose their way. Initially, their only concern is to watch the hostages, as everyone argues amongst themselves. Then they find the body of the gang member they are supposed to meet, brutally slain and with both eyes removed - and that changes the whole complex of their situation. A lone serial killer roams the dark and dank tunnels of an abandoned subway system, and it’s going to be a bloodbath...

I’m often intrigued by the prospect of a foreign language horror film, as a different location and culture can lend a whole new slant to an established format. I’m not certain that happens in this instance though.

Trackman is a Russian movie, which almost entirely seems to skim over the premise of the robbery in order to get these potential victims in the domain of the killer as quickly as possible. There has been so many slasher scenarios by now that it becomes increasingly difficult to make the situations new, fresh and exciting. This killer carries a pickaxe, and has his face wrapped-up in rags, with welding goggles poking out. It’s a mask of sorts for the new generation; an approximation of Jason crossed with Darkman. It doesn’t in any way appear ridiculous, but it does garner a number of unanswered questions. One character tries to scare another with a brief mention of a mutant from the Chernobyl fallout disaster killing doctors and escaping to the tunnels. If this is supposed to be the subject of that urban myth then why does it want people’s eyes? He can obviously see very well in the dark. Why does he save one character from death, only to attempt to kill him minutes later?

This is far from being the worst example of this sub-genre I’ve seen, but it isn’t very special either. Only the last three minutes contains any sort of tension, and it’s obvious that the whole budget goes into making the peril a little more realistic.

As a last thought: I didn’t know whether to smile or grimace at some of the mistimed dialogue. In one example, a key character tells the others, “Let’s move on,” when the rest of the group is already heading away. And my favourite: One of them is attacked and injured by the killer, only being saved by a minor cave-in. When the others run up to him, the injured man says, “He’s close.” Pure classic.


Ty Power

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