Adam Chaplin (2011)
By: Jesse Boyd on February 8, 2013 | Comments
Necrostorm | All Regions, PAL | 1.78:1 (16:9 enhanced) | Italian DD 2.0 | 90 minutes (Full Specs)
The Movie
Cover Art
Director: Emanuele De Santi
Starring: Emanuele De Santi, Giulio De Santi, Alessandro Gramanti, Paolo Luciani
Screenplay: Emanuele De Santi
Country: Italy
External Links
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So, I'm watching Adam Chaplin – the film that's been dubbed "the Italian Riki-Oh" – and I get to about the half-way mark and I realise that I've just been sitting and waiting for something to happen. I'm not sure what I want to happen, all I know is that it isn't happening. I'm getting exhausted with the chopped frame's subtitles, and all the brooding, and I just want something to happen. I think I'm waiting for more fight scenes, and more gore, but it's been hearty enough thus far. And then it hits me. It's slow. It's so slow, and brooding, and angry, and terribly paced, and I realise I'm only here for one thing – the head-bursting punches.

See there's been a plot here, I guess. Something about some angry dude getting revenge with the help of Smeagol from Lord of the Rings? Or something. And Smeagol tells him to punch guys really hard in the face, Agent Smith style, 'til they burst. So Angry-Dude and Smeagol punch a few baddies in alleyways with some side-servings of looking angrily into the middle-distance, and we figure out that they're looking for some Lord Vader type, who's just some guy with respiratory issues called Denny (and the award for lamest villain name goes to…). He's killed Angry-Dude's wife and now Angry-Dude wants vengeance.

Thing is, there's too much of this plot – or rather, not enough. We're given all this information, but there's no real explanation for much of anything that's going on. So, we'll go through this step-by-step, as I've recalled it from memory.

  • Angry-Dude's wife owes Denny the Asthmatic some money

  • Denny really needs the money for ventolin, so he's pissed she hasn't got it

  • Denny murders wife

  • Angry-Dude (who's actually called Adam) somehow enlists the help of a demon called Derek (seriously, what's with the names in this movie?) before we tune in.

  • Derek is a quality looking fetus-puppet who lives just behind Adam's right shoulder and tells him to do violent shit.

  • Adam does violent shit to really ugly dudes.

It sounds simple enough, but there's too much push for a character-driven plot, and while you're waiting for more of the excellent and deliciously gory fight scenes, there are piles and piles of these way-too-long shots of Adam looking 'over there' with disdain. There's no real structure to the film, and if it was any longer it'd be near-impossible to sit through.

Thankfully the gore effects are top-notch. When Adam gets down to business, he gets a freakin' promotion and employee of the month. Punching guys 'til they explode; tearing guys apart; impaling guys on pikes, and setting them on fire and carrying them into battle. This guy knows what he wants and he doesn't let anyone stand in his way! Most of it is on-set practical stuff and it looks deliciously gruesome. The comparisons to Riki-Oh are well deserved here. It's very over-the-top comic book stuff and it's brilliant.

There's the occasional CGI addition when the low budget just can't cut it for some of the more extreme scenarios, but it's forgivable and it isn't too bad for an indie flick. There's also this great slo-mo effect to a few of Adam's hits that adds a bullet-timey weight and impact, and it's incredibly brutal, especially combined with the fact that most of his victims explode when he hits them. It's all great fun, and actually quite unique. All the characters are ugly as hell and they all have at least one deformity of some sort. Plus, the final punch-out on a rooftop is worth the price of admission alone.
The Disc
Video quality is nice and shiny, if a little dark, but what's most bizarre is the subtitles. They're almost cut in half, and it's sometimes nearly impossible to read. I thought my TV settings were off, but after some messing around and a bit of a Googling, I found out that that's just how they've been transferred. It's a bit of a nitpick though, really, because it's all about the gore. The sound is fine enough, but most – if not all – of it is dubbed and it's a pretty terrible job.

Included is a little Adam Chaplin promo comic that has some cool art. It's only four pages, but it's suitably bloody. The disc has 5 extra little making-of featurettes that are interesting enough, but it's all a little Tommy Wiseau. Emanuele De Santi wrote, directed and played Adam in the movie and it all gets a little self-indulgent in the extras.
The Verdict
Movie Score
Disc Score
Overall Score
Crappy subtitles aside, Adam Chaplin is recommendable, if you're after a gore fix. Combining the comic-book manga violence of Riki-Oh with the contemporary action cinema fight scenes of The Matrix, it'd be an awesome accompaniment to Riki-Oh, although the pacing drags like a boulder and it suffers way too much from the convoluted plot. If you feel you haven't seen enough new and exciting ways to destroy people, Adam Chaplin has you covered – and that's not a bad thing.

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