Botched (2006)
By: Markus Zussner on on November 27, 2007  |  Comments  |  Bookmark and Share
Eagle Entertainment (Australia). Region 4, PAL. 1.85:1 (16:9 enhanced). English DD 5.1, English DTS 5.1. 91 minutes
The Movie
Director: Kit Ryan
Starring: Stephen Dorff, Jamie Foreman, Geoff Bell, Jaime Murray, Bronagh Gallagher, Hugh O'Connor, Edward Baker Duly, Sean Pertwee
Writer: Raymond Friel Eamon Friel, Derek Boyle
Country: UK, Germany, Ireland, USA
Maybe I haven't been paying close attention of late, or likely my IQ dropped sharply as it does so often, but I must proclaim the fact that I didn't know anything about Botched. I had never heard of the damn movie! My discovery started when I decided to scoot up to the DVD store to rent a movie for my daily brain therapy. I parked, went into the store and started a patrol around the perimeter of the new release wall. I reached 'B' where I found the title called Botched staring back at me. The front cover kind of had a blank expression and there were no flashing lights screaming "Take Me!", but I read the back of the DVD sleeve to get a breakdown of the story. So far so good. It's got a Professional thief, twin psycho killers, psychotic Russian Mafia, deranged hostages, ear ripping, decapitation, home made rat bombs (yes a rat which is turned into an incendiary device), a passionate kiss under a pile of dead bodies, and much, much more. OK, so far so good. So I flick to the front cover and notice the rating: 'R18+ High Level Horror Violence'. Horror Violence? Ok I'm easy, I'm sold.

Ritchie Donovan (Stephen Dorf) is a professional and competent thief whose luck is about to end abruptly. After a successful diamond heist his getaway vehicle is involved in a horrific accident, resulting in the instant death of his gang. Now I can't emphasis enough about wearing your freakin' seatbelt, man! One of them propels from the back seat of the vehicle like a missile, straight through the front windscreen and goes head first into a wall. Now that's what I call opening with a bang! Ritchie, a little shaken up, bounds off up the road only to be hit by another vehicle, launching him into the air and scattering diamonds across the road, leaving him with no choice but make good his escape without the diamonds before the cops turn up.

We learn that the diamonds were for a Russian Mafia boss named Groznyi (Sean Pertwee) who had paid for Ritchie and his mother to immigrate to America from Russia when Ritchie was just a kid, and now that Ritchie is all grown up he must work as a professional thief for Groznyi in order to pay back the debt. The Diamond heist was supposed to clear all debts between him and Groznyi, but Ritchie is given another opportunity to make good his fuck up. Ritchie is given a job to steal a golden cross from the top floor penthouse of a highly secure office/apartment building. Long ago the golden cross belonged to the family of Ivan the Terrible and Groznyi wants it bad. Ritchie believes that the heist will be a cinch. What do you think?

Very seldom does a comedy blend successfully with horror; especially in accordance to my tastes. As we all know, comedy is hard, dying is easy. There are those who think that Scream blended the two genres successfully. I'm told that it did and the box office success of Scream tells me it did, but to be honest? Scream managed only to get a low decibel chuckle out of me…and maybe a snort. Now Feast, or Return of the Living Dead, that's my taste in horror comedy. I mean come on, split dogs!! That's something that I will never forget and I still laugh out loud to the thought of those cute little half-puppies wriggling around on the floor. Or what about that baby monster-thing humping the cow-head hanging on the back wall of the bar in Feast? I went into cardiac arrest when I saw that. Now this leads me onto the movie at hand. Is it a horror movie? Oh absolutely. Is it a comedy? Hell Yeah! Is it a horror comedy? You freakin' better believe it man!! This has to be one of the most hilarious, snot-choking films that I have seen for a long, long while. Possibly ever.

The movie feels like a cross between Cube, House of 9, Saw, Scream and any Tarantino movie that you can think of. Now remember, 'feels' is the operative word. There are no direct or indirect references to these movies in any obvious way. The script from Raymond and Eamon Friel is witty and clever with its own unique style. Not necessarily original (but what is these days?), however it is certainly a refreshing piece of work. The sometimes deadpan humour is generated from a well written script; a nicely developed group of quirky characters and excellent acting that is played straight or with a subtle twist of silliness. Watch out for the rat (as in rodent), my favourite character who really steals the show and the body parts. Voted 'Best Rat in a movie' by me!

Now on the other hand, the amount of times that Botched crosses genres and the amount of genres that it actually crosses (which is a lot) may annoy the heck out of some viewers.
The anamorphic 1.85:1 transfer comes across as good as expected for a standard DVD. There is not much colour used in the production design of this film. Cinematographer Bryan Loftus B.S.C. has kept the lighting and atmosphere somewhat intentionally subdued. Primary colour is a patchy white as you would expect. Secondary colour of course is bloody red so blood spatter on walls due to blunt/sharp force trauma comes across quite effectively on the white-walled background. Like the Saw movies have that sickly yellow atmospheric look; Botched has a sickly white and grubby brown sort of look to it.
Crystal clear sound with no audio hiss or hum. 5.1 Dolby Digital, sounds great. The DTS is even better. The DTS is a little more bass heavy and dynamic which is the way I like it so it gives the sub a real nice workout. Gun shots are great, sounding off with reverbs and echoes and any slicing and dicing sound effects come up nice and clean.There is an array of weaponry used in this film and each one has its own unique sound when impacting on soft squishy human bodies of various gender and age (we wouldn't expect any less). Play it loud!
Extra Features
Just Trailers.
The Verdict
Killer laughs, killer thrills, killer movie. Fast paced from the get go. A hysterical cross-genre comedy, action, horror that is as funny as it is bloody. Ingeniously, creative and gory kills are dispatched by the strangest and most bizarre Killer(s) that have graced the silver disc in quite a while, complete with disco lights and a couple of quick dance movies thrown in for good measure.
Movie Score
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