When a subtle title WILL do, but inadvertently sums up the quality of the film as a side-effect…

choke-dvdTHE CHOKE

1.5 Stars  2005/18/88m

“This is not how rock stars die.”

A.k.a. Axe (UK DVD)

Director: Juan A. Mas / Writers: Jessica Dolan & Susannah Christine Lowber / Cast: Wonder Russell, Sam Prudhomme, Sean Cook, Bee Simonds, Thomas Olson, Brooke Bailey, Andrew Parker, Jason McKee, Damon Abdallah.

Body Count: 7

Dire-logue: “Why do you have to be so obsessed with death? Why can’t you be fascinated with kittens or something?”

Call a film This Film Sucks, chances are it might suck. Call a film Reeker, chances are it might stink up the screen. Call a film The Choke about a band of the same name, then you’re juggling twice as many liabilities…

So we meet punk rock band The Choke, who are on the brink of a split as the pretty-boy lead singer and the guitarist conspire to break away to pursue their own record deal. On the night of their final gig together at Club 905 – more of a warehouse than a bar – they and a handful of hangers-on find themselves locked inside and up for the chop as a mystery killer knocks them off in ‘ironic’ ways, like a drumstick in the eye or the stupid goth-girl (who’s name is London – what???) being hacked by a spike-studded bass.

The script panders to a cookie-cutter treatment of its own origins; this has to be the first film in a long time where the final girl is a virgin and it’s easy to pick who’ll live and who’ll be bludgeoned to death with a microphone stand. Worse still, the film plods along at an excruciatingly slow pace with a rinse and repeat approach that sees characters suggesting they all stick together only to separate moments later! The killer is eventually revealed, along with their motive, in a fashion so boring that you’ll likely not even notice it happen.

While it’s nicely made (albeit shot like nothing more than a 90 minute music video), it’s just so terribly pointless that it chokes to death on its own worthlessness. Maybe watch it on a double bill with Dead Girls for more reasons to avoid shite-rock-rooted slasher films or endorsements for suicide.

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