I often get asked to review forthcoming titles, many of which boast the odd cult movie actor to try and boost their appeal. But most, ultimately, prove instantly forgettable. So, when I started to watch Wen-Han Shih's “Reaper”, which comes to UK
DVD October 6th,
I was pleased to find it actually exceeded my expectations.
The film stars Shayla Beesley as Natalie, a young girl who’s trying to hitch-hike back home to see her seriously ill mother. Most of the people she’s met on the road turn out to be creeps, so when she’s picked up by Jack (played by genre veteran Danny Trejo) she’s relieved to find that he appears to be one of the nicer guys.
But as the night draws on, they are forced to stop at a seedy, last-stop hotel. Whilst it seems that Jack isn’t at all interested in taking advantage of her, she finds that he isn’t quite the nice guy she originally thought he was either. It turns out he’s actually there to make a drug deal, and to make matters worse, the person he’s supposed to be selling his gear to, Brad (James Jurdi) is someone she ripped off the day before.
Deciding its time to make a sharp exit, she then finds herself embroiled in a bitter drug fued as Brad’s boss (played by former footballer, turned screen villain Vinnie Jones) has sent in his hitmen to take them all out and finds herself having to team up with Jack and Brad in order to survive.
But the hitmen aren’t their only problem. Seems there’s also a killer in the hotel, who’ll kill anyone who happens to stay the night there. So even when the police turn up, they find their nightmare is far from over.
Also starring Jake Busey (Starship Troopers) as a seedy travelling salesman, and Stargate’s Christopher Judge as the Sheriff, I actually quite enjoyed this one. Its quite different in that no one in the film can actually be classed as a “good guy”. Everyone has a dark side, Jake Busey is a drunken letch, The seemingly gentile Danny Trejo is a drug dealer, even Natalie proves to be far from innocent, ripping off the more sleazy folk who try and take advantage of her, whilst the pious hotel owner seems to be hiding a very dark secret and finally there’s the sheriff, who just seems to be a thoroughly unpleasant character.
Only thing was there seemed to be a supernatural angle to the killer in the hotel, which didn’t quite make sense to me, which looked like they borrowed a few ideas from “Shocker”. But overall, I found the film to be thoroughly entertaining.
The film is released to UK
October 6th from Signature entertainment on a bare bones disc,
without any extras (a trailer would have been nice). But anyway, I’d recommend
giving it a go.
Buy the UK DVD from Amazon.co.uk