10,000 Bullets   Exploring the world of Cinema from the Arthouse to the Grindhouse™

Smash Cut 
Written by: on February 27th, 2010

Theatrical Release Date: Canada, 2009
Director: Lee Demarbre
Writer: Ian Driscoll
Cast: David Hess, Jesse Buck, Michael Berryman, Ray Sager, Sasha Grey, Jennilee Murray, Michael Dubue, Barry Blake, Parisa Kasaei, Peter Michael Dillon, Meghanne Kessels, Herschell Gordon Lewis

DVD released: March 16th, 2010
Approximate running time: 86 minutes
Aspect Ratio: 1.78:1 Anamorphic Widescreen
Rating: NR
Sound: Dolby Digital 5.1 English, Dolby Digital Stereo English
Subtitles: N/A
DVD Release: Media Blasters / Shriek Show
Region Coding: Region 0 NTSC
Retail Price: $19.99

Synopsis: Determined to make a masterpiece, after his previous film was universally hated by everyone. A schlocky filmmaker finds inspiration in the most unlikely of places, the corpse of a young woman who was the passenger in his car which he crashed into a tree. With his muse by his side he creates his most memorable and realistic film to date.

Smash Cut’s main objective as a film is to try to re-create, the feel and look of the film’s of  Herschell Gordon Lewis a filmmaker known for his gore films like Blood Feast and Two Thousand Maniacs! He even makes a brief appearance in Smash Cut. In this regard the film does achieve most of its objectives. Unfortunately those who are going into this film expecting a out and out horror film are most likely to out quickly. Also being familiar with the film’s of Herschell Gordon Lewis makes the journey all the more enjoyable.

Plot wise things are kept simple. Sure there is a predictability to the narrative and yet there is not a dull moment to be found. Even though this film sets itself up as a tribute, the end result is almost closer to a satire of schlocky cinema. This film features a mesmerizing score from Michael Dubue, that at times is reminiscent of the music featured in many Italian made horror / exploitation films from the late 1970’s early 1980’s.

The cast features many recognizable faces like David Hess (House on the Edge of the Park), Michael Berryman (The Hills Have Eyes), adult film actress Sasha Grey and Ray Sager, who has appeared in several of Herschell Gordon Lewis’s films. The film’s standout performance is David Hess in the role of Able Whitman a schlocky filmmaker who goes on a killing spree in the name of art. This is territory that he is familiar with and as usual he runs with the role. The entire cast are very good in their caricature performances, expect Sasha Grey who comes off as the only person trying to give a serious performance. Whether this is intentional of not, her performance is the film’s easily the weakest link. Ultimately Smash Cut has a bi-polar feel to it. When things are awful they are really bad. While on the flip side when things gel they make for some highly entertaining moments.

The DVD:

Media Blasters presents Smash Cut in an anamorphic widescreen that preserves the film’s original aspect ratio. This is a solid looking progressive flagged transfer that boasts vivid colors, healthy looking flesh tones, strong black levels and details look sharp throughout.

This release comes with two audio options Dolby Digital 5.1 English and Dolby Digital Stereo English. The differences between the two audio mixes is minimal. Both audio mixes sound clear, balanced and robust.

Extras for this release include production stills, a gag reel, 2 trailers for the film, 20 deleted / alternate scenes, two behind the scenes segments, “Sasha Grey Video Dairies” (22 minutes 17 seconds – 1.33:1 ‘full frame’ aspect ratio) and “Behind-The-Scenes Featurette” (35 minutes 9 seconds – anamorphic widescreen) and a clip titled “Bobo Terror Toy 2”, Bobo is the killer clown featured in the movie with in the movie that is being filmed in Smash Cut. The two behind the scenes segments are mostly made up of behind the scenes footage and even though they are not as detailed as the audio commentary included with this release, their inclusion is most definitely worthwhile. The main extra included with this release is an audio commentary with director Lee Demarbre, screenwriter Ian Driscoll, composer Michael Dubue, actress Jennilee Murray and post-production supervisor Andre Coutu. This is a lively commentary that does a good job cover all the aspects of this production. Rounding out the extras are trailers for Bad Biology, Blood Feast, House on the Edge of the Park, Late Fee and Wicked Lake. Overall Smash Cut gets a an exceptional DVD release from Media Blasters, that is highlighted by a informative audio commentary track.

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