Just when you thought it was safe to put the DVD player back on, along comes DeadTime, a direct-to-DVD release that should have come with a government health warning. This one somehow found its way into the AndyErupts mailbox and was passed on to me – the rest of the team can now breathe a huge sigh of relief at dodging one rather sizeable bullet.
The plot follows a struggling rock ‘n’ metal band, Love Meets Murder, forced to make a hit album in an abandoned studio after their last album bombed. After some recording time the group find they are being picked off one-by-one by a serial killer at large on the premises.
DeadTime has an unnecessarily colossal cast, with the “big names” being Terry Christian from 90′s trash TV show The Word and Celebrity Big Brother and Leslie Grantham, a man most remembered for his role as “Dirty” Den Watts in Eastenders, three decades ago. There is not really much more to add to that, the facts very much speak for themselves in this case. The vast majority of the rest of the cast is comprised of non-entities who I can say, with some degree of confidence, that we are highly unlikely to ever see again.
You will all be well aware of the saying “so bad it is good”? Well, I can assure you all that that phrase is redundant here; DeadTime, directed by Tony Jopia, is just a horrendous 98 minutes of viewing. Interesting setting? Frightening scenes? Likeable or interesting characters? Quality script? Deadtime lacks the lot.
Where do I even begin?
If Grave Encounters showed what can be achieved with an inspired choice of location, this one, is the polar opposite: the studio, with its pool room and all, is a lifeless, faceless building that does nothing to create any atmosphere. The rooms are bland and uninteresting with no personality whatsoever.
Like the cast.
The sizeable cast contains no one of any interest; some are irritating, others go beyond even that. The scenes watching them chat are truly painful, the death scenes just cannot arrive quickly enough. One of the characters yells out, “You are all a bunch of kids, twats!”, as the viewer nods their heads vigorously in time with that assessment.
It takes some time before we see the killer – essentially a man with a bag on his head who has a propensity for stabbing his victims between the legs. After the first kill the rest come at a steady rate and, to be fair, he does his best to make them as varied as possible.
The special effects and action scenes are poor but that is to be expected from a low budget project like this. What cannot be overlooked, however, is the script and acting, which make what could have been a potentially fun slasher flick into a turgid snooze-fest.
Laughable is about the only adjective that needs to be used to describe the acting in DeadTime. Some are trying harder than others but every effort is a disaster. The lack of skill on show here is simply staggering. Any attempt to display any emotion is executed woefully and is likely to cause a few sniggers from anyone unfortunate enough to be watching.
At least one or two of the cast, however, have the good grace to wear expressions that almost say “Why the hell am I doing this to myself?” That said, I am not sure that more accomplished actors could carry off some of the dialogue in what must be one of the worst scripts ever written. Your jaw is will hit the floor in amazement as you hear some of the dumbest and most embarrasing excuses for dialogue your ears will ever hear. Just listen and try to imagine someone like Michael Fassbender trying to deliver them with a straight face. Stephen Bishop’s screenplay appears to have been written on a pizza box after an alcohol-fuelled weekend.
You think a horror movie mixed with a rock band storyline would have some pop culture references, maybe even a one-liner or two to keep us amused between the scenes of carnage.
Well, this is the best example I could find;
“Who does he think he is? Fucking Chuck Norris?”
“More like the fucking Chuckle Brothers.”
Don’t even expect the consolation of some good music to try and take your mind off the absurdities on screen. Love Meets Murder have a song that even Flight Of The Conchords would turn their noses up at. The background music throughout is distracting and nauseting, adding further salt to the wounds.
I should add that the copy of DeadTime I viewed was the UNCUT version. I can probably take a stab (sorry!) at what is the cut scene but I would argue that the whole footage should have been erased before anyone got a chance to see it.
DeadTime is deadwood.
Deadtime is available on DVD now from 4Digital Media.