Nigel has fled England and is living a loser existence in Copenhagen with a junkie girlfriend he doesn’t love anymore. Desperate for money, he takes on a job from a gangster known as the President. All he has to do is stash some stolen goods until they can be moved. But he begins an affair with Tanya, a prostitute also in the grip of the President, and, in true film noir fashion, he makes some stupid decisions and events spiral violently out of control.
Unless my ears deceived me d…ring the commentary track, this film was put together from something under two thousand dollars, which makes its polish and style nothing short of miraculous. The performances are professional, the camerawork exciting, and the editing is snappy. The pace on occasion could be picked up (a conversation between Nigel and Tanya by the riverside goes on rather too long), but still, this is pretty remarkable.
Turn the volume knob down before slipping this disc into your player, because the menu is VERY VERY LOUD. The volume of the feature itself is less extreme, but is still pretty aggressive. The electronic score is most impressive, and is well served by the 2.0 mix. It bounces back and forth between front and rear speakers in a disconcerting, and very effective, manner. There really isn’t much by way of ambient sound FX, but the music keeps the surround very busy. The dialogue, unfortunately, is quite badly overmodulated, and the buzz is very noticeable.
It’s in the picture that the tiny budget is most noticeable. The fullframe picture is watchable, but only just. It is frequently murky, soft, and has pretty extreme digital grain going on. In the dark scenes, facial features are reduced to collections of rectangles. Things are better in the more brightly lit sequences.
The commentary is by director David Noel Bourke and cast members Morten Vogelius and Peter Ottesen. Though not uninformative, the track has long, long gaps and some silly banter that gets us nowhere. There are about eight minutes each of deleted and alternate/extended scenes, and about fifteen minutes of behind-the-scenes footage (a lot of time is spent showing the application of makeup effects). The trailer, curiously, is letterboxed. There’s an Easter Egg showing footage of the film’s Danish premiere. The menu’s main screen is, as mentioned, scored to a deafening level.
I still can’t believe how stylish this film is on that budget. Worth checking out.
Special Features List
- Audio Commentary
- Deleted Scenes
- Alternate/Extended Scenes
- Behind-the-Scenes Footage
- Easter Egg