Thursday, July 3, 2014

REVIEW: Discopath (DVD) - How to Dance the Disco When You're Dead

The series of retro-looking movies that have come out in the last couple of years embodying what one might call (and be forever shunned for it) the Grindhouse style has warmed my nostalgic electrified heart. Sure, I like ultra modern horror that looks so real it was filmed with a camera that I might one day own, a cell phone or perhaps a suped-up SLR, but really I long for the days of film. I want stories that dead end in gratuity, effects that drive a film no matter how low the budget might seem. I want to be entertained. When I look back at my reviews over the past few years, I say that more than most statements. I also say that I want to feel sympathy for a character; to relate in some way. I also want either a bitchin' rock soundtrack or a perfectly generated score full of madcap synths and John Carpenter-brain. What I call Discopath straight outta Canada is a sort of Frankenstein of yesterday with all the fixin' of Grindy, grime cinema and with independent sensibilities even though it was filmed with modern equipment. 

Synopsis from Durango:

The mid 70's: a timid young New Yorker leads an uneventful life until he is fatefully exposed to the pulsating rhythms of a brand new genre of music: DISCO! Unable to control his murderous impulses that stem from a traumatic childhood experience, Duane Lewis transforms into a dangerous serial killer exiled to Montreal.
Renaud Gauthier is creating cinema that may be filled with the trappings of yesteryear with a slightly humorous concept in the backbeat, and yet the whole thing doesn't feel cheesy or forced. Yes, we had the Disco Exorcist from Wild Eye in the last couple of years and even the spoof Planet Mirrorball in faux trailer form as a part of Midnight Show, but Discopath actually takes the concept of music based murder to a very real place perhaps beyond what you might expect for a movie influenced by 80's music killer flicks. Yes, there are moments of humor, but they are balanced by well timed and executed violence and semi-surreal cityscapes. From New York all the way to Montreal, the beats of the music of the 70's create a killer. It's as simple as that. Watch him kill. How can you turn down a movie that has the tagline "He Was Made For Loving You"?

Of course we should focus on the music which is expertly composed by Bruce Cameron. It helps to create that sense of retro-realistic that helps a faux-grinder along. Nothing worse than a grindhouse style film that doesn't understand how to use its score. Discopath uses its perfectly combining period pop songs with some truly special original compositions. Sure this isn't Saturday Night Fever or other reasonable knock off when it comes to original music, but check out the commentary on this disc featuring Renaud Gauthier, Ivan Freud and Bruce Cameron to understand how the movie is composted to create a very distinct vibe. It also comes with 24 minutes of behind the scenes footage and trailers. 

Hell, even the cover of the DVD is made to look like a record and it comes with a still on the reverse of the cover. Discopath has played quite a few festivals and continues to have screenings. It'd be a great experience to catch this incredible energetic movie with a crowd. This movie has the complete retro package from facial hair to suits.

Released June 10th. Distributed by Black Fawn Distribution.

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