Bad Karma - Soi Film Entertainment - DVD
Written by Jay Creepy   
Monday, 25 April 2016

Directed by: Alex Chandon
Written by: Alex Chandon
Produced by: Alex Chandon, Duncan Jarman, J Karapateas, M Karapateas
Cinematography by: Alex Chandon
Editing by: Alex Chandon
Special Effects by: Duncan Jarman
Music by: Blob
Cast: Julius Barnet, Lotu, Maria Karapateas, Carmel McRae, Dan Barton, Ben Bethel, Julian Portinari.
Year: 1991
Color: Color
Runtime: 36min

Distribution: Soi Film Entertainment

Back in late 2012, I did a quick article on Alex Chandon’s excellent Inbred being released. I stated at the time, that Alex reminds me of a UK variation of Jim Van Bebber. Both are devoted to their game, but have to raise funds this way and that way to get their projects moving, thus a sporadic output can be best to describe their creations.

I also name checked his early straight-to-video shorts, Drillbit and Bad Karma. The latter has the honour of winning an award from Darkside Magazine back in the early 90s for best homemade horror. (The contest was called Opportunity Shocks). Bad Karma performed the festivals, to the delight of gorehounds, and bagged a nice review in the long forgotten UK horror magazine, In the Flesh. It cost £850 to make, and every quid went to good use.

It's hard to obtain on DVD of Bad Karma. I tracked mine down via a label called Soi Film Entertainment who have slapped on a few more of Alex's early moments because Bad Karma has a slight running time, so it's bargain for cash.

The quality isn't too good, it's transferred off a faded VHS situation, and the equipment of course wasn't top-notch filming tools to begin with. Stick with this though, don't let it put you off. We begin with a group of skin-headed Krishnas arriving at a jolly back garden BBQ somewhere on an estate. Dave's Mum leans out into the garden and tells him about the door. He’s not too fussed. “Can't even open a bloody door now.” she grumbles and goes herself. The Krishna group smile and ask if she'd want to donate money to the third world. Meanwhile, Hannah, Dave's baggy-jeans-wearing girlfriend heads upstairs for a shower.

“Look, I'm sorry gentlemen but you'll have to go. It's my son's birthday.” Instead one strides in, passing her a book and she sees in terror the skin on his hand moving and shifting. Huge blades emerge from the knuckles and his face begins to stretch. “Perhaps you'd like to make a donation..... in blood!” He finishes with a huge jaw-lined mouth and no eyes. The blades slice into Dave's mum. A guy in a bad wig is next to die.

“Hey, Dave, make mine a Killer Zombie.” as he goes to collect the drinks. “You'll get what you're given clever dick.” It's obvious Alex and his mates haven't raided any local theatre or drama schools to make this feature. It also turns out that the young lad in the bad curly wig is supposed to be Dave's father (!!??) Dave discovers the monster thrashing half of his Pop's body against the wall, ripping an arm off the dummy (I mean, the corpse).

Dave hides in a cupboard, probably with a bad case of bum gravy. The monster walks by gurgling towards the party. Cue loads of surprised faces, flaying bodies and blood as Dave listens from his hidey hole. A second Krishna goes after Hannah, attacking her in the shower.

“Suck on this, you fucking pervert!” she jams the shower rail through his head. Go girl! Running downstairs she chances upon the remains of his parents. Dave finds her and she tries to warn everyone but finds the mutilated carcasses. “Nowt we can do about it now.” he says.

One of the Krishnas informs their leader, who's sat chilling in a car, “We can have no witnesses!” with a voice sounding like he's just had a tooth pulled. The acting is on a level with Peter Jackson's Bad Taste and doesn't even attempt to take any of the contents seriously, luckily.

Dave and Hannah decide to pop a few doors down to his friend, Anthony, who runs an “S&M spanking house.” The Krisna's follow them over. They're let in to the sounds of over-the-top spankings as we meet Anthony, giving some fella a good hiding. When he's told of his visitors, he shrugs and says to his client, “Sorry mate, I gotta be out, gotta fuck off.” He's a long haired stoner looking like he's been with Sam Raimi in Thou Shalt Not Kill… Except!

