Wednesday, May 18, 2016

Green Room (Rhoades)

Front Row at the Movies

“Green Room” Runs Red With Blood
Reviewed by Shirrel Rhoades

Herschell Gordon Lewis created a new kind of horror film back in 1963 with “Blood Feast.” Originally called a “gore film,” the subgenre eventually settled on the epithet “splatter film” for obvious reasons. But Lewis continues to be known as the Wizard of Gore.

Jeremy Saulnier seems to have picked up that mantle with his new film, “Green Room.” An intelligent but low-budget horror film, it’s currently making a splash (or should we say splatter?) at Tropic Cinema.

Headlined by Patrick Steward (Professor Xavier in the various Marvel superhero blockbusters) and Anton Yelchin (Chekov in the “Star Trek” movies), the plot follows a punk rock band trapped in a green room by a bunch of neo-Nazi skinheads at a club in the backwoods of Oregon. It gets bloody. Lots of people die.

The band known as “It Ain’t Right” (Yelchin et al.) takes a gig at the out-of-the way club owned by Darcy Banker (Stewart). After a bad set that enrages the skinheads, they stumble across a murder in the green room, a girl with a knife in her head. Since Darcy has other nefarious activities going on at the club, he doesn’t want the police to get involved. Wouldn’t it be simpler just to have his henchmen (identified by red lace in their shoes) kill all the witnesses?

No, it turns out.

The band puts up a fight. Blood flows on both sides. We’ll leave the guess-who’s-left-standing outcome for you to see.

“Green Room” reminded me a bit of Herschell Gordon Lewis’s splatter classic, “Two Thousand Maniacs!,” where a handful of tourists stumble across murderous rednecks in an out-of-the-way Southern town.

If Jeremy Saulnier is becoming the new Lewis, does that mean the Pacific Northwest is becoming the new gothic South?

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