Thursday, 21 October 2010

Review: Razor Blade Smile [DVD]


Lilith is a 100 year old vampire working as an modern day assassin for a human she knows as Platinum. Her current hit list is made up of members of the Illuminati. What Lilith doesn't know is that the head of the Illuminati is the vampire who sired her; Sethane Blake.

Sethane suspects that the assassin who is killing his members may be a vampire. So he orders fellow Illuminati member Detective Inspector Raymond Price to look for and stop the mysterious assassin.

RAZOR BLADE SMILE is a British film and it had a non-existent budget, but the dingy locations and the muted colours from the low quality camera film actually work in it's favour, so I wasn't taken with Jake West dressing up the bare-bones production with constant fancy camera work; Freeze framing, slow motion, going in and out of focus etc.

However the main problem here is that the actress who plays lead character [and narrator] Lilith simply isn't strong enough to carry the film. She was clearly cast because she looks good in tight leather and has big breasts which she is more than happy to show off, rather then being cast because of her possessing big acting chops. Not only is her acting shaky, but she can't hold a gun properly, gracefully climb through a window or run around stealthily - not very good when she's meant to be a successful assassin. I understand that the film makers didn't have the resources for a seasoned actress, but they still could have done better when the whole film rests on the talents of one person.The rest of the main cast are OK in their roles, but not great. I think they're deliberately hamming up their roles, but I'm not sure.

In fact I'm not sure if the film as a whole is trying to be taken seriously or if it's mocking bigger, flashier films. It's because I'm not sure how to take the film that prevents me from fully enjoying it. If I look on it as a twisted comedy/horror I can view it as being somewhat flawed, but still very entertaining. However if I consider it as a valid action/thriller it all falls apart; The characters motivations often make no sense, the action scenes are clumsy and Lilith's delivery and 'wit' is too camp.

The critics either loved it or hated it with no in between, but I'm still undecided after multiple viewings. If you want some exploitative fun via leather-clad, gunfighting vampires, or like sex scenes (including a lesbian one), topless women and bloodshed, I'd say go for it; Just don't overthink the plot. If you want a solid plotline with top-notch actors, I'm afraid you'll have to keep on looking.

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Special features
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Club Death [short film]
Slices of Life documentary [From Club Death to Razor Blade Smile]
Theatrical Trailer
Deleted/Alternative scenes
Image Gallery
Storyboards of the 'Rocks Action Sequence'
Cannes 97 footage: Promo reel, video diary & trailer
CG Test Shots: Trailer Version
Final Script

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Eileen Daly ... Lilith Silver
Christopher Adamson ... Sethane Blake
Jonathan Coote ... Detective Inspector Price
Kevin Howarth ... Platinum
Heidi James ... Ariauna

Written and directed by Jake West

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Product details
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Format: PAL 
Number of discs: 2
Classification: 18 Studio: Manga Entertainment
Run Time: 100 minutes

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Amazon sell it at the RRP, but they also have second hand copies for under £2.

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