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Hal MacDermot [Celluloid 07.15.08] movie review horror



Year: 2007
Release date: October, 2008 (TBD)
Director: Igor Shavlak
Writer: Valery Krechetov
IMDB: link
Trailer: link
Review by: cyberhal
Rating: 6.1 out of 10

With so many cool things coming out of Russian these days, I was looking forward to a nice bit of violence with this Russian slasher movie set in a disused subway. Underground train tunnels are such good locations. Think of Luc Besson's classic Subway (1985), or more obscurely, Neil Gaiman's amazing BBC mini-series, Neverwhere, in which a bloke gets lost in a parallel world on the London Underground. On the whole, I was a bit disappointed in Trackman. The dark, dripping maze of tunnels is great location, but the movie just isn't that scary or violent, and in my opinion, it would have benefited from a stronger backstory, even if it is a slasher.


The plot: a couple of Russian bank robbers carry out a heist, but it all goes wrong and they take refuge in a disused section of the Moscow underground, along with three hostages. Unfortunately for the fugitives, they are not alone, as an eyeball-collecting psychopath also lives there and he's coming after them with his pick axe.





The movie begins with a strong opening credits: spooky childlike drawings of murder, children singing a haunting Russian melody. Next into the bank robbery, where the robbers take two bimbo bank tellers and a very unlikeable cop hostage. In fact one of the problems in this movie is that no one is very likeable and so it was hard for me to identify with anyone. The characters are always arguing with each other, which could be good drama, but I didn't really care who won the fights. Actually, I wanted to see the hostages being brutally assaulted and tortured because they were so lame and annoying.

Trackman himself never really felt that threatening to me. He looks cool enough though, a bit like a homeless dude in a radiation suit, with a pick axe. Maybe the problem is that mostly what he does is just walk about and breath heavily. The kill sequences are announced with slightly repetitive slow-mo shots, so you knew they are coming, and the missing suspense was usually not replaced by the Holy F*** Sh** factor. The soundtrack was mostly Foley Men clanging around in echoing tunnels etc.





I did like the fact that Trackman collected eyeballs, and pulled them out with some wicked looking forceps thing. It would have been good to have seen more of that. I wish someone had made more of an effort to explain his fetish though. One of the criminals says that the tunnels were used to dump dying victims of the Chernobyl nuclear disaster. So what, his eyes were damaged by radiation, so no one else can have any eyeballs, is that it? There's a lame twist reveal right at the end, which still didn't explain if for me. Overall, I would say that Trackman is interesting to watch for the whole underground setting, but in terms of slash or drama, hmm. The movie will be released in October to DVD as part of the Ghosthouse/Lionsgate slate. BTW, in researching train subway type films I came across an interesting Hungarian movie called Control, which sounds amazing. A very dark comedy set in a weird Kafkaesque subway world of allegory and ticket collectors. I've never seen it, but I'm going to look for it, all the reviewers loved it.

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cyberhal (11 years ago) Reply

Awesome review man... except now I've got to track down Control and Neverwhere darn it!

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quietearth (11 years ago) Reply

hey you can't call your own review awesome!

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agentorange (11 years ago) Reply

Hey that was my comment above btw. Haha, Cyberhal didn't comment on his own review.

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cyberhal (11 years ago) Reply

I've been framed!

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Craigary (10 years ago) Reply

Kontroll is great, saw it in a theater and thought it pretty riveting, even bleakly funny. Not perfect by any means but interesting.
http://www.greencine.com/webCatalog?id=20846


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