Trivia Originally released in small 'bite-size' chunks on MySpace in 2008.
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Beyond The Rave (2008)
30th Sep 10
Soldier Ed is flying out to serve in Iraq tomorrow morning. Before he goes he has the small matter of making up with his girlfriend plus pinpoint where that night's rave will be held. However this is no ordinary rave and the hosts are just plain out of the ordinary!
Widely hyped as Hammer Films return to the horror scene Beyond the Rave was originally screened on MySpace in twenty episodes starting from April 17th 2008. It was an interesting way of breaking the studio back into the foreground having remained dormant on the film front since 1976's To The Devil a Daughter.
A cynical attempt to fill the coffers with the minimal of financial input - the movie cost an estimated £500,000 - Beyond the Rave targeted a teenage audience with it's mix of vampires and underground rave and apparently pulled in an audience of some two million viewers. Whether said viewers liked it is a different matter entirely.
The format is in cosy bite-size chunks meaning that before the viewer's patience can be sorely tested by the over-abundant and rather unnecessary incessant swearing it's all over and still manages to keep you wanting to view more. This DVD release keeps that format which for those renting or buying that were aware of its origins will possibly not irk however for others it may prove very testing.
Taking Beyond the Rave as it stands regardless of its prestigious Hammer association it makes for a brain-dead ninety minutes of variable acting, dodgy effects and a finale that doesn't deliver but just goes on and on with little in the way of a dynamic. With the Hammer brand name attached it comes as a disappointment as it looks like the makers have traded cheap on its recognition and fobbed off audiences with any old guff.
By setting the bloody action against the culture of drug taking and underground raves the writers have missed the boat by a good ten years. It feels dated already without having had proper space to breathe in the film market yet. It's like the makers saw the original Blade and liked the concept of its opening ten minutes and decided to make a full-length movie around that.
The rave scenes work a treat. It's not often that a filmmaker manages to capture the energy and vibe of such an event on screen but here former commercial and music video director Matthias Hoene (check spelling) does so with aplomb It also helps having a certain Pete Tong, not in the film, mix the tracks for your soundtrack and serve as executive music producer. It's a soundtrack worth checking out.
The other reason the rave scenes work is that it means that we don't have to contend so much with writers Tom Grass and Jon Wright's daft attempts at having people all talk like Danny Dyer pretending he's a hard nut. It's a good job that everything runs at a good pace for the first two thirds otherwise you might just have switched off. It smacks of 'film school' writing, cribbing from what is deemed popular in British cinema culture at present and turning it into a full length film.
The writers make some retarded comparison between what vampires and soldiers do in that they both kill innocent people - nice one filmmakers! I'm sure our boys out there fighting will be thrilled by that. With that, the constant stream of bad language, plus the inconsistencies in the plot clearly show that no effort has been made here to make a quality product. It's admittedly cheap but that doesn't mean it can't be any good and guys, if you're gonna have a shot of two people gabbling in a moving car make sure it looks real, ok? That backdrop was so phony!
When our blank hero Ed (Jamie Dornan) sets out to make things right with his girlfriend Jen (Nora-Jane Noone from The Descent) with his best friend Necro (Matthew Forrest) in tow he find out that she has become involved in Melech's (Sebastian Knapp) gang of creeps. They are hosting a rave which kind of suits Ed and Necro as they were looking for one to go to . However they soon find out that Melech and his bunch of cronies are in fact vampires and are using the rave as a means to harvest their blood.
Mix in a couple of comedy gangsters, a tenuous link to Bram Stoker's Dracula with the brief appearance of Sadie Frost and a love-struck bouncer and you start to find that whilst in brief episodes having such characters may work; having so many crammed into a ninety minute movie makes for a dishevelledmess. The writers seem to be too busy trying to make us laugh (they don't) or cram in as much incident as possible, overlooking the fact that it should make sense too.
Once the vampires have gassed the ravers everything unravels. We have some innocents being killed for sport whilst just one vampire has been assigned the task of bleeding them and at a far too leisurely a pace too. The means by which vampires can be killed seems inconsistent too, but then I doubt the makers have bothered to do their homework and are clearly just in this to make a quick buck and sod the audience.
The fact that the makers chose to homage From Beyond the Grave for their title underlines the lack of homework they did on this project. That was a 1973 movie released by Amicus Productions a rival to Hammer which shows the contempt they truly have for their target audience.
It seems to be the case nowadays that if a movie has the possibility of sucking then the makers stuff their DVD release with a wodge of extras as a selling point. Beyond the Rave has a wealth of them and to its credit they are by and large pretty good, although more could have been made of how the internet episodes went down and why a DVD release now with the episodic treatment still in place.
**SPOILER ALERT** with Ed's friend Necro (so-called because he works at a morgue) turned by Lilith we have a rather needless extra episode entitled Extra Episode 21 'Necro's First Kill'. It adds nothing to the movie experience and oddly is the longest episode out of the lot weighing in at around thirteen minutes. The title to the episode is self-explanatory and ends with the hapless occupants that run a Bed and Breakfast finding out the hard way that they shouldn't just let anyone in for the money.
The Bonus Scenes total some twelve minutes some such as 'Ed' from Episode One adds bugger all whereas 'Tooley' (Episode Three) is where viewers wondering where Hammer veteran Ingrid Pitt got to in the finished film can find her. Her much trumpeted scene, and criminally used as a marketing ploy, ended up cut. Shame too as it's loaded with weirdness and sexual tension, but also another blank turn from Jamie Dornan as Ed.
Beyond the Rave: From Script to Screen is a fairly decent twenty-five minute making of that has interviews and behind-the-scenes footage. You learn that the movie was originally to be called Escape from the Rave and feature scarecrow zombies which sounded far more promising, although has recently been done by BBC's Dr Who. The two writers talk about their script being funny as well as horrific - sorry fellas missed that one, the humour was where exactly?
Rounding off the extras are eleven minutes of character clips which are little showcases to introduce the main characters with the most entertaining being that featuring The Crockers. There's also trailers, a stills gallery, a cast commentary for the main feature and another for Episode Twenty One plus a crew one for the same.
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