Cinema/TV, Film Notes

FrightFest review – Spare Parts

Spare Parts

A girl group play a raucous gig at a backwoods bar, and are shanghaied by an auto junkyard community ruled by an Emperor (genre mainstay Julian Richings).  They have their arms amputated (a considerable annoyance to the lead guitarist) and stumps gimmicked up so clip-on weapons can be attached, then get trained as gladiators.  Meanwhile, a ton of intrigue is going on – within the group between feuding sisters Amy (Michelle Argyris) and Emma (Emily Alatelo), and outside as the Emperor’s son Sam (Jason Rouse) schemes and plots to advance to the throne.

Your basic body-mod Spartacus tale, which falls into the usual gladiator movie trap of getting worked up condemning hideous spectacles of cruelty and suffering and the baying goon idiot audiences who get off on them – but still relies on repetitive action scenes with people bashing each other in the arena to hold the unterest of the presumably non-baying non-goon folks watching this movie.  Its title is apt since it seems as if parts hacked off Death Race, Green Room, Tetsuo, Raze, Death Proof, Gladiator and a dozen other films have been sewn together and hooked up to jump leads.

Richings, getting top billing for once, is value for money as the wannabe Caesar, delivering English-accented speeches about how the dirt wants blood spilled in it and the Gods must be appeased.  Everyone gets character stuff about on a level of those 90s comic books with multiple covers and steroids-in-swimsuits figures, but at least the cast attack their roles with commitment.  Directed by Andrew Thomas Hunt, who’s been busy as a producer with the Raven Banner shingle but hasn’t picked up a megaphone since Sweet Karma; scripted by David Murdoch and Svet Rouskov.


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