Blu-ray and DVD Reviews

The Choke

Reviewed by: Scott Chitwood
Movie Rating:
2 out of 10
Extras Rating:
6 out of 10
Movie Details:
View here

Buy this DVD at Amazon.com

Rating: R

Starring:
Damon Abdallah as Homeless Man
Brooke Bailey as London
Sean Cook as Dylan
Jon Fowler as Lefty
Robert Gerl as Featured Extra
David R. Johnson as Dave the Doorman
Jason Mckee as Mike Pritchard
Tom Olson as Nancy Boy
Andrew Parker as Guy Johnson
Sam Prudhomme as Eliot
Wonder Russell as Jonesy
Bee Simonds as Starr
Lila Vlavianos as The Flirt

Special Features:
Commentary by director Juan A. Mas and crew

"The Choke: The Legend Begins" featurette

Trailers

Other Info:
Widescreen
5.1 Surround Sound
2.0 Stereo
Running Time: 92 Minutes

Synopsis:
The following is from the DVD cover:

"When news breaks that the lead singer of The Choke is going solo, their last gig promises to be packed with bad feelings... and murder. The band and their entourage mysteriously find themselves trapped in an old meat-packing plant that is now Club 905.

But the tension turns into real panic when the body of a red-hot groupie turns up mutilated in a meat locker. Now the group recognizes that they are trapped with a vicious killer."

The Choke is rated R for violence, language and some sexuality.

Mini-Review:
I had never heard of "The Choke" before it arrived on DVD, and now I know why. It really stinks. Imagine if a Hollywood studio gave a high school kid a professional camera crew and told him to make a movie. Imagine if the kid wrote the script, recruited a bunch of friends to act in the film, and then shot it. "The Choke" is pretty much what you'd expect the final product to be like.

First of all, the script is terrible. The premise is that a bunch of whiny band members are locked in an old meat packing plant with a killer on the loose. Why wouldn't they break a window and escape? Why wouldn't they overpower their attacker? Why would they split up and search the factory alone when people are being killed? Didn't they learn anything from Scooby-Doo?

Second, the acting is terrible. The dialogue is atrocious and it is delivered so wooden that you have to wonder if the characters are already dead. It's quite bad. Third, despite the fact that the movie looks professionally shot, it looks quite low budget at times. There's one point in the film where they show a disemboweled girl and it looks like they have literally put spaghetti in her lap for the special effects. I guess they made her topless in an effort to distract attention from the pasta.

Finally, the movie has an alternative music soundtrack that really gets on your nerves. The film constantly blares the stuff to the point where it becomes obvious that the film's creators are trying to distract the young target audience from how bad everything else is. The irony is that this film is about a very popular rock band, yet you never hear them play. Overall this is just really poor filmmaking.

On the bright side, the bonus features has an interesting addition entitled "The Choke: The Legend Begins". In it, there's a fake documentary about the murders depicted in the film and you see all the footage shot by one of the characters. It tells more of what happened before and after the events depicted in the film. It's a nice way to expand on the story. Too bad it sucks. You'll also find among the bonus features a commentary by director Juan A. Mas and crew as well as the obligatory trailer.

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