subHuman (DVD)

subHuman (DVD)
Soul-stealing, body-snatching, blood-sucking aliens vs. a blade-weilding bounty hunter.
Updated: 04-14-2005

When a funky, magical blade-wielding man named Martin (William MacDonald) is struck by their car in the dark of night, he clings to consciousness long enough to tell Ben (Bryce McLaughlin) and Julie (Courtney Kramer) that he has inside info that the planet’s population is in grave, imminent danger. According to Martin, the human race is being overrun by parasites who feed off their blood and turn them into automated, subHuman killers. Turns out Martin is a bounty hunter (a drug-addicted one at that) living on the edge of the law — he begs Ben and Julie not to take him to the hospital, but to their apartment instead where he can recoup and regroup. Needless to say, the wounded do-gooder must count on the helpless humans while the subHumans close in. A barrage of beheadings ensue.


subHuman is, in a word, substandard. A very cheap look — shot on video, CGI that looks like something out of an old video game — is made even worse by actual cheapness. Even the most casual, most uninformed film-watcher will know at a glance that the budget didn’t allow for any extras and very little music. (A dead-quiet tavern at happy hour with only four people and a bartender in it, is just one obviously underfunded scene.) Dodgy dialogue brings unintentional chuckles when it’s aided by an off-synch sound track, but at least it takes some of the focus off of the embarassingly bad acting.


Even the editing doesn’t go unpunished in this review: Jump cuts quicker and choppier than the phony-looking blade slash their way throughout the film, trying in vain to lend an avant garde vibe (an early jump-cut heavy scene that takes place near a garbage dumpster is particularly prophetic of bad editing to come).


The distributor did not send final product, so I was unable to review any additional release material. Supposedly, there’s a behind the scenes featurette, deleted scenes, and a director commentary I really would have liked to have heard. (There must be some explanation!)



Reviewed by Staci Layne Wilson

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