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HUNTING CREATURES
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Reviewed by: Pat Torfe

Directed by: Oliver Kellisch and Andreas Pape

Starring:
Christian Bätge
Christian Engelmann
Boris Hansmann
Marco Stracke

Movie:  
star star star star
Extras:  
star star star star
Overall:  
star star star star
What's it about

A group of wannabe gangstas rob a bar, then head off to work the door at a very poorly attended rave. Problem is, someone forgot to tell them that the building that the rave is at has some problems with its pipes. The pipes leak a green substance that sprays the majority of the party-goers, which causes their skin to melt and turn them into zombies. Leave it to a group of Germans to ruin a party.

Is it good movie?

I never thought I'd say this, but I was legitimately annoyed with this zombie film. Seriously, how hard is it to screw up a film like this? You've got no shortage of blood, there are zombies and it's in German (which you have to admit sounds pretty freaky when you get guys shouting in it). Nevertheless, the directing tandem of Andreas Pape and Oliver Kellisch did. The low budget be damned, as there's no excuse for how bad this is.

The first slap in the face has to come from the story, which is ridiculous to begin with. You remember that one episode of South Park where they take a shot at the writers of Family Guy? The one portraying the writers as manatees pushing rubber "idea balls" inscribed with random topics into a bin, and coming up with jokes with whatever combination of balls come together? Think of the story for HUNTING CREATURES as the result of one of those manatee sessions. I don't know much about raves in Germany, but I'm sure that they aren't hosted by guys who want to draw attention to themselves just after they robbed a bar.

Never mind that, which of those 'scientists' decided that it was a good idea to store the results of their experiment in an abandoned warehouse? Throw in bad acting (which even in German comes out laughable) by actors who look to be about 20-something college roommates, and you have the setup for something special (and by 'special', I mean 'retarded').

The backhand compliment to the slap comes from the editing, which is all over the place. It left no sense of rhythm or flow for the entire film, and was downright disorienting at times. Case in point: a camouflaged, gun-toting thug discovers a zombie, shoots it, and then begins to puff on a cigarette that clearly wasn't there before. It's like this was some sort of half-assed attempt to introduce a hint of being badass, but came out being dumbass with the lack of continuity.

To top off this turd sundae would have to be that once you get into the film (if that's possible), you realize that it looks like the majority of the film was shot in their parents' basement. Cheap, you say? Considering that they decided to shoot in Digital Video without any attempt to set up proper lighting conditions (emphasizing that 'cheap' look even more), you'd be right. Of course, this would be somewhat forgivable if they said straight-up that this wasn't a serious film, but unfortunately for us, it is (at least I think it's supposed to be). Annoying, isn't it?

About the only redeeming thing about the film is the gore effects, which weren't the best, but provided some distraction. You have headshots galore (someone's been playing Counterstrike), gut munching, guys running around with orange food colouring on their faces and other assorted mayhem, which takes up the latter third of the film. Other than that, I can safely say that this is one of those films that was made by gorehounds with too much time on their hands, with little or no filmmaking knowledge, for gorehounds with too much time on their hands and low standards. Next!

Video / Audio

Video: Like a lot of these films that make the choice to go the Digital Video route (and don't know what they're doing), there's that flimsy look that makes it seem like it was shot on a regular camcorder and then put on a VHS tape. Shot in 1.85:1 non-anamorphic widescreen, the colours are washed out, with very noticeable grain, edge enhancement and an overall lack of detail, especially during some of the darker scenes. It'd be okay, if this were a film school project.

Audio: Again, like the video, the Dolby Digital 2.0 German track is okay. Dialogue is clear for the most part (even though it sounds like they recorded it from the camera's microphone). The score tends to be of the annoying type and is far too high in the audio mix, which sometimes distracts from what little amusement there is. We do get English subtitles for those of us not fluent in German.

The Extras

Despite the questionable quality of the film in general, Unearthed Films found it necessary to balance things out with a few supplements (if you can get past the annoyingly loud Euro-dance rock music that plays on each of the menus).

First up is a Behind The Scenes documentary, which has the exact same quality as the film itself. Judging from the typo in the title card, these guys obviously don't have a grasp of the English language, and neither did the person who let it slip by. They're also complete assclowns. Yeah, asking one of your female cast to get naked instead of doing an interview is really funny (if you're 14 years old). I seriously think these guys are nothing more than loser frat boys with a high school mentality (with below average intelligence). They say nothing of interest regarding the film, and from the looks of things, don't even know what they're doing half the time.

Following that are 7 minutes worth of Deleted Scenes, the majority of which look to be cut for time. Nothing earth-shattering here.

Next up is a Photo Gallery showing off what amounts to the same promotional shots each time (ie. guy splattered with blood, holding a gun and looking tough). The other annoying thing is that personally, I like the galleries that you manually go through, not the ones that play automatically like this one.

Last are a set of trailers for DAS KOMABRUTALE DUELL, FOOTSTEPS and HUNTING CREATURES. All equally bad, all to be avoided.

Last Call

There are more heinous things to blame Germany for, and in this case, I blame Unearthed Films for bringing this garbage over to our shores. How someone can find this film entertaining is beyond me, since it's nothing more than a group of guys trying to ape an action/horror movie and failing miserably. But hey, what'd you expect from people who like David Hasselhoff's music? Stick with 28 DAYS LATER for your Euro zombie fix.

ARROW IN THE HEAD'S RATING SYSTEM
star star star star I'D BUTCHER MY FAMILY TO SEE THIS AGAIN
star star star HANG ME BUT I DUG IT A LOT
star star AN OK WAY TO KILL TWO HOURS
star JUST SLING AN ARROW IN MY HEAD AND LET ME DIE IN PEACE

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