Review: MurderDrome / Cert: 18 / Director: Daniel Armstrong / Screenplay: Daniel Armstrong, Louise Monnington / Starring: Kat Anderson, Daisy Masterman, Amber Sajbeny / Release Date: May 12th
Roller derby has an odd place in the geek culture. It’s an internationally popular sport dominated by all-female amateur teams from all walks of life, but despite Hollywood attention, it is regarded by many as not part of the mainstream, bringing with it a sardonic and mocking aesthetic that draws steadily on the worlds of sci-fi, fantasy and horror that sets it apart from less interesting sports.
MurderDrome draws upon this close-knit counter culture as inspiration to create a marvellously messy and weird little exploitation horror movie. The tale revolves round a band of plucky Roller derby girls who, thanks to a cursed artefact, get caught up in the affairs of demonic roller girls who have crawled out of hell itself. Chaos ensues and lots of fake blood gets fountained all over the place. As you might expect, the main characters all have roller derby-style nicknames (Cherry Skye, Trans Em, etc) and this helps lend a cartoon-like quality to characters, making the entire thing a rather light-hearted if gory movie.
Make no mistake, MurderDrome is a truly terrible film. It’s poorly directed, badly shot, the pacing is terrible and the plot makes no sense, becoming incoherent at times. It’s so low budget that it almost begs for change, though this is part of its charm. However, the actual dialogue is really good. It’s filled with quotable lines that, taken out of context are really funny and clever, it’s just that they’re delivered poorly by a clearly under-rehearsed cast.
This mix of funny lines, exploitation kitsch and sub-culture setting almost guarantees that it will become a cult classic. It’s not a good movie in the slightest but given that the entire thing cost less to produce than the price of a family car, that’s to be expected. If you’re a roller derby junkie who likes dumb horror movies with a punk rock and horror aesthetic, or if you’re just looking for something to put on in the background after a successful bout then this is likely to make you giggle.
Extras: Gag reel / Picture in Picture Commentary / VFX / Music videos / “From Parts Unknown” short