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RAPTURIOUS
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Reviewed by: JimmyO

Directed by: Kamal Ahmed

Starring:
Robert Oppel
Debbie Rochon
Joe Bob Briggs

Movie:  
star star star star
Extras:  
star star star star
Overall:  
star star star star
What's it about
Rapturious is the flavor of the month white rapper who is having issues dealing with success. When his drug dealer offers him the latest thing, he accepts. Soon, he is having freaky hallucinations and phone calls from some demonic voice from hell... possibly.
Is it good movie?
What up muthafu*ka? Whatcha wanna know bout this muthafu*ka? Some white rapper with the street name Rapturious (Robert Oppel) starts doin’ some nasty shite and it makes crack look like candy. Yeah, his dealer offers him some new drug, it’s the latest thing on the street. Once he takes it, he’s hooked. Rapturious starts having these hallucinations of some demon and a naked guy running around. He sees images of a death and mayhem. He even has a fantasy involving his manager Sid (Debbie Rochon who is terrific as always), and it involves her naked breasts and intestines. This whole dream sequence with it’s nudity and gooey insides seemed a bit Cronenberg in style. And it all leads up to what most of the audience figures out from the opening sequence set back in the old west. Think 8 Mile meets Angel Heart.

My problem with this film is the script. It is much too predictable and it seems like the audiences knows all the information too early. We know things that it takes our hero several scenes to figure out. It is much too simplistic and weak to be taken seriously. When we witness purgatory, it looks as if it is some modern art stage production off-off-off Broadway. And apparently, hell is a very easy place to escape from. And as for character development, we don’t really get to know Rapturious and why he’s famous. He is supposedly famous for being an up and coming rap star, yet he can’t even get ten people to watch him get interviewed on what looks like a public access television show with the worst interviewer ever. And they expect us to believe that they are making a movie about the rapper? And speaking of rap… he looks and sounds more like a beat poet. Eminem he ain’t.

Ex-Jerky Boy Kamal Ahmed who wrote and directed this feature may not have made the perfect good vs. evil horror film… far from it. But he has a very intriguing style as a director. The fantasy sequences are cheap but did have a sort of b-movie charm to them. If this script had been stronger, he probably would have a neat little thriller going for him. There are some truly effective shots including a hanging, and nifty use of a dude with a cigar who may or may not be some demon. Aside from that, there are a couple of fun cameos including Joe Bob Briggs and Kevin Van Hentenryck from Basket Case. And even though I didn’t buy him as a rapper necessarily, I think Robert Oppel gives a good performance. His trip to insanity and back is grounded in reality and he does a credible job.
Video / Audio
Video: A decent 1.77:1 Anamorphic transfer considering the budget.

Audio: The 5.1 Dolby Digital is also very good. Too bad they didn’t really utilize the hip hop scene with more music.
The Extras
Rapturious doesn’t offer too many special features but I guess the highlight would be the Commentary from writer/director Ahmed. He takes his time to speak, but he consistently offers up information on the film. It seems that the Dell Computer guy “Steve”, Ben Curtis, almost played the title role. Ahmed is very laid back and sometimes seemed to not care too much whether the film works or not. But still, he seems like a nice enough guy, just not the most energetic audio commentary around. And he belches a lot too.

Next up we have Behind the Scenes of Rapturious (5:08) which feels almost like a gag reel. But we do get to hear more of Mr. Oppel’s rapping. And there is a nice little interview with Debbie Rochon.

And finally, a Behind-the-Scenes Photo Gallery (2:00) with several cast and crew shots with no music at all. Just a bunch of pics passing by.

You want more from Danger After Dark? There are Trailers for “Danger After Dark 3-Pack”, “Next Door”, “Evil” and “Pervert!”. Enjoy.
Last Call
It’s 8 Mile with Angel Heart (and possibly Jacob’s Ladder), but it is not even close to the quality of those films. This is a badly written film that could have been much better with a decent script. Robert Oppel is good as Rapturious, but considering he is a rapper, it might have been more effective to actually witness his success than just hear about it. Ahmed is a very competent director who adds a certain style to this low-budget flick. If only he had someone else write the script. As it is, a smart audience will figure it out before the opening sequence ends… muthafu*ka!
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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