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 The World of Film in Australia - on the Internet Updated Thursday, July 31, 2014 - Edition No 908 

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DEVIL'S CHAIR, THE : DVD

SYNOPSIS:
After four years in a mental institution for the criminally insane, Nick West (Andrew Howard) is released into the care of Dr Willard (David Gant), who, with his small team, take him back to the scene of the trauma that sent him to the asylum. What he recalls of the events that put him there are hazy. With a pocketful of drugs, Nick takes out his girlfriend Sammy (Polyanna Rose), for a shag and a good time. When they explore an abandoned asylum, the discovery of a bizarre device - a cross between an electric chair and sadistic fetish machine - transforms drugged-out bliss into agony and despair. After Sammy is brutally assaulted and murdered by unseen forces, Nick becomes the number-one suspect - which is where his dark and terrifying journey to the meeting place between insanity and the supernatural begins.

Review by Andrew L. Urban:
Angry young working class Nick West (Andrew Howard) narrates this hideous story for us in an engaging and self-referential manner that, surprisingly enough, adds to the entertainment value. Perhaps that's because he speaks like an angry young working class guy (with bleak black humour) who's had one heckuva major trauma, watching his sexy and pretty girlfriend die a terrible death - and then been accused of her murder, and thrown into an asylum for four years. Not a calming part of his life.

Andrew Howard is tough and vulnerable as Nick West, and the often annoying supporting cast do their stuff well. Shot (almost) like a noir arthouse drama, the film has an edgy energy and a well maintained tone of doom, aided by a dense score. It all works well for the first half, but then it starts to dip as silly takes over from scary. That's when the tacky B movie elements drift in, and the fun starts - if you're into that sort of fun.

Blood flows, evil creatures growl and evil humans glee - it's that sort of second half. But then it's a supernatural creature feature and that's what to expect. And Nick returns with some self-aware narration to berate the blood thirsty viewer and pour scorn on the movie's B credentials. Fun stuff. Enjoy with dark cellar-bred mushroom pizza and a big bottle of cheap red.

Published January 8, 2009



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CRITICAL COUNT
Favourable: 0
Unfavourable: 0
Mixed: 0

DEVIL'S CHAIR, THE : DVD (R)
(UK, 2006)

CAST: Andrew Howard, Polly Brown, Olivia Hill, Nadja Brand, David Gant, Louise Griffiths, Elize du Toit, Matt Berry

PRODUCER: Nadja Brand, Eric M. Breiman, Patrick Ewald, Adam Mason

DIRECTOR: Adam Mason

SCRIPT: Adam Mason, Simon Boyes

CINEMATOGRAPHER: Ole Birkeland

EDITOR: Hasse Billing, Adam Mason

MUSIC: Zoe Keating, Mortiis

PRODUCTION DESIGN: Neil Jenkins

RUNNING TIME: 87 minutes

PRESENTATION: 16:9; DD 5.1

SPECIAL FEATURES: Audio commentary by writer/director Adam Mason, writer Simon Boyes and star Andrew Howard; Blood, Sweat and Fears - The Making of Devil's Chair [Subtitles: Romanian , Swedish , Greek , Hungarian , Dutch , Arabic , English , Turkish , Norwegian , Danish , French , Finnish]

DVD DISTRIBUTOR: Sony

DVD RELEASE: January 6, 2009







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