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Story wise, the set up was freaking tight and I was hoping for great things to come. I didn’t fully get them because the flick was too busy trying to find its tone throughout instead. Was it a grounded story set in reality? Or was it an over the top gore comic book? It wasn’t sure and struggled with its own identity non-stop. With that, it gunned out at a vicious pace, slapped every exploitation topping you can think of into the mix (bloodshed, the longest shower scene you’ve ever seen and even a cat fight, meow), it sported a couple of howler one-liners (Victim: Why are you doing this to me? Killer: To keep fit), some back-handing plot turns and a visual style that was kinetic to say the least. Kitamura is not the most subtle of directors out there and here once again he took the bull by the horns, slammed its face into the sand and went buck nuts with his on the move camera! Eye candy madness! So yeah, it was hard for me to hate the thing. It is a tad of a bummer that this one stumbled so much though....
Ya see, this could’ve been AWESOME instead of uneven and vacuous entertainment. Like I said before, the tone was all over the place. Moreover, the dialogue was often cringe inducing, to the point that I was embarrassed for the actors. Even DeNiro couldn’t have made some of the lines here work! Then we had the occasional sloppy editing (end fight scene) and the middle section of the flick which left a bit to be desired. The latter lost the momentum of the first block and although still engaging, it was a bit too low jive. I hate it when a flick blows its load too early, loses steam and gets it back for the finale. It is a common movie ailment. Ask any screenwriter: what’s the hardest section to write? The middle section. So NO ONE LIVES suffered from that. Am I going to mention the random plot holes? I just did but to be honest, I didn’t care. Intentional or not, this was a schlocky and gruesome exploitation flick that delivered the red wet goods, I was not expecting Shakespeare over here!
So on the whole; I was amused by NO ONE LIVES. Was it a great flick on paper? Nope! But it was daring, violent and insane enough to make it worth my while. If you like bold and outlandish B Movies with buckets of blood to throw around, you may dig this one!