Stars:Josh Stewart, Emma Fitzpatrick, Christopher McDonald
In this sequel to The Collector, a man who escapes from the vicious grips of the serial killer known as....drum roll..... "The Collector" is blackmailed to rescue an innocent girl from the killer's booby-trapped warehouse.
Hands up who's read FUNLAND by Richard Laymon...
If you have, (and you should have), you'll know that, like most if not all of the late, great Laymon's work; its a shameless, merciless, morally obtuse, violent and essentially pointless exercise is horror literature that serves absolutely no purpose whatsoever other than to scare the dick off of you and entertain you from start to finish. You'll also know that it features an extended finale, taking place in a booby-trapped, blood-spattered fun-house in which our heroes must face deadly obstacle after deadly obstacle in a gore-drenched, desperate mission to simply get the fuck outta there.
Sounds like SAW to the uninitiated, right? Sure, I can see that, (though Laymon came first, fuckers!), but the essential difference is that theres no skewed morality at work, as there is in SAW. No hard choices to be made. No grand twists waiting for the final reveal...nope; just a bunch of hapless bastards running the gauntlet in a maze construed of vicious traps, dead ends, murderous maniacs and yes, spiders.
Now, if you combine those last 100 pages of FUNLAND with ALIENS, (yeah, you heard me right), then you pretty much got your review for THE COLLECTION. Of course, Laymons book is an intelligently written and horrifying masterpiece, and ALIENS is an expertly crafted suspense ride than kick's more ass than Cynthia Rothrock on her bad week, but lets not let that stand in the way of a good comparison, shall we...
THE COLLECTION is, of course, neither intelligent, expertly crafted nor a masterpiece. It does, however, kick a great deal of ass. And it does it with a huge grin on its chin. It may be a dumb, thoughtless and often downright fucking ludicrous adventure in horror-land, but fuck me running, its a fun one.
The comparisons are solid, though. I don't compare this little ditty to Laymons entire book, only the final action-packed cresecendo of violence that sealed its reputation. The book has wonderful characters, a rich, recognisably realistic backstory and enough atmosphere to take a morning swim in. The finale, however, is sheer, unadulterated lunacy.
THE COLLECTION opens with a completly insane and over the top massacre set in a nightclub that immediatly asks the audience 'Are you taking this shit seriously, because if you are, your in the wrong fucking place'. Its a hilariously violent calling card that pretty much puts this films kill-count above all the SAW movies combined, and it only gets crazier from there...
I won't give away the goodies, (it really has to be seen to be believed), but I will disclose that their are two survivors of this latest bloodbath. One of them manages to escape, and the other is taken for our gimp-fetishing buddies 'Collection'.
Enter a group of privatly hired mercs, who then coerce the survivor of this traumatic, (read : fucking hilarious), slaughter, to go back into the lions den with them, as a guide, and help take down the threat, saving a girl in the process...
And therein is your ALIENS comparison, folks.
And that right there, that I done wrote above...that's yer plot. The mercs, and the survivor, (who I will divulge is the main protagonist from the first film, as you all know that shit already), head into the depths of the madman's funhouse to traverse its harrowing halls and save the girl, hopefully with at least one or two limbs still attached by the time the credits roll. (Yeah, that's not gonna happen, kids).
And thats it. Thats the plot. The scene establishing this set-up lasts around a minute, then we're at the big guys 'funhouse' and its all go from there. Non-stop, breathless, blood-soaked fun and games for the whole running time.
If a practically uninterupted 77 minutes of well performed yet shallow characters running around a mousetrap like labyrinth encountering all manner of horrors mechanical, human and animal sounds like a good time, then you may wanna get round to seeing this film. Theres really nothing more to it, and I salute it for its complete lack of regard for legitamate suspense, basis in reality or any other damn thing of merit. THE COLLECTION is just a big, fun, cheese-based thrill-ride that simply seeks to entertain. And you know what? It did...it entertained me. It may have lacked the suspense that drove its superiour prequel, but it more than made up for it by relishing in its own gory excess.
And the killer is every bit as cool as he was in the original, only this time, he's far more pro-active. I mean, these cheeky bastards are in his home! He's not having that shit. So this time, instead of watching and waiting like a spider atop the web; he's putting down his Xbox controller and he's getting up close and personal like John fucking Rambo. He's a total badass, and I can get behind this guy for sequels aplenty if they wanna throw em my way. I don't care how this fucker managed to decorate his pad with more limb-claiming apparel than the Viet-cong, I just care than people are running face-first into them in the most gruesome manner possible. I admit it...I have a bloodlust. I ain't ashamed of it, and the directors of this film ain't ashamed of it, either. Sometimes its great to just cut loose and have a good laugh, man. Thats what this film is.
The mayhem is bolstered by some very strong set-design thats almost beautiful at times, and the lighting in the film is exceptional, and helps accentuate that 'funhouse' vibe that the creators were clearly going for. It also has a strong lead in returning central character, Arkin, played by the always enjoyable Josh Stewart, (THE WALKING DEAD, THE DARK KNIGHT RISES). He has little to do by ways of emote, other than look scared out of his damn mind and/or pissed off mightily; but the guy has such an expressive and interesting face that he's always engaging. The supporting cast are all adeqaute too. No one drops the ball, and the whole bnch of them do what they can to add some semblance of auntheticity to the proceeedings. Good luck with that, though...
THE COLLECTION is ridiculous. There are plot-holes and inconsistancies aplenty. I'll give you a few examples to whet your appetite :
Our hero spends the whole film with a freshly broken arm, yet during the finale manages to go toe-to-toe with Gimp Rambo, and both his arms are working fine.
A girl uses a piece of fabric from her shirt to open a locked box from the inside, (you have to see this one to believe it).
A guy has a hook impaled through his lower jaw by Gimp Rambo, stalking in the rafters above, by simply lowering the fucking thing on a rope, and pulling upwards when the hook is under the guys chin. In a room full of people, no one sees this hook swinging around the room looking for a chin to impale.
|"Ow!!Where the FUCK did that come from!??"|
If you enjoyed THE COLLECTOR, your most likely gonna enjoy this sequel too. (if you missed the original, I wouldnt worry too much, as theres more plot in a low-budget porno). If you enjoy a violent, gory as hell free-for-all that aims only to entertain and delight for a short time, you'll certainly find something to pass your time here. THE COLLECTION is a shameless romp through a gruesome obstacle course, and nothing more. And like I said...sometimes thats enough.
Go have fun...
7.5 Spee-iders out of 10