In 2001 a group of brave (or depraved, depending on how you look at it) filmmakers made a shoestring budget independent horror film called August Underground. August Underground became something of a minor legend in the world of independent, underground horror; it?s a film that people are still talking about to this day, almost as if it were a myth. I?m proud to say that I?m one of the first to have officially reviewed (and perhaps even helped discover) the undeniable talent of what would eventually become Toe Tag Pictures. Since this time, Fred Vogel and his team at Toe Tag have been extremely busy. They?ve provided the gruesome FX for Nick Palumbo?s controversial film Murder-Set-Pieces (look for it on DVD from Lionsgate), crafted a sequel to Underground (with a third currently in the works) and most recently produced the feature length film, The Redsin Tower.
One of the true difficulties in dissecting The Redsin Tower is that I really don?t want to have to discuss it with you at all. And it?s not because I don?t like you. I like you all just fine. As a matter of fact, I don?t want to discuss this film with you because of how much I like you! If I had my way, I?d ship you all out a DVD or pack you to capacity in a theater and just let you watch it for yourselves. The film goes way beyond its surface story of jealousy and control, when a group of friends, partying in the elusive Redsin Tower are stalked by Mitch, a scorned lover out for revenge. Redsin harbors many surprises throughout, none of which I?m going to divulge here.
A breath of fresh air when compared to its surrounding horror fare, the question isn?t what does The Redsin Tower have going for it, the question really is, what doesn?t it have going for it? Performances are (for the most part) spot on, and the film has a slick, dark and stylish look that seems to extend far beyond its actual budget. At its heart, Redsin is a classic horror film, born out of the 70?s and 80?s, but unlike a lot of the big name horror directors of today, Fred Vogel and Toe Tag only bring back the good stuff.
And then there?s Redsin?s FX work, and this is the dept. in which Toe Tag really excels. Known specifically for going for broke in the gore dept., Redsin is certainly no exception. One flashback is particularly gruesome and over the top?and sure to offend. I loved it. But the gore was never meant to carry the flick, and Redsin works just as much without it as it does with. That being said, the final twenty minutes or so, are guaranteed to have you out of your chair. And not just because of the gore, the live/on set practical effects are extremely effective as well.
All this talk of hard core horror, horror porn (GORN?) and torture horror coming out of the major studios as if they had started the trend becomes almost laughable at times. The indies were doing long before the studios even had an inkling. Fred Vogel and team had been practically chastised over the years for producing what has essentially become studio approved ?torture? horror today. In recent years, big name directors have been applauded and awarded millions for producing mainstream torture horror. As fans of the horror genre, it?s certainly OK for us to embrace and enjoy the studio fare, but it?s also our duty to go back to its roots. Know that it didn?t just start with the studios; it started with a select group of independent filmmakers, Toe Tag being one of them. Redsin is really a prime example of what horror on film should be all about. Google it, read about it, search for it and find it?The Redsin Tower demands your attention.
More at toetagpictures.com