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Askew Review 15

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(In the Can Pictures) Exploitation/Horror/Action. Approx 120 minutes. Not rated. Violence, blood. Harry Stanton is a cop who plays by his own rules and kicks ass while doing so. After a murderous rampage by an area cult, Harry is partnered with Todd, a young cop who knows his crap concerning the occult. Hot on the cult's (Love Removal machine is such a great song) trail, the pair runs into an investigative reporter and together they disrupt a ritual and save a young woman from being sacrificed. Moments later, an army of walking dead raise some hell and start eating the living. Knowing they need help, Harry enlists the services of a feared hitman and the fight to save mankind is off and running.
           Produced with the 70s/80s horror-action exploitation in mind, Carnival of the Damned paints a great homage to the long lost genre. Everything from the plot, characters, soundtrack, jumpy edits, to gore embodies the gritty grindhouse feel. If you really pay attention, you'll notice many direct tributes to past exploitation films. The gore, mostly gun shots and zombie bites, is impressive, but I really wish the minimal CGI crap was left in the dumper. At times, the audio level is too low, but I truly enjoyed the voice overs that really helped give things an authentic exploitation feel. I also loved the two minute summery of the first half of the movie; what was the deal with the record player? Too funny. I thoroughly enjoyed this flic, and I watched it on a Wednesday night minus alcohol; imagine if I had watched it on the weekend after a few frosty mood enhancers. – Denis Sheehan



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