2013 / Director. Daniel Armstrong.
Review by Glenn Cochrane.
One of my favourite words when discussing cinema is "throwback". I was a child of the 80s and can't think of a better era for genre filmmaking... and when a movie takes me back to some of my fondest memories then it gets my undivided attention. By no means is "throwback" a negative connotation either and MURDERDROME instantly won me over. This is a slasher movie straight out of the 80s that recalls classics like THE PROWLER, MY BLOODY VALENTINE andPROM NIGHT. To say it gave me a horror-geek hard-on (my 1986 self wants to say stiffy) is an understatement. With the tried, true and classic formula of the tormented victim returning to exact bloody revenge, MURDERDROME has the added hook of being set in the world of roller derby. The combination of such a colourful and vibrant sport with the bloody hallmarks of slasher make it an uber fun and unique experience. I won't even bother to go into the storyline because it's irrelevant. What I will say is that it's full of strong, gorgeous scantily clad women, drop-kick blokes and a showcase of fantastic SFX. The girls are on skates for the entire duration of the film and it keeps the movie energetic. Aesthetically it looks pristine with its neon colour scheme and sharp cinematography. The camera is always controlled, especially when weaving in and out of the roller action. Its tone reminded me a lot of Brian Trenchard-Smith's classic DEAD END DRIVE-IN and as one movie-nerd to another, that's a huge compliment. The soundtrack is also killer and the opening title sequence is particularly awesome. I could have easily watched another 10 minutes of into. Good movies need to snag you from the getgo and MURDERDROME does that. There's a wide appeal to it too. It never becomes so gratuitous that it won't appeal to fans of the more quirky kind of subversive cinema. Of course it's full of gory goodness but it never takes itself seriously and its offering of a good time will be its biggest strength. I would consider it an instant cult-classic and I certainly hope it enjoys longevity with a loyal fanbase. It's deserving of it.
The trailer doesn't nearly do it justice but you will get the idea.