As a reviewer, it's often difficult to work out what to say about a movie. You watch the DVD you're kindly sent, and you hope that something within the film itself will give you inspiration to write about it afterwards. Sometimes you see something good, or at least respectable. And, sometimes, you also see other films that simply blow you away, with their audacity. But then, there are stinkers: films so absolutely dire that no words exist in the English language that describe even remotely just how shit they actually are.

None of this applies to "The Stink Of Flesh", which is a reasonable attempt at invigorating the zombie-horror genre - and all done for a measly $3000! (This wouldn't even cover the cost of generating the on-screen Opening Credits for something like "The Matrix Revisited"!) But when you are up against classics like "Zombie Flesh-Eaters", "Shaun Of The Dead" and the like, it's going to take something pretty spectacular to get people to sit-up and take notice. For me, this movie is an "almost" film. Whilst, it can't seem to reach the giddy heights of greatness, it does give it a damn good try. And for that, it deserves rewarding.

With zombie films, certain rules come into play. The way the zombies move. How they are killed. Who lives and who dies. The film follows a Mexican handyman, who looks not unlike The Rock. During a zombie invasion, he is knocked unconscious, and driven to a rundown house in the middle of nowhere. Here, he is to be used as a sex slave by a married couple, but the couple aren't all that they seem, and the hordes of zombies around them, don't help matters.

Describing this film is difficult. It's never entirely certain what it wants to be, as it constantly switches from being a horror flick about hordes of zombies attacking the living, to an action film (including a group of military soldiers). Then, it takes a turn into a soft-core porn flick, before injecting a shot of comedy into the scenario. It's all a very mixed bag. But never one completely unworthy of watching

Considering the budget is so low, I have to say that although the plot veers off-course frequently, and the ending is far from great, there are many good points. The first, is the SFX, which are effective. The effects are kept to times when they are necessary, rather than being used in a flamboyant mode, as an excuse to show-off. There's nothing overly gruesome that SGM readers need be concerned with, but the effects work, and that's what counts. (Check out the nail through the head, or the flick-knife through the face scenes.) Secondly, the acting from a bunch of unknowns who are all friends with one another, is also universally good. As some of the cast are in real-life relationships, it helps when you see them on-screen together, and the chemistry they generate does wonders to boost the film's overall effectiveness. My only complaint, is that the two boys in the film, don't seem to know what they are supposed to be doing, and seem wasted. However, the adult cast members act well, and do their best.

The disc contains some great extras. For me, the 45-minute Behind The Scenes documentary is your first stop, after watching the movie of course. Instead of the usual cast interviews, boasting how lovely it was to work with everyone, you get a ten-day diary, which highlights how the film got made, and how everyone was involved - through the highs, and the lows. At 45-minutes, it doesn't outstay its welcome, but gives enough detail to make it worthwhile actually watching it. Some funny clips and quotes are included, that help show viewers what working on a low-budget movie can entail. There are two audio commentaries, which I didn't get a chance to listen too in full, but are good for what they are. Alongside this, you have tons of trailers, the entire Screenplay (as a DVD-Rom file), a featurette on the movie's US premiere, and an effective and genuinely entertaining Blooper Reel.

Picture-wise, it's good, but not great. There are some visible scenes of grain, but providing you aren't watching on a massive screen, this shouldn't affect you too much. With regards to the audio, however, there is a minor problem. The Stereo Soundtrack is awesome. It's full-bodied, ballsy, and packs plenty of punch, for such a minor film. However, there are occasions when the heavy rock music obscures the dialogue. This doesn't happen often, but when it does, it's a real frustration. I don't know if it's the fault of the film-makers themselves, or the disc producers, but it's a niggling matter nonetheless.

Despite this singular reservation, "The Stink Of Flesh" is a reasonable film, on a good disc. I wouldn't personally pay full-whack for this title as I don't feel that the disc as a whole offers enough to pay the best part of �15 for. However, I would say that it's a definite worthy rental, and a great budget buy, once the disc falls below the �10 mark. The film was shot in 4:3, so there's no widescreen print option.

Review by "Pooch".

Released by HARDGORE
Region 2 PAl
Rated 18
Extras : see main review