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Tooth & Nail (DVD Details)

Unique ID Code: 0000111859
Added by: David Beckett
Added on: 11/1/2009 14:35
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    Tooth & Nail

    5 / 10


    Mark Young's entry into After Dark Horrorfest 2007 - one of "8 films to die for" - is set in a post-apocalyptic Pittsburgh where just about everyone has died because the gas (American for petrol) has run out, meaning that no food is produced and all the power stations have shut down.

    A group of survivors have taken refuge in an abandoned hospital and have been living there, under the leadership of Darwin (Robert Carradine), eating the Red Cross food parcels and drinking purified water. They go out foraging and exploring taking care not to fall prey to the cannibalistic Rovers but one day they find a young woman next to a corpse and threatened by a Rover. Taking her in, she explains that the Rovers ate her family and she has been fending for herself. It's not long before the Rovers come calling at the hospital sensing easy pickings and they must decide whether to hide or fight tooth and nail.

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    A reasonable transfer with, for the budget, good special make-up effects and prosthetics. The Rovers only attack at night so much of the film is low lit but there isn't too much of a problem with definition or noise. It's the sort of thing that would look a lot better on high definition but is perfectly fine on DVD.

    Some of Mark Young's editing is more frenetic than is necessary and gets a little annoying at times, but this is a minor quibble.

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    With a decent score and clear dialogue, the Dolby Digital 5.1 soundtrack is good (there is a less impressive 2.0 stereo option) with the surrounds used well when called for.

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    Extra Features

    Aside from the theatrical trailer and trailers for 6 other films, the only supplementary material is a 20 minute making of called Do or Die. This is an interesting watch with Mark Young explaining the extremely short pre-production schedule and challenging 20 day shoot, it also contains information about the make-up, effects and stunts with contributions from members of the cast and crew.

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    The film begins with a voiceover explaining that, in 2012, the World's gas supplies ran out and, as a result, most of Earth's population has died. Err, OK. Putting this strange logic and the confusion around gas being used as a word for petrol rather than meaning gas aside, Tooth and Nail is a perfectly watchable horror flick which doesn't test the grey matter too much. It falls into genre cliché far too often, with the Rovers doing the whole Mad Max thing and wearing animal skins and using medieval weaponry when the good guys are dressed in jeans, khakis and casual tops and use guns.

    There's also the unexplained: why do the Rovers only attack at night; why do they resort so quickly to cannibalism; why are so many people named after cars (Dakota, Ford, Viper, Torino and Nova); why did most people die when there was no petrol and, above all, why did the world collapse? People managed perfectly well before oil was used as power for transport, heating and lighting so why did the end of oil result in the apocalypse? I can almost forgive these shortcomings given the minute timeframe in which they were working - from conception to festival in under two months by my reckoning.

    The decent cast acquit themselves well, with executive producer Michael Madsen doing that gravelly voiced psychopath that has become his stock performance, Vinnie Jones gurning and staring, Robert Carradine actually passing himself off as a member of the intelligentsia(!) but Rachel Miner steals the show as Neon, the woman rescued from the Rovers in an obvious plot device.

    Despite the weird logic jumps and lack of emotional involvement, I quite enjoyed this and it's probably worth a rental for genre fans - there are better post-apocalyptic cannibal movies but this is worth a look.

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