Thursday, October 03, 2013


One of the problems with publishing annually is knowing just when to put on the brakes. With each passing week and trip to the PO Box the review section for ER #52 grows and grows and grows, threatening to push the zine (and its humble editor) to its limits.

But some flicks just can't wait for the printed page. Some flicks can't be contained. Some flicks plead to be unleashed on an unsuspecting viewing public as soon as possible.

Emanuele De Santi's berserk ADAM CHAPLIN: VIOLENT AVENGER is just such a flick.

When Adam (played by writer/director De Santi) discovers that his wife has been killed by the local crime boss he sets out on a mission of revenge, hell bent on killing anyone that stands in his path.

Pretty standard stuff, right?

But what separates ADAM CHAPLIN from the endless parade of flicks with similar stories (many of which are currently housed in my Netflix queue) is that we're treated to an almost non-stop parade of insanely hyper-stylized supernatural action gore in which our frequently shirtless vigilante "hero" roams the fictitious town of Heaven Valley literally pulverizing anyone even remotely involved in his wife's demise.

Oh, did I forget to mention the demon that lives in his shoulder and encourages/guides/needles him throughout his blood-soaked 90-minute rampage? How about the crime boss who wears a mask to hide a decaying face disfigured by constant doses of a drug called Neurocil 3 being pumped through his veins? Well, there's that, too.

Like a dark, disturbing slice of manga that has somehow leapt off the page and onto your tv screen, ADAM CHAPLIN mashes together every idea ever imagined by a violence-addled adolescent and fuses it with Italian religious and familial fetishizing then blends in the kind of extreme gore I thought I'd only see from the likes of Andreas Schnaas or Olaf Ittenbach.

And it totally works.

Jaw-dropping from the get-go (two heads roll within the first 30 seconds), ADAM CHAPLIN: VIOLENT AVENGER is a flick that begs to be seen with a roomful of like-minded video mutants. Sure, you might miss the nuances of such subtitled dialogue as "only hatred can lead you in this story..." but you won't care as Chaplin stomps through the Troma-esque wasteland punching his hand through the chest of a corrupt cop or throwing some Ultimate Warrior wannabe off a roof.

I'm disappointed that De Santi – who looks like the gigantic slightly mutant offspring of Beef from PHANTOM OF THE PARADISE and Jon Mikl Thor – doesn't appear to have anything in the works after this eye-popping debut. However, I was happy to hear that Giulio De Santi – who played the crime boss's son and supervised CHAPLIN's extensive visual effects – was behind the futuristic sci-fi gorefest TAETER CITY (check out the trailer below).

One can only hope the pair continue to bring this kind of outrageous sinema to our shores for many years to come! – Dan Taylor

ADAM CHAPLIN: VIOLENT AVENGER is available from Amazon.

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