REVIEWED BY-STEVE GENIER DIRECTED BY-CHRISTIAN VIEL CAST-BOBBIE PHILLIPS, HOWARD ROSENSTEIN, GINGER LYNN ALLEN, CHASEY LAIN, TAYLOR HAYES, RICHARD GRIECO and JENNA JAMESON. SOURCE-FILM 2000 (UK) (PAL REGION 0 DVD / 90 MINS / 2005)
First things first, when there were whispers of this film being in production, and it being Canadian no less, I was eager to see the finished results. Of course that was nearly two years ago and finally that day came, though it being via the newly released UK DVD. The story surrounding this film, a group of American college students on a field trip to Ireland to study a few local traditions. They end up being on the wrong end of the slaughtering axe and drop one by one. In typical slasher fashion, our group venture off into the great wide darkness and end up being feasted upon by a band of hungry cannibal mutants. As legend has it, this band of cannibals were thought to have died off many years ago after their inbreeding gene pool ran out. SAMHAINíS beginning shed some really atmospheric tones to it, as well as some pretty darn hot flesh as well.
The filmís opening has the camera panning through a dark forest until it stops at a tent nestled in the middle of it. Lit from inside, you can pretty much imagine what exactly is going on in it. Yep, and there is certainly no disappointments either, as for right off the bat a stark naked Chasey Lain lights up the tent. Sadly, this is short lived as her partner, Mark (Richard Grieco) goes to investigate the noises coming from just outside the tent. Without going too much further into this opening scene, you pretty much get the picture that both end up chopped liver within minutes. Fun thing is, this is just another example of how Griecoís career is going, not that it was A-list in the beginning. Letís just say, Griecoís demise is being decapitated of all limbs, head and skewered on an open fire, penis and all.
After the opening scenes, you really get the feeling that this film is really going to turn into a pretty decent slasher film as the next group of main characters are introduced. Sure the acting isnít the greatest, and hell, thatís to be expected in this type of film. Director Christian Viel really generates a pretty dark and evil atmosphere for the first part of the film. Once again though, like the acting in this, the film takes a nose dive once the cannibal mutants are introduced. It then turns into some real bad Trauma debacle. Donít get me wrong here, the film is laced with some real blood, guts and gore, but when comedy leaks itís way into the script, if itís not done right, itís a disaster. Now, if SAMHAIN was presented as a horror comedy in the beginning, then it might have worked out much better, but the filmís atmosphere was changed drastically pretty much ruining the overall feel of the film. Still, Viel backs all this up with plan b, the porn stars. Everyone from Jenna Jameson (sadly no skin revealed, but always great to gock at) , to the lovely Taylor Hayes. Even the discís cover with Jenna busting at the seams, one canít resist the lure. Despite the corruption of the comedy introduced, SAMHAIN is worth a viewing indeed, but in wide-screen.
This newly released Film 2000 disc out of the UK, is pretty much bottom of the line. Presenting the film in a full framed aspect accompanied by a lousy 2.0 Dolby Digital audio track is pretty much as cheap as you get. Of course the extras donít really fare much better either. Armed with just a stills gallery and trailers for other Film 2000 DVD releases. Sadly, this seems to be the only release thus far, but donít take my word for it, there might be another one out there somewhere. Still, you are better off waiting for another release of this, I believe Lionís Gate/Velocity are releasing this in January 2006, hopefully in a wide-screen presentation. If itís a must to see this film, as I did had wanted to in the first, then grab this as you wonít break the bank for this release, itís fairly cheap.
STORY/FILM-2.5/5 BITCH SLAPS PICTURE-2.5/5 BITCH SLAPS AUDIO-2.5/5 BITCH SLAPS EXTRAS-2/5 BITCH SLAPS OVERALL DVD-2.5 BITCH SLAPS
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