Gothkill (2009)
By: J.R. McNamara on November 5, 2009  | 
DVD
Wild Eye DVD (USA). All Regions, NTSC. 4:3. English DD 2.0. 70 minutes
The Movie
Cover Art
Credits
Director: JJ Connelly
Starring: Flambeaux, Erica Giovinazzo, Mistress Juliya
Screenplay: JJ Connelly
Country: USA
External Links
Purchase IMDB YouTube
Straight off the bat I have to say this: Andy Milligan may be dead, but his ghost can possess people, causing them to make substandard avant-garde films. The whole time I watched this I felt like I was watching something by the guy who gave us The Body Beneath. Even though writer/ director J.J. Connelly says he is a fan of Roger Corman, Milligan definitely seems to be more his muse.

Gothkill is the tale of Inquisitor Nicholas Dread (Flambeaux) who many years ago, during the inquisition, came to the conclusion that what he was doing was wrong and that killing innocent women for being 'witches' may not be right. For this blasphemy against the church, he himself is burnt at the stake as well, and when God doesn't come to save him, he swears his allegiance to Satan, who has promised him a portion of Hell to rule over once he has killed 100,000 impure souls.

Today we find Dread going to be hanged for his crimes; he has collected his souls and willingly submits to being executed so he can rule over his part of Hell. His partner in crime visits him in jail before the execution, and they perform half a ritual that can retrieve his soul from Hell to possess another body... though why he would want to leave Hell if he were ruling part of it seems a little odd.

His partner is hit by a car driven by a priest (oh, the irony) and the book is stolen by a vagrant... and we shall find out what happens to the book later...

Nicholas is executed and surprise, surprise, Satan has cheated him, leaving him abandoned in a barren part of Hell. Which is just basically a badly lit room.

Now we meet Annie (Erica Giovinazzo) and her friend Kate (Eve Blackwater) who, while shopping for 'Goth' clothes, are invited to a party hosted by a vampire clan. Of course, the clan is ruled over by a guy who is just doing it to embezzle the dumb Goth Kids, and let me tell you, this guy looks like Kyle Sandilands in clown make-up, who does the whole 'vampire' thing for show.

He tells them he has gotten his hands of a sacred text for an ancient ritual, but the joke is on him, he doesn't realise he has the book to release Dread from Hell, and even though he thinks he is fooling the kids, he is going to release an unholy evil back onto the Earth! He drugs Kate and Annie, and recites the words from the ancient text over them while they are out cold.... but by doing so he releases the soul of Dread into Annie's body, who then goes on a bloodthirsty rampage, and by 'blood' I mean 'red paint', and restarts collecting souls.... and so the Gothkill begins...

If you don't like Goth kids, you'll like this movie, as heaps of them get butchered... well, red paint is thrown on them while they scream anyway.

The whole time I watched this I imagined that this is what Grand Guignol in the early 20th century must have felt like. It is very theatrical, probably due to the fact most of the actors are usually live performers of some sort, Flambeaux being somewhat of a legend of fire breathing, and it translates quite badly to film. Actually, the whole production feels like a stage production, and the effects are of that same quality... though the blue screen stuff is a little more advanced, say, early 1970's Doctor Who. The sets are a bit of a laugh as well, the footage from the inquisition is set in front of a old flagstone brick wall, so it looks like 'the olden days'. I am sure I have seen some pornos from the seventies that have better sets than this.
Video
This movie is presented in a letterbox presentation, and is a pretty poor transfer. It certainly ISN'T anamorphic as the film just hovers in the middle of the screen. There us also a fair bit of pixilation throughout it as well.
Audio
The sound is horrible. It comes in Dolby Digital Stereo, and I spent so much time turning the volume up and down on the remote so I could hear what people were saying that I felt like I was playing the Gothkill video game. Terrible.
Extra Features
First, a video commentary performed by writer/ director J.J. Connelly, and actors Flambeaux and Eve Blackwater. This commentary is one of those picture in picture ones where you can see the commentators in the inserted window. It isn't the greatest commentary in the world, but in a manner most amusing, Eve Blackwater keeps telling the others to be quiet while the film is on.... I hope she was attempting to be funny; otherwise she is missing the point completely.

There are trailer for this feature (actually two different trailers) and others for equally bad looking films BlitzKreig: Escape from Stalag 69 and The Bloody Ape.

There is a Q and A session with Connelly where he presents himself as amicable and amusing. The Q and A is in NO WAY an in-depth look at the making of fine cinema, and the funniest reveal is that the cultist chant in the film is 'Go To Sunday School' backwards.

Gothkill Images is a fancy way of saying 'Stills Gallery' (a feature I detest) and it is broken down into the subgenres of Girls of Gothkill, Flame on Flambeaux, Behind the Scenes and Gothkill Live. Can I just say if I wanted to look at pictures, I would have bought a book, not a DVD!!!

Lobby Card Set is just that; a set of 70s film inspired lobby cards for the film.

The Gothkill Live Performance Chronicle is a look at some of the live presentations of this film, where some of the actors were in attendance or bands off the soundtrack performed. I am sure that if I were part of the NY scene that could see one of these nights my opinion would be much higher of this film, but I am not, so it isn't.
The Verdict
Movie Score
Disc Score
Overall Score
If this film were any more camp it would have had a shower block. While watching it I felt I had missed out on an injoke, and from what the extras tell me, this has become somewhat of an event film in New York, and by the looks of it a fun night. Unfortunately on DVD it is a badly acted film with a vaudevillian script that would probably better as a stage play than a film. I appreciate the spirit in which film was done, but that don't mean I have to like it.

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