Reviews/Films – “Barmy Beyond Belief Bogota Botch” – The Belko Experiment – Wednesday 3rd May

A substantive storyline amidst an austere South American setting presumed promise, but the combination of crass comedy with half-baked horror speedily signalled a destined to fall flat second rate screenplay, although as it advanced on its reckless & rocky reception road, it became clear that “The Belko Experiment” was barmy beyond belief, but to just what extent?  

 

 

If there is one genre of film we struggle with, especially in the cinema, its horror, our squeamish nature not helping, all too often the use of blood & gore at the centre of these motion pictures, while the we find infusion of aspects such as comedy, psychology & the supernatural quite disturbing, the former concerningly so, as when we come across comedy in a horror film, we almost unanimously fail to see the funny side. That said, we don’t mind films that poke fun at horror, perhaps the best example being “Carry On Screaming”, while both “An American Werewolf In London” & “Lost Boys” sit comfortably in our DVD collection. Indeed, we are not completely averse to horror, the “REC” series of Spanish speaking screenplays also on our collection shelves, albeit that the third instalment with its crass comedic overtures has somewhat damaged the reputation of this full-on franchise of films, although we put our hands up in admitting a penchant for “The Omen” series, and with “The Quiet Ones”, “As Above So Below” & “Annabelle” on disc, our on the surface struggle with horror may not be as apparent as we think or thought. And it is perhaps for this reason that we gave “The Belko Experiment” cinema viewing consideration, well that as well as a smouldering sense of intrigue, as this farfetched fable of film had already been out on the circuit well over two weeks before we plumped to see it ahead of another supposed safe bet screenplay “The Promise” (more on that in our dedicated review), the trailer, both in the cinema & online, shielding much of the gory grunge, but moreover the morbid nature of the storyline which in a nutshell, surrounds the slaying of fellow office workers in a survival of the fittest extraordinary experiment by, to the sixty four individuals locked into the barren Bogota building, by forces unknown.  

So, what, for us, made “The Belko Experiment” barmy beyond belief and is there a ray of hope that it might make it to our DVD collection? Well, after a sufficiently satisfactory start, despite there being a second rate feeling to the screenplay that was & is not helped by the comprehensive lack of recognisable actors, given we were expecting heaps of horror to come, the comedic quips by certain members of this obtuse collection of characters were both off putting and inappropriate, indeed even throughout the more gory & violent scenes later on in this morose motion picture, were perverse to say the least, we nevertheless accepting the fact that horror film fans actually enjoy seeing a slices of lighter hearted moments in these sorts of movies, but it simply doesn’t work for us, especially in this feature. But it wasn’t just the misplaced comedy, as the quality of the cinematography was far from its best, elements of the script wincingly woeful, while the creepy, racist & sexist intentions of one of the characters, Wendell Dukes (played by ex comedian actor John C McGinley) was uncomfortably disturbing to the point of utter disgust. Yet, him aside, there were some endearing elements to both the people in this picture and the film itself, the mystery & intrigue as to exactly who these experimental outside forces were, kept the interest sufficiently intense to stop us scarpering midway through, although the bewilderingly barmy bits such as exploding microscopic bomb implants, the selection of soundtrack songs, especially upbeat classical music choices that overlaid the obliterations & carnage that dominated the meat of this movie, were steps too far. Indeed, it seems we were not alone in this conclusion, as the critical response suggested similar, some stating that it lacks sufficient subversive content to consistently engage, thus so, despite the underlying intended but not delivered sophistication to the storyline, to see how humans react & interact with each other when survival instincts are imposed and, despite the cliff-hanger of an ending eluding to a follow up film, we won’t be buying the DVD or watching the sequel, if in fact there is one. (DISCO MATT)


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About discomatt

The History........................................................Created in 2008 after a short period of blogging under his real name, the pseudonym, “Disco Matt”, was born on the back of a reputation for being London’s original party boy having partied and clubbed across the London gay scene since in mid 1990’s.........................................................Through his series of blogs via individual blogging pages which soon morphed into a full blown website (http://discomatt.com), Disco Matt established himself as an independent journalist come columnist who quickly gained a reputation for supporting & promoting one of the world’s most prolific clubbing scenes. He previewed, reviewed & recommended London gay clubs, as well as the diverse gay/metrosexual London club/bar culture, linking to & reviewing the scene top D.J.’s and generally covering the gay scene including international gay events....................................................Regularly reporting on the top events across the scene, Disco Matt’s reviews, over the years, developed a strong following, not just by clubbers, D.J’s, promoters, music producers & scene faces, but people far and wide that were looking for an insight to the incredible scene that was London. He also previewed upcoming events that signalled, either a major change or update of existing clubs, new ventures on the gAylist/metrosexual scene, or where he considered events that deserved more comprehensive coverage to that provided in other posts.............................................However, having pretty much reached the top of his game in his chosen specific field, due to a number of personal predicaments, challenges & changes in his life priorities, Disco Matt parked his writing and operation in February 2014. While the burning desire to continue remained, what this much needed period of inactivity did provide was the time & space to re-think & re-focus his activities on a broader spectrum of media and entertainment............................................................So, following this long two year lay-off, he built up the foundations for this diversification into the areas of film, theatre, radio & television where his reviewing, recommending & reporting was to be replicated & resurrected, also pointing his promotions through more visuals & video's linked to all these areas along with his core activities and passions ................................................................................The Present....................................After another (shorter) period of lay-off from mid 2016, a life changing event reignited his passion and early into 2017, Disco Matt has delivered on his promise for a new, more modern look to his website, shedding the old & tired skin in favour of something far more in keeping with the times and with his blogging roots. And he has waived a fond farewell to his clubbing days, this having also been ditched from his site & activity, rather now just focussing on the genres of film, theatre, radio, television, video and of course, music, in so doing, aiming to broaden his appeal to a much wider audience interested in the latest most cutting edge areas of media & entertainment.............................................................................His aim is to be highly regarded across the industry for his writing in these fields and ultimately become a full time critic in film &/or theatre.

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