directed by Igor Shavlak
(Lions Gate, 2008)

Remember the first generation of Russian rock 'n' roll bands and how dreadfully awful they all were? I have the same sort of reaction to Trackman. The Russians are trying, by gum, but they seemingly have no idea what they're doing. The result, at least in this case, is a horror film that disappoints on just about every level. Ghost House Underground has released some pretty good independent horror films, but Trackman isn't one of them. This stinker from Russian director Igor Shavlak just flops around like a fish out of water throughout its entire 80-minute run-time. No suspense, no frights and no entertainment value.

There isn't a great deal of story to be found here. A team of bank robbers disappears into a maze of underground tunnels to meet up with a co-conspirator and make their escape. Their plans for the "perfect crime" went awry during the actual robbery, so they have a trio of hostages in tow with them as they begin to make their way through the tunnels. Things start to break down when the other guy never shows up, introducing suspicions of a double-cross into an already turbulent group dynamic. To make matters worse, no one in the group knows the way out. That becomes an even bigger problem when a mysterious stranger -- who wears a gas mask and goggles, loves flourishing his trusty pickaxe (but also has an affinity with flamethrowers) and sports a pretty impressive collection of human eyeballs -- joins the party.

The only real difference between Trackman and a long list of underachieving American horror films is that this one is badly dubbed in English. There's no originality in play here, the characters aren't very interesting or likable and there's almost no tension or suspense as to everything that takes place. In other words, Trackman is a boring slasher film, and that's really all there is to it.

review by
Daniel Jolley

30 April 2011

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