Smash Cut

Synopsis: The special effects on director Able Whitman’s (David Hess, The Last House On The Left) new shlock-horror film just aren’t cutting it. – until he starts killing people and using their body parts as props!

Now, only intrepid reporter April Carson (adult film star Sasha Grey, The Girlfriend Experience) and celebrated private detective Isaac Beaumonde (Jesse Buck) stand between the demonic director and his unquenchable thirst for butchery at 24 frames per second!

Smash Cut 6.0

As a (sort of) follow-up to my viewing of ‘The Girlfriend Experience’, I decided to watch ‘Smash Cut’, by Ottawa’s own Lee Demarbre. I was not a huge fan of ‘Jesus Christ Vampire Hunter’, despite its cult status and my predilection for enjoying some of these movies, but what appealed to me here was that Demarbre, like Soderbergh, also made the curious move of hiring Sasha Grey in a lead role.

I wanted to see what the results would be. Would they hold up compared to the previous film?

Well, unlike Soderbergh’s ‘TGFE’, I didn’t notice anything but an amateurish performance from Grey. Why the difference? I don’t know. But, for the record, almost all the acting in this film is pretty bad and/or over-the-top. So maybe it isn’t Grey’s fault. Was it due to poor casting decisions? Poor directorial choices? Or was it purposeful, with the full intention of creating a cheesy genre-film?

It’s so hard to say without listening to a director’s commentary or watching an interview, but it is a super-low budget production, and the director is known for making schlocky fare – so perhaps the whole thing has been contrived this way. Perhaps I just wasn’t watching it with the right mindset that night. Or perhaps I would have needed to watch it in a crowded repertoire cinema. I’m not sure…

In the same sense, the special effects and the sets were really cheap-looking. Was this done on purpose? Or was this the inevitable effect of having an Ottawa-based (and, presumably, funded) production? Either way, the film looks nothing like a Hollywood production, for good or bad, depending on your point of view. There are, however, some interesting touches that have been added to the film in post-production, so it makes one wonder again about talent vs. intention.

‘Smash Cut’ will never be a smash hit and it will only have limited appeal to the average movie-goer. But, based on its style, substance and bevy of cameos, it might very well have smash cult appeal.

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