Review: I Didn't Come Here to Die / Cert: 18 / Director: Bradley Scott Sullivan / Screenplay: Bradley Scott Sullivan / Starring: Indiana Adams, Kurt Cole, Madi Goff / Release Date: April 15th
Doesn't look as though they came here to do any work, either. For various reasons, a gang of layabouts join a voluntary work scheme in the woods, where they are given power tools to play with and free reign to kill themselves and one another either through gross incompetence or motives unknown (usually to cover up their own gross incompetence).
That title certainly got your attention, didn't it? Like A Lonely Place to Die and A Horrible Way to Die (sensing a theme yet?), the film has a wonderfully evocative title that ensures it stays lodged in your memory long after you've forgotten what the whole thing was actually about. This low-budget sort-of slasher movie has a more original plot than those aforementioned films, although the long stretches of nothing much happening between action and gore sequences will do it no favours.
The story is like a cross between Tucker and Dale vs Evil and a Final Destination movie, which would be awesome if I hadn't already seen Tucker and Dale and Trippin' last year (a cabin in the woods horror film with almost exactly the same gimmick). The concept is a clever one, but the lack of any distinct threat leaves the film feeling slightly lost and aimless. And then a girl goes and gets a chainsaw stuck in her own face, and the film's flaws don't seem quite so bad any more. It's no bloodbath, but the death sequences are a lot of fun – offering bloody effects work, grisly violence and a whole host of eyeballs impaled upon sharp branches. Best of the bunch is the chainsaw kill (which shows why you shouldn't piss about with chainsaws) but there's also a nice bit of eyeball trauma and the best car-related carnage in years too. The film goes out on a high, with a recurring gag providing the biggest laugh.
The characters may not have come here to die, but the film doesn't give them any other purpose or reason for us to engage with them beyond that. Worse, when they're not dying, I Didn't Come Here to Die is downright dull, with lengthy scenes of boring dialogue and flimsy characterisation failing to enliven any time when there's not a chainsaw on screen. At least it looks good though, with a washed out effect to the cinematography giving it an old-fashioned, Grindhouse sort of vibe. With a little more gore, a little more wit and a little less padding, I Didn't Come Here to Die could have been a bona fide exploitation classic. As it is, it's competent but flawed, a little lost and suffering from a disappointing lack of purpose.