Tuesday, November 26, 2013

DISCOPATH (Review)- Blood in the Snow 2013

*Toronto Premiere*
aka. Discopathe

review by AARON ALLEN

Directed and written by Renaud Gauthier

Starring Jérémie Earp-Lavergne, Sandrine Bisson, Ivan Freud, Ingrid Falaise, Katharine Cleland, Matheiu Lepage, François Aubin

Disco isn't dead, but if you're not careful, you just might be.

There will be no chance of staying alive in Renaud Gauthier's debut film DISCOPATH: a gorgeous and gruesome tale about a demented serial killer compelled by disco music to start a murder spree from New York to Montreal. Featuring effects by the infamous Rémy Couture and sin-sational cinematography, music, and costume design, Discopath is a queasy yet campy fusion of disco glitz and 70s exploitation garbage that's guaranteed to have dyed-in-the-polyester gorehounds boogieing on down to the Carlton Cinemas for its Toronto Premiere at the Blood in the Snow Canadian Film Festival (Sunday, December 1st, 2013). Buy Advanced Tickets

It's the late 1970s, and Duane Lewis (Jérémie Earp-Lavergne) is an awkward and soft-spoken New Yorker working in a greasy burger joint. Although clearly a weirdo, he manages to catch the eye of a sweet little number on roller skates who invites him out to a local nightclub. However, when Duane is exposed to the pulsating rhythms of disco music, he transforms into a savage and uncontrollable killer! Stemming from a traumatic childhood experience, the beat of the disco causes Duane to go completely wally wally blood and dolly during a morbidly beautiful and inventive disco kill sequence that may be the horror highlight of the film. That scene alone is well worth the price of admission!

He's a real Boogie Man.
With the NYPD on his tail, Duane catches the first flight to Montreal. After laying low under an assumed name, Duane sets himself up as an audio-visual tech in an all-girls Catholic private school. Pretending to be deaf and mute, Duane even wears an ear-piece to block out the sounds that could one day unleash his inner disco inferno. However, surrounded by vulnerable, nubile young Catholic bad girls and frisky teachers and nuns who also love the nightlife, another panic at the disco can't be far behind. As much as Claude tries to turn the beat around, there's simply no stopping the music. Soon, students turn up dead and decapitated, and a teacher goes missing. Disco's back, and now the Montreal police are hip to Duane's jive and looking to put an end to his Saturday Fright Fever once and for all.

Your favorite disco song is "I Will Survive"? How ironic.
Hinging itself more on premise than story or character, Discopath is nevertheless a reverent tip of the hat to the sleazy cinema of the 1970s exploitation grindhouse. Leveraging modest indie resources with pitch-perfect visual flare and sound design, Discopath is predictably light on substance yet heavy on blood, guts, and nostalgia for the sleazy-spirited films of the 42nd Street era. It's a glitzy go-go take on Grand Guignol, even if the gore effects are sometimes unconvincing and unrealistically rubbery. Much like another gimmicky retro-slashers of the 70s and 80s, Discopath's intention is to set you up for kills and titillation; as a result, Duane's initially interesting backstory and motivations get pushed to the side, and so does our sympathy. Is Duane a victim of his own mind or a monster? It's never really clear, and the clunky acting of the supporting cast, which is never quite so bad we're meant to laugh, certainly doesn't help. 

Look detective, we don't need forensics down here. You can clearly
tell by the way he uses his walk that he's a woman's man: no time to talk.
Although light on story, Discopath has more than enough style and finesse to compensate. Strictly one for gore fans, exploitation enthusiasts, and supporters of sleazy, cheesy indies. If that's you, grab your friends and hustle on down to Blood in the Snow for a wild night of death by disco light. Discopath's certainly not a movie for everyone, but that's the way (uh huh uh huh) I like it.

Last Dance. Ever.
Attend the Toronto Premiere of Discopath with director Renaud Gauthier and producer Marie-Claire Lalonde in attendance. December 01, 2013 at the Blood in the Snow Film Festival. 7pm @ Carlton Cinema (20 Carlton St. Toronto).

or in person at Suspect Video (605 Markham - next to Honest Ed's).

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