It’s always refreshing to see a film that doesn’t hang about. While watching a number of films at the Sitges Film Festival there was a common theme in the way that films started. More often than not they started with a cold opening which is designed to grab the attention of the audience and hopefully engage them as soon as the first scene unfolds. While this is effective it can get repetitive if seen often enough. Nekrotronic has no such problems.
The film starts with an animated title sequence which is visually arresting and as a bonus acts as a quick exposition dump before anyone has uttered a word. It also sets the tone and pace of what you are about to see. The story is your basic good versus evil across the ages. On one side there are the demons who collect human souls in order the gain power. Against them are the guardians of the human race whose job is to keep the soul collectors in check. With the advent of new technology the soul collectors have never had it so easy as they have developed a devilish app that does half the work for them. Into this conflict stumbles Howie and his partner Rangi who literally collect shit for a living. They find themselves embroiled in the conflict and as a consequence Howie finds out that he might be more special than anyone thought before.
This is a classic gore fest type of horror that doesn’t take itself too seriously. It has a nice balance between the darker horror filled elements and a really nice streak of black humour. This is down to the chemistry between Howie and Rangi at the start and then Howie and the main necromancers. In the main role of Howie is Ben O’Toole. He has really good comic timing and a deadpan delivery which enhances the performance and the character. It doesn’t hurt that he can handle the action scenes as well as the success of theses elements are integral to the enjoyment of the movie.
Any horror film of this type has to deliver on the gore. Nekrotronic does that in almost every way. There is an impressive variety to the ways that the soul collectors are dispatched by the necromancers. They are inventively staged and executed much to the enjoyment of the audience at the film festival. You can’t beat a satisfying killing of a bad guy especially if it’s done with some style.
For a relatively low budget film it has a couple of interesting supporting roles from David Wenham and Monica Belluci. They are the leaders of the opposing factions and their presence elevates the film above the usual level of sometime ropey support. Belluci in particular seems to be relishing the chance to play a character that is evil in every way. She fully understands the type of film she is involved in and makes the most of a rare chance to play the baddie.
The film creates the world and the tech early on in the proceedings and then goes on to exploit the potential of the armaments in inventive and entertaining ways until it reaches its bloody and gory finale. Yes, it stretches credibility at times but this is part of its charm and really just adds to the sense of enjoyment.