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DVD Review

DVD cover



Starring: Stephen Dorff, Jaime Murray, Sean Pertwee, Jamie Foreman and Geoff Bell
Optimum Home Entertainment
RRP: £15.99
Certificate: 15
Available 08 September 2008

Having suffered two vehicular accidents in as many minutes during the getaway from a diamond heist, professional thief Ritchie Donovan loses his stash and is forced to explain himself to his crime boss employer. Under the pretence of offering him another chance, the boss sends Donovan to Moscow to steal a priceless cross from a skyscraper penthouse suite. However, during the operation, a violently overzealous Russian associate kills somebody and they flee into a lift, becoming trapped on the unused thirteenth floor with a bunch of innocent bystanders. When a radio message is received, Donovan assumes it is the police and reluctantly uses the members of public as hostages. As a goodwill gesture it is arranged to release one of them, but when the lift doors open and the hostage is decapitated, Donovan and the others come to realise the police are not involved, but instead they are trapped with a crazed killer descendant of Ivan the Terrible...

With no prior knowledge of the genres involved, having myself come to the film cold, you could be excused for believing Botched is a cheap mobster flick. Conversely, it incorporates several genres; leading the viewing audience into a false sense of security with a pretty much mainstream, if somewhat upmarket, robbery theme, before unleashing an onslaught of horror and dark humour. The humour is mainly visual rather than spoken.

Stephen Dorff (playing Donovan) and his leading lady play it straight, as it should be. I wouldn't say it's laugh-out-loud funny, but it does in turn make you smile and grimace, depending on whether the sight gags are subtle or overdone. An example of the latter is somebody on fire to the music of the Hamlet cigar adverts. The automatic traps set up by the killer are nicely done, as is the rat dragging along the decapitated head in front of the stunned hostages.

Botched is a simple film which turns further to farce the wider it opens up. To the credit of director/producer team Kit and Terence Ryan (a team to perhaps watch out for in the future) they do manage to rein the chaos in for the conclusion. Just a quick mention for Sean Pertwee (Event Horizon, Dog Soldiers), who is as English as Michael Caine but here adopts a Mediterranean accept which he just about gets away with as the crime boss.

Extras consist of an interview with the two Ryans.


Ty Power

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