Wednesday, April 11, 2012


The Action Mutant…
is Sofa King...beyond that. No, wait. He's not.


review by Joe Burrows

The Plot, as it was:
Nelson Ricardo is Drake, a hitman living on an island trying escape his past. He falls for a mysterious island beauty named Maya (Eva Neide) and everything seems to be coming up aces for him...until his childhood friend Rizzo (Joe Marino) surfaces. "The Rizz" has a cache of stolen diamonds with him that he's willing to split with Drake, which brings cops, Jamaicans and a kill crazy hitlady named Lysette (Sandrine Le Gallic) all to Drake's neck of the jungle. Three days determines who ends up with the jewels...and who stays alive!

Don’t shoot me…I’m only the reviewer!:
In the end credits of DV8, writer Xavier Barquet gives "No thanks" to the initial director of the film Chris Kas and lead Nelson Ricardo. The reasons behind this vote of no confidence are probably more interesting than anything on the screen for DV8's compact 75 minute run time. To be fair, DV8 is one of those middle-of-the-road, post-Pulp Fiction neo-Noirs that starts off with a decent premise. There's some odd (maybe pretentious) touches ("B.C. There/A.D. Miami") that introduce the characters & set up things nicely. Once our principles are known, they develop in mixed fashion as their past is usually brought about in quick flashback mode and doesn't raise them past archetype level. Ricardo is ok as the tortured soul/tough guy but its Le Gallic that has the presence to take the film with what little screen time she has. Her story is the least nurtured and would have been explored in more depth if the feature were any longer. What took me out of the flick was Marino's Rizzo, a cardboard cutout if you ever seen one. Somewhat resembling David Della Rocco's role in The Boondock Saints in tone, it is much like that role in the sense that you either find the character amusing or not. In "The Rizz's" case, his bravado & scenery chewing tend to grate on the nerves and unfortunately, he's probably the writer's favorite character. He shows up intermittently, stealing each scene he's in...and not in a good way. It doesn't help matters when things become more routine as the film moves along to its expectedly bloody conclusion. Despite that and being at a length that barely qualifies as a feature, DV8 moves at a crisp pace and is a quick (and, at times, pretty dirty) example of something genre fans should be very familiar with.

Body Count/Violence: 21. A good amount is done with the film's low funds as we get fights, explosions, bloody gunplay, stabbing, strangling, suffocation via plastic bag and more. The highlight is a torture scene involving a power drill and while not overly graphic, the insinuation puts it over the top on the carnage meter.

Sexuality/Nudity: Drake & Maya engage in the bedroom with some skin being shown there. Le Gallic's Lysette is shown nude in a bathtub with her chest fully visible and two strippers go topless in a club scene. Not up to the lofty standards of the "Erotic Thriller" genre but close.

Language/Dialogue: Fairly strong for a neo-Noir, with quite a few F-words.

How bad was it?:
If there were any reviews, I could tell ya but this is not exactly a widely seen release.

Did it make the studio’s day?:
Spectrum Home Video released DV8 on VHS on 10/12/98. It is available on Amazon or you can just watch it here ---> Just watch out for that sound synching. Yikes.

Film: **1/2/*****
Entertainment value: ***/*****

Copyright 2012 The Action Mutant

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