It's 74 minutes long and it opens with a mock-up of the MGM logo, announcing that this is an "Angry Badgers" production. Oh God, this doesn't look good. I'm already worried by the exclamation mark in the film title (not a good sign generally) ...

The film begins with a tight military unit storming a West London building whose inhabitants are suspected of terrorism. They uncover a briefcase full of Semtex. Not too far away, Parliamentary minister Chase (Jonathan Moore) gets wind of the incoming threat and races himself and pretty American colleague Marcia (Claire Spence) to the nearest S.N.U.B. - a Secret Nuclear Underground Bunker.

When they reach the S.N.U.B., Marcia is understandably perturbed to see it swarming with soldiers and tucked in the middle of the remote countryside with only a high security prison as a nearby neighbour.

But Chase persuades Marcia that the S.N.U.B. is the best place to be, and they settle into its cold environment - chatting to security expert Sweeney (Gary Mavers) in a somewhat futile bid to feel better about their situation.

Still, it happens that they did the right thing: as they natter away, the Semtex goes off and a huge mushroom cloud engulfs London (ah, the power of bad CGI).

Following an undisclosed amount of time, the occupants of the bunker - along with Marcia, Chase and several soldiers, a motley assortment of women and children are also holed up in there - listen intently while Sweeney advises that they must stay there while the repercussions of a huge terrorist attack on the capitol city is evaluated.

With tensions fraying and a reluctance to leave their claustrophobic confines due to fear of what the outside world may bring, could the situation get any worse?

Yes, of course. Sweeney reveals that the group's radio communications to the outside world have been compromised by the explosion. That's not good. But that's nothing compared to the chilling attraction Chase obviously has for Marcia.

Any rumpy-pumpy will have to wait though: the in-bunker soldiers eventually decide to check out weird thumping noises emanating from a far corner of the bunker, and discover ... inmates from the local prison, mutated by the radiation fallout of the outside explosion! Crikey. A bunch of mismatched individuals holed up in an airtight container, only to find that they're suddenly accompanied by insane murderous mutants? Sounds like fun.

And it could well have been. But this is surprisingly slow to get going, considering its meagre running time. Once it does, it gets slightly better and provides some enjoyably splattery moments. But for the most part the film relies on mediocre character dialogue.

Although less of a comedy than its title suggests (it's actually quite sombre at times), S.N.U.B! does benefit from some sassy one-liners and a few gory punchlines - eventually - that are bound to resonate with fans of Romero's cheekier moments.

Director Jonathan Glendening doesn't really do the simple premise justice though, allowing what should have been a breathless exercise in tension to crawl for too long and then peter out towards the end. John and Peter Adams' screenplay could've been served better.

Performances are efficient but in a strictly TV soap opera manner. Hardly surprising when you consider where we know this cast from: Mavers (Peak Practice); Moore (The Bill); Spence (Primeval); Harriet Thorpe (Absolutely Fabulous) and so on ...

The film is presented uncut in anamorphic 1.78:1, its original aspect ratio, and looks very good on this UK DVD.

Picture quality is very good, proffering decent colours and sharp images along with a very clean presentation throughout.

English audio is equally good, serving up a healthily clean 2.0 mix that is evenly balanced and clear throughout.

The disc opens with a rather mundane static main menu page that leads into a static scene-selection menu allowing access to the main feature via 12 chapters.

Extras begin with "Behind The Blast Door", a 23-minute featurette that looks into the making of the film. There are some good insights into how Glendening forged his career as a filmmaker and the cast are keen to wax lyrical about the political relevance of the film. It's all rather self-serving, but it's a decent watch nonetheless.

An audio commentary track from Glendening and John Adams proves to be more informative, offering a wealth of wry observations and interesting background information in an easy-going manner.

A 10-minute tour of the nuclear bunker follows, which is intriguing in its own right.

How about a sunny promo video for some innocuous Britpop song called "Word's Got Out"? Yep, that turns up on the disc too. It's a decent enough way to waste three-and-a-half minutes.

An original trailer for the film runs for 99 seconds and looks very cheap indeed.

Finally, we get a promo for one of the cameras used during the making of the film. Fucking hell, this shameless 5-minute Sony plug will leave a bad taste in your mouth ...

S.N.U.B! isn't as daft as the title suggests. It's a weird mix of low-key one-liners, and pretty serious drama. As a film, it barely registers: it would work better as a TV special - my parents would love it, for example.

Bizarrely sedate but not without its moments, S.N.U.B! is competent in an age when it needs to be more than that to compete with the competition.

We have a good disc here, but the film on it is poor.

Review by Stu Willis

Released by ISIS
Region 2 - PAL
Rated 18
Extras :
see main review