Illustration: Adeline Pericart
There are nights when you look through your DVD collection and none of your favourite films float your boat – what you need is some serious Trash – the black sheep of your collection; something so bad that makes you feel good. Warning: to appreciate these films booze is recommended. And so over the next couple of weeks the Film Ireland collection of filmaholics shed their dignity, hide their shame and open their bins to reveal their trashiest films in the latest installment of…
‘… delivers over an hour and a half of purposely wanton bloodshed, gunshots and carnage … ’
Underworld Evolution couldn’t be better.
No matter which way you slice it, there’s precious little director Len Wiseman could have added or edited to improve on his gratuitously gory monster-melee.
Winged Vampires. Titanic Werewolves. Topless men. Guns. Girls. And to top it off nary a set wall survives for the plethora of rag-dolled combatants continuously punched through them!
It stands proud as member of the coveted genre: Cinematic Trash. And by these very terms, it is pitch perfect.
I’ll grant you, mutating the horror and action genres is an easily overlooked enterprise. However, Evolution rarely skips a beat. Or an opportunity to beat… anything!
At 106 minutes, it’s lean storytelling.
Evolution doesn’t suffer from delusions of grandeur. It knows its audience want to get in, have their fix of violence and leave without their entire evening being bled dry.
And so it delivers over an hour and a half of purposely wanton bloodshed, gunshots and carnage. As the film churns on it quickly establishes the rhythmic four-step of
Fangs for the memories
Capitalising on the intricate lore established in its snooze-fest predecessor, Evolution isn’t shy of introducing legendary figures and having the resident, giant purple Dracula impale them with funky wing-spears wings and bursting their skull like an eggshell.
To its credit, Evolution sees no need to flex any narrative muscle, economically laying the framework for the ensuing chaos. While normally a significant criticism, the visceral mix of gothic horror and superhuman brawls are best undiluted by convoluted plot.
WHY hybrid Michael is fighting a three-metre tall snowy abomination of fur, fang and claw is academic. What’s IMPORTANT is that the poor werewolf get’s its head torn straight off its shoulders.
Underworld Evolution is not exactly taxing cinema. It’s not very funny, it won’t challenge you on an intellectual or philosophical level and it lacks any form of expression that could, in good conscience, be considered to register on the emotional spectrum.
But when you have a Hybrid Man-Wolf-Bat thrashing a werewolf with an industrial chain, wrapping a jeep around its broken form and ripping its lower mandible free, you don’t tend to miss them!