Redd Inc. ***½
Chosen as the closing night film for the Australian Film Festival, could REDD INC. be the film that relaunches the ozploitation craze of the 70’s and early 80’s..? If the reaction from the sold out premiere audience is any gauge, the answer is a resounding “yes!”
Redd Inc. starts with news reports and clips informing us that a serial killer Thomas Reddmann (Nicholas Hope) known as the ‘head-hunter’ has perished in fire during an attempted escape from a local mental institution. Annabelle Hale (Kelly Paterniti) an online stripper who was a key witness at Reddmann’s trial is kidnapped and wakes up chained to an office desk with 5 other people who were also involved with Reddmann’s trial in various capacities.
The captives are soon introduced to Mr Reddmann who informs them that he is their regional manager and that they have a job to do. He declares that he is innocent and expects them to work to the best of their abilities to find the real head-hunter killer. Assigned to different tasks using the court case documents, the 6 captives get to work, or face a strike against their name, in the form of a cut to the forehead… 5 strikes and you’re out.
Redd Inc. is a new low-budget Australian horror film from co-writers Anthony O’Connor and Jonathan Green (who also co-produces with Sandy Stevens), and director Daniel Krige; who have managed to deliver an original take on a familiar theme.
The ensemble cast are all good, with Nicholas Hope turning in a delightfully creepy performance as Redd and a nice cameo from Tom Savini who worked as special make-up effects supervisor. Newcomer Kelly Paterniti’s character visibly grows in confidence throughout the film and she’s probably one to watch. However, the real star is the script, littered with references to keep most genre fans happy; it’s tight, menacing and genuinely funny. Described by scriptwriter Anthony O’Connor as “office giallo”, placing the horror in the everyday office makes the setting instantly recognisable to most of us and therefore more unnerving due to that familiarity.
The effects which were done by Sydney based Make-up Effects Group (MEG), and supervised by the legendary Tom Savini, are suitably gory and in a few notable scenes had the cinema audience squirming. Slashes to foreheads, removal of fingernails, limbs and heads are all on display and considering the budget restrictions are all done exceptionally well.
I really enjoyed the movie and would recommend it unreservedly to any horror fan. With the release of last years The Tunnel and 2010’s The Loved Ones, Australian horror seems to be back in a good way, original, gory and wickedly funny.
Check out my two-part interview with Jonathan Green, Sandy Stevens, Anthony O’Connor and Daniel Krige HERE
Quality: 3 out of 5 stars
Any good: 4 out of 5 stars