Reviewbr> "My name is Redd. I'm your new boss" - Thomas Reddmann
Six apparently random people wake to find themselves chained to an office boardroom like table, each is equipped with a computer, and the normal stationary one would expect in an office situation. Seems our reluctant group of mixed office workers have been hired by escaped serial killer Thomas Reddmann aka Redd. Our resident Dexter has a simple work ethic, do anything that pisses him off and it's a mark against you, five marks and you are deader than last year's stock take reports. Redd expects a high degree of diligence and productivity and very much has a fixed agenda of revenge.
As the work force is culled, in more convincing fashion than the John Howard government could achieve on the waterfront, it becomes clear not everything is quite as we may have expected it to be. For sure the Psychic isn't reaching supernatural quotas, but what does the Police officer have to hide, and did Annabelle Hale see what she thought she saw? Let's see what the sales forecast is for this dark genre ride from out of darkest Australia!
Well I guess like a lot of other people hanging around dark genre circles Downunder Redd Inc initially came to my attention due to news reports that had it Tom "Wizard of Gore" Savini was overseeing the special effects for the Aussie shocker. And yes I mean that Tom Savini, Kids ask your parents. What early reports lead me to surmise was that a) we would be getting a pretty good movie, Savini is noted for his body of work on some major genre flicks, and b) I could expect things blood drenched and gore filled. Ever worked in one of those meat processing planets where the viscera comes steaming down the conveyor belts in the early morning light? - welcome to Savini-World. What I didn't expect was a movie that had a couple of moves, didn't head quite where I expected, and ended proceedings by planting a sledge hammer between my eyes. Let's Bundy on to this bad boy!
Director Daniel Krige get's his movie out of the station in pretty handy fashion. We have some chick, later we learn she's our focal character - Annabelle Hale, who can't hold down a job but who does some internet stripping to make ends meet. Hey not complaining over here. Naturally she doesn't read the signs and is soon the latest addition to the merry crew at Redd Inc. Before you can ask "do you want fries with that" our psycho for the evening has dispatched the first person to not fully endorse the company ethos. Redd has some rules, and there's no negotiation for worker rights going down here. Actually pretty much the first couple of blocks of the movie are cantered on our work area and involve an investigation into Redd's previous apparent activity of "head hunting" corporate high flyers in the strictest meaning of the word. Redd wants his happy band of employees to go right through his court case to prove his innocence. Naturally there are some work place rules which have to be adhered to.
Redd joins Mick as an iconic Aussie antagonist, can we expect more from the middle manager from Hell in the future?
I dug what Krige, and Writers Jonathon Green and Anthony O'Connor, had happening here. We are introduced to our focal character Annabelle and then wake up Saw like with her in the office from Hell. From here we gradually learn who her fellow workmates are, what the common thread is that draws them together, and of course just how demented Redd has become. Underlining this is an apparently meaningless task the workforce is having to conduct under a Management that doesn't believe failure is an option. Annabelle begins to look into the work Redd has presented her with and begins to discover a few interesting facts, but is largely distracted by thoughts of escape and of course the punishment being dealt out to all and sundry who don't toe the corporate line. Focus is kept for the majority of the running time in a single office, but surprisingly Krige is adept at keeping interest high via sheer violence, verging on gorenography, and a detour out of the room involving an escape plan Annabelle has hatched. No spoilers yo, watch the movie to get the good oil.
What the movie makers get right in this tale of urban fear is separating the characters, making them individuals, and using dialogue to push the plot forward as the blood splatters the walls. Don't expect a simple slaughter house rock, there's a mystery to solve that will, when the truth is known, change your perception of Redd. Quite the achievement considering that at stages Redd puts Michael Myers to shame on the body count stakes.
Guess I do need to cover the gore element here, hey we're talking Tom Savini so the blood is going to be splashing the scream. Redd Inc will not disappoint gorehounds, in fact they'll be baying at the moon by the end of this flick. There's at least one scene in the movie that even had me going "whoa", it can get pretty brutal at times with Director Krige going all out to hit the splatter effects. While I'm not a big believer in gorenography, Redd Inc skates right up to the border without crossing into simply blood for blood's sake. Without giving too much away here, victims do merit their particular punishment, you'll need to keep your eyes on your fries to work that out, but it's actually quite a well thought out approach. So hey if a bit of gore isn't your thing then get the frack out, the rest of us will dial on in and have a healthy second helping thank you very much. I'm trying to avoid any comparisons to the Saw movies, but the comparisons could be made if so inclined.
One of my fellow partners in this voyage through the dark genre hinterland pointed out that Writers Jonathon Green and Anthony O'Connor answer the question of nature versus nurture in regards to Redd, so yes there's slightly more going on under the bonnet than this review is covering.
So yeah a gore inclined outing, though to be honest it all adds to the almost surreal atmosphere Director Krige has going down for his exercise in office politics. There's certainly a feeling of dread throughout the movie, helped in large part by the regular expressions of violence. Krige achieves a situation where you are never going to be comfortable, it's almost nihilistic in approach, the sort of atmosphere you would more likely run across in an apocalyptic outing.
Naturally, considering there's plenty of blood being sprayed around the place, we also get additional T&A goodness; look for one scene involving a cameo by Tom Savini in this regard. So all bases covered then, and nothing left out of the Ozploitation tarot pack.
Nicholas Hope (Thomas Reddmann) turns in a truly demented and memorable performance as the motivated psycho with a fixed agenda. There's definitely room for a sequel here, with Hope having the opportunity of creating one of the lasting antagonists of Australian dark genre cinema. Ably backing Hope is Kelly Paterniti (Annabelle Hale), who portrays the at times confused job seeker who was in the wrong place at the wrong time. Special mention of Hayley McElhinney (Sheena O'Leary) who was working for mine as the psychic claiming credit for what had gone down previously.
Michael Yezerski handed in the score and I for one am giving him an A for the top effort in backing Daniel Krige's visuals. Yezerski seems to have inherently got the gothic feel to things and doesn't overload the black humour that Redd Inc sent us a memo about.
I wasn't quite sure what I was getting with Redd Inc, besides the Tom Savini trade mark gore, so was pleasantly surprised at how effective this Indie movie turned out to be. While you are probably going to see better dark genre flicks this year, the movie harkens back to the wild years of Ozploitation and as such delivers like a Dominos Pizza Dude on steroids. While the mainstream might turn their nose up at Redd Inc, which would be a mistake as the movie is a wild romp that doesn't take itself seriously, I'm going to go with a full recommendation. Sure to be a cult classic of horror cinema, Redd Inc is worth putting on your agenda.
For the purposes of this review we dialled into the R4 Blu-Ray which besides delivering the movie also had a whole butt load of extras for those who thrive on the side orders. Can't speak for the DVD, not an option in our neck of the woods, but the BR retailed at JB for $28 apparently. If dialling in from OS then not quite sure of the options, but the movie should hit worldwide distribution in the not too distant future.