The Krisna's all gather together in what is maybe a tent. “Master! I cannot wear these fucking clothes, they make me itch like a bastard!” Their plan is to sacrifice enough people to raise their saviour who is lord of the shapeshifters. Aha, so they deffo aren't human then. Humans are named vulnerable.

“But master, what about the rednecks?” asks one. “That was fifty years ago! Fuck those redneck bastards!” he retorts.

Anthony and his leather-clad gang aren't too impressed by Dave's story until one sees “a Buddhist fucker covered in blood.” They head out to get him. One head-butt later, they have themselves a captive Krishna. They interrogate him. Anthony brings out a chainsaw called The Butt Saw. “Lads, take his fucking trousers down!” Bits of meat fly in the air as Anthony saws the guy to pieces.

“Aw shit, Dave, I gotta go, I gotta sign on.” says Hannah suddenly. “I haven't got any money. If I don't sign on, I'll be skint the rest of the week.” On her way out she's captured. The shapeshifters invade the house and there's a big scrap between the creatures and Anthony's gang of bikers and dominatrix girls. Head in a fan, a dick chopped off, a severed head -- the effects team work themselves to a frenzy.

Wait until you see the white guy trying to be a black guy (“Can't yuh see I'm tryin' to fuck dis bitch?”) and Mr. Whippy, who says, “Groovy!” The humans (vulnerables) don't do very well when one of the creature's morphs into a giant cardboard-toothed beast. Dave is the last one. They all gather around him chuckling and threatening him.

When all is lost, the prior mentioned hillbillies arrive and all chaos breaks loose. I mean, if you thought it couldn't get more insane, well think again. There is a nice quote line as well, “Careful with that axe, Eugene.”  When one dies, the girl, Mary-Lou says, “He was my brother and father to my children.” You get the idea. All good fun.

Bad Karma is cheap, it's crap, it's nasty, but it's highly recommended. A lot of work obviously went into this, and a lot of weekends for the team. If you can get a boner from low budget labours of love with cartoon styles in-between, it's certainly worth hunting out. The special effects are the true star of this show by Duncan Jarman, who went on to work with Alex again, and on such mainstream flicks as World War Z, Resident Evil, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Event Horizon and many more.

Speaking of Duncan, he and Alex also worked on Drillbit, (including Jim Van Bebber narrating the ongoing madness) another short which is included on this DVD. Set in a future after riots and violence and overwhelmed society due to AIDS being a prominent disease, a scientist has developed a cure. However, the whole family is slaughtered gorily by the henchmen of Dr. Hex, who laughs like a repulsive villain. “Go get the fucks!” However, the son, Brian survives but has a piece of drillbit stuck in his head, driving him to insanity and the lust for revenge. The whole get-up feels more professional, in a still amateur way. It doesn't feel as homely as Bad Karma, however it is still extremely ahead of itself in terms of imagination. There's mutants, freaks -- it's all intense.

Additionally, on this release there is Night Pastor, a sleazy 10-minute spoof working like an extra-long trailer, combining elements of religion, action and dirt. (“Father O' Neil is a dangerous man, walking the dangerous streets...”) and Chainsaw Scumfuck made in 1988 and is a basic arse about laugh.

Bad Karma needs to be rediscovered and polished up a tiny bit. I'm sure a lot of fans would like to see where Duncan and Alex made their starts. Just know what you're getting yourself into before shelling out. It's not for everyone, but I'm not everyone, I suppose (I like Marmite and Vegemite by the way).


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 Aspect Ratio: 4:3 Full Frame
 Region: PAL R2
 Audio: Dolby Digital Mono

 – Drillbit (32min)
 – The Night Pastor (10min)
 – Chainsaw Scumfuck (6min)

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3.22 Copyright (C) 2007 Alain Georgette / Copyright (C) 2006 Frantisek Hliva. All rights reserved."

Last Updated ( Monday, 25 April 2016 )