Sometimes there are no words to describe how I see a film and this was the case with “Kolobos”, a very smart slash fest from the late 90s. It never got the respect it deserves and that could be because of the gore in the film. Hopefully this new release will bring new fans and viewers. It is the work of filmmakers Daniel Liatowitsch and David Todd Ocvirk.
A group of youngsters arrive at a snow-covered house under the guise of participating in a ground-breaking new experimental film. With the entire property fitted out with cameras, their every move will be recorded. But when the house locks down, trapping the youngsters within, it soon becomes clear that something strange is happening. It is certainly not the average slasher film. Some see it as an imitation of slasher king, Dario Argento. It has visual style, graphic murders, a charming cast and is an example of what happens when everything comes together.
The film begins with a lengthy subjective sequence in which a badly mutilated girl is taken to a hospital, where her wounds are treated and she begins to recover in a room there. She begins experiencing flashbacks to the previous day. Then we see five young people responding to a classified ad seeking adventurous, open-minded people for an experimental film. We meet a low budget soft porn/horror actress, a struggling stand-up comedian, a smartass fast food worker, and a clean cut college guy. The fifth person is Kyra (Amy Weber), an anxiety-ridden young psychiatric patient prone to sketching gruesome images. The “actors” convene in an isolated house where video cameras monitor their every move, though the director stops by to offer them some pizza and offer some general guidelines about the project. Unfortunately, after he leaves, the windows and doors are all sealed with unbreakable metal plating, and lethal booby traps that kill the young people at unexpected times.
“Kolobos” is an intelligent, stylish and creepy film that was made by people who appreciate the genre and at the same time acknowledge its weaknesses. One of the personas is an actress who appeared in the fictional slasher movie franchise, ‘The Slaughterhouse Factor’. The group sit down to watch the films one after another and mock the poor continuity, cheesy deaths and silly plot and they could, in effect, be watching many eighties titles. It is this recognition however that allows those same characters to do the right thing once captured by a psychopathic killer. The house is filled with ingenious death traps that are set off when one of the victims crosses an area that is covered with red lasers. This means that every step they take could be the wrong one and it helps add to the tension
The five fight desperately to survive and show emotions of paranoia and fear in how they have become the victims of unprovoked murder. The first slaughter takes us by surprise because it’s so unexpected and from then gore is everywhere. The effects are excellent and include an eye impalement, disembowelment and an acid shower. There are some tight pulsating sequences and a sense of the macabre in all the aspects of terror.
Kolobos starts very well but doesn’t manage to keep the suspense at the same level all the way through. It just seems to throw too much of everything in to the final forty minutes, which lessens the impact a tad. I was extremely disappointed with the final twist. Even though it is far from perfect, it is one of the best slasher films. It was directed with style, panache, a fast pace and a great cast.
DIRECTOR-APPROVED SPECIAL EDITION CONTENTS
Brand new 2K restoration from the original negative
Original Stereo and 5.1 audio options
Audio commentary with co-writers and co-directors Daniel Liatowitsch and David Todd Ocvirk
Real World Massacre: The Making of Kolobos – brand new featurette on the making-of Kolobos including interviews with Daniel Liatowitsch, David Todd Ocvirk and co-writer/producer Nne Ebong
Face to Faceless – a brand new Interview with Faceless actor Ilia Volok
Slice & Dice: The Music of Kolobos – a brand new interview with composer William Kidd
Behind-the-Scenes Image Gallery
Super 8 short film by Daniel Liatowitsch with commentary
FIRST PRESSING ONLY: Fully illustrated collector s booklet with new writing on the film by Phillip Escott