Saturday 19 January 2013

The Helpers - DVD

Certificate 18, available on DVD and Blu-ray from January 21 2013


Directed by Chris Stokes

Christopher Jones, tied to a chair
In a flurry of life imitating art imitating life, The Helpers DVD and Blu-ray launches on January 21st amidst a publicity spurt rarely seen for a “straight to DVD” release. Achieving coverage in the national press and on ITV’s Daybreak, a cleverly assembled pop up shop in the heart of London’s East End displayed several tableaux in which some of this horror film’s most gruesome moments had been painstakingly recreated  in cake, marzipan and spun sugar creations  ( see the delicious lemon drizzle severed head below ) .
So, given the cake promotion theme, is The Helpers more than just a storm in a tea cup ? Well, the answer is just, probably. Based upon some apparently true events, the tale tells of a Jeep laden with 7 of America’s finest young people heading for a weekend in Las Vegas, breaking down in the desert. This reviewer has experience of a tyre blow-out in Death Valley followed by a nine hour wait for assistance (long story but our car renter – a massive global brand – had failed to supply the (tiny) lockable wheel nut key - believe me, it cost them!) and the anxiety that the group of friends experience on being stranded is authentically scripted.
Conveniently, there turns out to be a gas station and motel within a short walk of the breakdown, run by an apparently cool and hip bunch of young people who are keen to help the travellers. The alcohol flows and all retire to bed, intoxicated. Of course, come the morning, some of our protagonists wake to find that they have been tied to various implements of bondage and pain and shortly thereafter a series of torturous or decapitating or even more shocking events befall them in turn and the body count inevitably starts to rise. As the story winds out there is an inevitable fight back against the bad guys, before a final sequence that is a little predictable.
The acting is good, the desert photography is well assembled and the film’s $4M budget has been wisely spent. The special effects were almost as disgusting to look at as the cakes at the movie’s launch and as stay-at-home movies go, The Helpers is worth a purchase or a download, making a refreshing change from the norm in that it presents both predator AND preyed-upon as young Americans of both sexes. The soundtrack is not too bad either and if like a good steak, you enjoy your horror bloody, you will not be disappointed.

( To see a full picture gallery of the delicious cakes that promoted the DVD launch click here)

Naughty but nice. This shocking decapitated head is in fact a delicious Lemon Drizzle Cake + wig!

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