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One of the lovely things about LoveFilm is that they have an almighty pile of random DVDs that I have never heard of. What is also lovely about them is that former flatmates Dave’n’Let also have an account, rent the random DVDs that I’ve never heard of and then lend them to me with recommendations such as ‘This one is REALLY fucked up’. Which is nice.

So last week, in return for a lend of Jason ‘Not The Gay’ Statham’s Death Race, I was handed a copy of low budget horror movie Botched. I received a number of text messages from Dave during his viewing of it commenting on both its messed-up-ness and how much he reckoned I’d like it. Rather than taking this as the insult it could have been I decided to intepret it as a compliment to my varied taste in movies and asked for a borrow. The next day it fell into my greasy little hand and I got round to watching the other night.

The film is about a heist that inevitably goes wrong, with Stephen Dorff and a couple of unconvincing russians doing some robbing for slightly less unconvincing russian boss Sean Pertwee. As the final line of the IMDB synopsis states – “…which leads to dismemberment and romance”.

It has gore, corpses, an obligatory romantic subplot, a fart joke (singular), a former spetznaz soldier, a religious cult, an attempt at a deeper plot than the film needs and enough fake blood to keep suppliers of corn syrup and red food colouring dancing for an hour and a half.

While I didn’t recognise the names of the cast other than Pertwee and Dorff I recognised pretty much all the faces, from a varied bunch of previous work from Hustle to The Phantom Menace. They quiet easily roll their way through the film, obviously having fun with the ridiculousness of the script and set pieces. There’s a lot of running around in the same two corridors and rooms (using the Star Trek: The Next Generation and Babylon 5 trick of moving the camera around a bit to make it look like they have a slightly bigger amount of set to work with) and the occasional bit of dodgy camera work, but it is otherwise quite a slick looking movie. The effects work especially well, with decapitation, bisection, stabbings, ricochets and generally violent gore spraying across the screen in a way that is over the top and amusing.

The film keeps its tone as light as you can for a story about killing people in interesting ways, with flashes of surreality and silliness that keep things fun all the way to the predictable and unclimatic ending, and a hopeful set-up for Botched 2.

All-in-all a fun piece of comedy horror, more polished than you’d expect from its low-key release, with a solid cast, generally great visual effects, and enough to keep you grinning through the occasional wince until it ends.

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