Salvage on DVD

Sunday, 07 March 2010 09:19

“Salvage” is being promoted with the tagline “fear cannot be contained” and boasts an impressive collection of quotes from the likes of The Times and Bizarre magazine. Regrettably, it fails to live up to any of them. Released by Revolver Entertainment, “Salvage” starts well, setting the scene of domestic dysfunction succinctly, using sparse language and a minimum of exposition.

It is almost soap-like for the first few minutes, which could almost have it being considered as homage to Brookside, given the majority of the film is staged in the close that provided the soap's set. However, comments in the 'interview’ feature indicated that they consciously tried to mask the true nature of the setting. When crisis overwhelms the main characters – an intrusion of the unknown into their everyday existence - initial reactions are quite believable, the disorientation palpable.

Salvage on DVDMum Beth (Neve McIntosh) reaches for the ubiquitous mobile phone in an effort to contact her daughter, with her new boyfriend Shaun Dooley convinced that Al Qaeda are to blame. However, the film becomes increasingly confused and dull, resorting to tired genre clichés. Plotting is methodical, fails to engage the audience and the pace is erratic. The acting is workmanlike, but there are no real performances here, except for Linzie Cocker (Jade in Drop Dead Gorgeous), who as daughter Jodie doesn't get enough screen time.

Ignoring its minor flaws, the film's mortal sin is that it poses too many fundamental questions which aren’t answered satisfactorily, despite the lazy use of an injured character to explain the plot. In a film of this kind the plot should emphatically give all the answers, or none of them by instead providing the audience with enough information to draw their own conclusions. “Salvage” tries for a mixture of both, but fails to make the story either coherent or interesting.

Why transport so dangerous an item in a standard shipping container? How did the container end up on a beach near Merseyside? Just who do the oh-so-ineffective 'soldiers' work for? Unfortunately the answers, even if handled right, wouldn’t have improved the film, which degenerates as it progresses and, if you’ve been paying any attention at all, the ending is all too obvious.  Also very obvious is the film's limited budget.  Though not particularly memorable, the music does provide some good atmospheric touches.

I tried to like this film, but there is nothing about it to raise it above the plethora of formulaic horror films, slasher flicks and straight-to-DVD sequels that already crowd the shelves.

The extras list comprises a commentary, a 45 minute cast and crew interview and a 10 minute 'making of' featurette. However, the latter is really little more than a random assemblage of 'on-set' and 'behind the scenes' footage.

As a debut it shows director Lawrence Gough knows his craft, and screenwriter Colin O'Donnell has some interesting ideas.  A second feature from both may build upon the promise shown here.

This single DVD release runs for 79 minutes approx, has an ‘18’ certificate and a RRP of £14.99, or less from www.culttvstore.com

Last modified on Thursday, 10 May 2012 16:37

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