Patrol Men DVD Review
Written by Charlotte Stear
DVD released by Crabtree Films
Directed by David Campion and Ben Simpson
Written by David Campion, Ben Simpson and Niall Maher
2010, Region 2 (PAL), 90 minutes, Rated 18 (UK)
DVD released on 28th March 2011
Chloe Van Harding as Alex Watts
Anthony Abuah as Okie
Josh Golga as Jess Butler
Jonathan Hansler as Mayor Yorke
Jez Jameson as Walter Watts
Ian Fielding as Keither Cargill
Lucie Howard as Miss Chase
British horror needs new blood and two aspiring filmmakers making their DVD debut are up for this challenge, but can they deliver?
Set on the fictional remote island of Peyton, a group of militant enforcers keep a strict curfew on all the locals. No one is allowed out after dark, if they do they run the risk of coming into contact with legendary serial killer, Marcus Day, who is said to be on the loose after murdering some of the local women. It’s not only a curfew that restricts the them, they also have their television access limited by Mayor Young (Jonathan Hansler), who seems to be doing this for the good of his people. He despises the way of the mainlanders and wants his island to be a place of peace and solitude that he can control. Local girl Alex Watts (Chloe Van Harding) is keen to keep the curfew, but when new guy Jess (Josh Golga) moves into town he rebels against it. Alex soon begins to see a different side to this way of life and begins her own investigation behind the legend of Marcus Day along with her friend Okie (Anthony Abuah).
First off, this film is very low budget and quite clumsy in its production. The main problem that will annoy every single viewer of this DVD is the abysmal sound quality. It’s hard to make out important parts of dialogue and sometimes the soundtrack is too loud and ruins a scene.
It’s definitely a good concept for a film and quite satiric when you think of current global issues. A man with ultimate power doing what he thinks is best for his people, but the people start to revolt against him. I enjoyed some of the dialogue, one line especially that stands out is, “Where are we? Eerie Indiana?”(nice choice of TV reference).The film, however, doesn’t manage to be as gripping as it could be. I can only think of one moment of suspense which isn’t at all enough. There is also a lack of gore in the film, but, due to their minimal resources, it may not have paid off to overdo it either.
The acting, though obviously for most a first time thing, is actually pretty good. The stand out performance has to be Jonathan Hansler as Mayor Yorke, the evil law enforcer who really is evil, a character like this could too easily be over-acted but Hansler has it down perfectly.
One niggling thing about this film is that all the militants enforcing this curfew all walk around in gas masks which is indeed very creepy. Technically any mask worn in a menacing way will come off as creepy…but after the initial jump at the sight of an ominous man, all you can think is… “Yeah, but why a gas mask?” This doesn’t actually get explained, Alex does comment on it to Oki who replies “This isn’t the time for us to start talking about that.” I can only guess it was the writers chance to make light of an obvious problem with the story.
I wouldn’t want to be too harsh here because beneath all the clichés, bad sound and bad lighting there are a couple of promising horror filmmakers here. It’s a pretty good feat that they got this film on DVD, it spells good things for their future if they have that kind of motivation and determination behind them. That being said, it’s still only getting 2 stars lads.
Video and Audio:
As mentioned, one of the really bad things about this DVD is the sound quality which ranges from being so quiet I had to turn the volume up really loud, to it blaring out at ridiculous levels. Some dialogue was completely missed due to this. Also the video quality is not that great, rather grey and unfocused.
The only special feature on the disc is an interview with the two directors Ben and David. An interesting addition to the film, they talk about their past work and how it led to Patrol Men.