linneaq
Kolobos (1999)
USA
Director: Daniel Liatowitsch & David Todd Ocvirk.

Cast: Amy Weber, Promise La Marco, Linnea Quigley,
Nichole Pelerine, Donny Terranova.

 

Kyra (Amy Weber) is found slashed and injured, after escaping from an unknown/unseen assailant.  After she is hit by a car she it taken to the hospital and her wounds are patched up.  When she starts to regain her consciousness she has flashbacks to what happened and how she got there.

It all started when she applied for a strange filming opportunity, where five “freeloaders” were recruited to live secluded in a house for a period of time.  Organized by an experimental filmmaker, they are to live in the house which has cameras set up all over ready to record all of their movements/emotions/traumas & personalities Little do they know that once there, their deaths will also be recorded on the cameras.

Slowly and graphically they start getting bumped off, and begin to point fingers in typical teenage-paranoia-slasher movie fashion.  They are locked in the house after the first murder, and are left to inspect the house to try and procure an escape route.

Most of the rooms are booby trapped, all of the cameras are running, and time is running out faster than you can change your underwear.

Although set up and looking like your typical American slasher flick, Kolobos is actually quite an atmospheric and scary little movie.   Obviously themes like this are well overused now thanks to the creation of the shite called Big Brother, the UK secluded house-kick each other out to win kind, not the 1984 George Orwell kind!  But this film came out in 1999 just at the start/before of this “Big Brother Mania”.  Since I’m not a fan of Big Brother, my dates may be off!   And since Mr George Orwell is spinning in his grave because we took his novel of state control-paranoia freedom and fascism.  And made it into a shitty TV game show for cheapskate producers.  Who realized that the prize money is a whole hell of a lot smaller than the budget of actually producing a proper TV program, instead of one about a bunch of wannabe has-been’s, making twats of themselves for some coin we will mention this program no further. Suffice to say I know of the similarities!

Kolobos was also made 3 years before My Little Eye (2002) the similar in theme but inappropriately hyped British film.  Lauded that year as “the scariest film of the year”.  Which actually fell short by well a whole load of talent, to pass as the scariest film of the year, when the Asian horror film The Eye (2002) by the Pang Brothers ripped its little eye head off and skull fucked it into oblivion, thank god!

Kolobos is peppered right from the start with all of its Italian horror cinema influences.  From the opening soundtrack being the closest you could get to the Goblin soundtrack for the magnificent  Suspiria (1977) by Dario Argento, without getting sued for copyright infringement.  It then continues with a series of set-piece murders, executed as if Argento had done them himself.  Including a Zoobie smashing scene mimicked from Deep Red (1975) and an eyeball-piercing scene straight from Lucio Fulci’s Zombie Flesh Eaters (1978).

Though the copied style or scenes do not stop there, there is a lot of special effects style bits  (the sped up shaky footage) as well as faceless characters from Ringu (1998) and it’s sequels, as well as from the later Hideo Nakata scary horror film Dark Water (2002).

So though Kolobos is obviously a copy/homage to all these films, it is still better, and scarier than most recent American slasher films.  Though little of this seems to be to do with the fact that all the time the characters are being watched, but has more to do with the stylized effects or sequences lifted from the movies just listed.  The shaky & sped up camera footage, and the blurred faceless characters may not be a scary thing for everybody.  But it creates an atmosphere that just gets under your skin, so for my friends and myself it certainly is scary.

I recently read a review for this film, which did nothing but slag the film off.  Never did it mention any of the films listed above, not even the music.  But I think that an underappreciation of the film exists because by the time you get to the end of the movie, it is still not quite clear who the murderer was, or indeed even if the murders even happened.  It is not explained if the killer is a figment of Kyra’s imagination or if Kyra herself is the actual killer.  There are hints to both cases of this being the truth.  But it is never really explained for the viewers, they are never told which of the two possible scenarios are true.  Which I know leaves a lot of viewers feeling cheated/uncomfortable/confused, because they have basically not been told.  But this I believe, in this film as well as others is for the better.  As I have mentioned before, un-clarified endings like this, for most of the time make a better viewing experience.  You are made to think about the ending, about the possibilities, of who killed the victims, and it is not explained to you in simple straight 1-2-3 film style & structure.  Which too many producers are obsessed with.  Obsessed with giving the audience all the answers on a plate rather than relying on them or thinking that they can use their own brain to work it out, or god forbid even discuss it with friends to try and work out all the answers.  This type of explaining everything in the film to the audience treats the audience like imbeciles.  People incapable of making up their own mind, incapable of working it out for themselves.   They want you in the theatre, purchase the ticket, and out of the theatre with the entire movie explained to you.  So that next week when they dump another pile of shit (touted as “the best film since…”) into your cinema, you are not sitting round your friends house, still trying to puzzle out who actually committed the murders in the last film.  When your ass should be sitting in the cinema with your $5 ticket in hand, and your $8 of food, consuming the next pile of crap, rather than actually spending some time working out what happened in the last one.

This style of film making; of giving you every possible explanation on a plate, instead of letting you use your brain, has been going on for years.  So when a film does come along like this, all be it an American copy/homage to foreign horror cinema, it has to be welcomed for letting the audience use it’s brain.  And for not treating them like crap cinema/popcorn consuming infants, and for actually giving the audience some respect.

Yeah ok so maybe Kyra is just a bloody fruitcake, and the Faceless guy is her, or in her mind, or maybe none of it happened, or maybe he is hiding under her bed or yours!   But shit at least it made you think about it for a little while.  Oh yeah and Linnea Quigley is in this movie for about 1 minute!

Review by Giovanni Pistachio, Giovanni can be contacted at: –

email:-  giovannip@pistachio-films.com
© Owned Giovanni Pistachio

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