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Redsin Tower, The Print E-mail
User Rating: / 15
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Written by Ray Casta   
Monday, 06 November 2006

"The Redsin Tower" -- Click Here to Enlarge Poster -- Severed Cinema

Directed by: Fred Vogel
Written by: Fred Vogel, Shelby Jackson
Produced by: Fred Vogel
Cinematography by: Shane Sauer
Special Effect: Jerami Cruise
Editing by: Bruce Hauver
Cast: Stephanie Bertoni, A.C. Earing, Jessica Kennedy, Aaron LaBonte, Billy D. Martin, Kathie McDermitt, Bethany Newell, Meghan O'Halloran, Peter Schmidt, Perry Tiberio
Year: 2005
Country: USA
Language: English
Color: Color
Runtime: 85 Minutes

Official Website: The Redsin Tower, Toe Tag Pictures

http://severed-cinema.com/images/horizon.jpg

"Love reminds you that nothing else matters." - Amy Bushell

"Man was created a bloody animal and I think he will always thirst for blood and will manage to have it. I think he is far and away the worst animal that exists; and the only untamable one." - Mark Twain

As a young fan of the horror genre, the arrival of Fred Vogel's new "slasher" film, "The Redsin Tower" is every bit as exciting, meaningful and significant as the very first time I became in love with the genre itself.  Watching a film like Nick Palumbo's "Murder-Set-Pieces" and "The Redsin Tower" in a theater setting with all of its ambience is perhaps what it felt like to grow up during the golden era of horror to go see films as shocking as Tobe Hooper's "The Texas Chain Saw Massacre", Wes Craven's "Last House on the Left", or William Lustig's "Maniac".  For casting that feeling over me, I sincerely have to thank director Fred Vogel and Toe Tag Pictures for their work.  This is, without a question, Vogel's Mona Lisa -- or even better yet, his gore-soaked Sistine Chapel.  Cocked and loaded, it's a mean, nasty and relentless hollow-point slug from the cold barrel of a .44 Magnum.  Not only does "The Redsin Tower" stand out as a new-age horror film but it remains a fierce film of devastating power, quiet sadness, and elegiac tragedy.  Mainly, it's about an innocence lost, it's about the inner-most fears of our psyche, it's about a love so deep that there is no one that can possibly fathom it.  What we are all capable of doing at a certain time and place is a horrific theme and element, more so than any of the genre's imaginative monsters or supernatural spirits.  What makes the film and its themes resonate is a dark portrait of teenage love and when it is pushed far too close to the edge looking down into the abyss of our own souls.

One can only imagine how tremendously well the film would have been received by movie critics and horror fans alike if it was widely released sometime in 1980's.  This is the ultimate throwback to the era of slashers and grindhouse classics.  Yet, at the same time, Toe Tag Pictures has tapped into dark and harrowing reality of the current times of our daily society.  In that sense, "The Redsin Tower" is a powerful descent into hell and chaos.  How many times have we turned on the news only to hear about an angry teenager lashing out against a former girlfriend -- and most of the time, her own family -- after being rejected by the lover?  How many times have we heard of seemingly normal and quiet people commit acts of extreme rage and hatred culminating in mass murder?  Sadly, many times.  It's something that grows within our society.  Rage exists in every human being, even the most quiet or unsuspecting and innocent.  Mitch exists.  He may very well be me or you at any given time.  In this film, Mitch (Perry Tiberio) so happens to be a teenager looking for a second chance at a relationship with Kim Abrahams, who recently broke up with him after spending six years as a loving couple.  He loved her so much, he cannot bear to see anyone else with her.  One night, he follows her and her friends to a wild party at the haunted Redsin Tower, which sets off a murderous orgy of satanic carnage and bloody vengeance.

As an independent film, Toe Tag Pictures does what most seasoned filmmakers of the genre naturally work their entire careers up to.  Without a bit of pretension on Vogel's part, a master craftsmanship is exercised.  Impeccably shot by Shane Sauer, "The Redsin Tower" is hypnotic in its startlingly stunning use of visual poetry.  It's the rare find of a horror film where its volatile images of savagery and chaos wash over you in one sitting.  Its images are a lasting impression; the images are those in which your nightmares are made of; its images haunt your very thoughts.  It ends with a final shot so haunting, a parallel can be made to a unsettling depiction of a baby being born, which is a sequence symbolizing a "rebirth" or sorts.  Both scenes are inherently connected.  Though a birth is a beautiful and wondrous thing, the way Fred Vogel depicts it suggests something evil.  The ending suggests the same type of false reality in a situation.  We are, from far away, glimpsing at a relationship -- also a beautiful thing.  It's an ironic twist because, under the surface, evil exists in that reality.  Detail is a significant factor in the making of the film, from the axe to the arm, astonishing visual scheme to the powerfully sad, moving music.  Speaking of which, the score mirrors the personalities of the characters from time to time.  For an example, Mitch's rage is growing erratic as the time passes when he is not with his beloved Kim.  A brilliant yet simple shift in the camerawork (beforehand the camera was relaxed and almost soothing) like a slow 360 revolve around Mitch's head as he is gazing into the mirror reflects the pain and the point of no return.  This suggests the movie will be taking a chaotic turn, and in a scene when a character breaks down a wall a hallucinatory aura is cast upon the viewer.

The screenplay, written by Fred Vogel and Shelby Jackson, allows the film to move along with a free flowing pace.  Dialogue, mood, and story moves along so naturally and eloquently we sometimes forget it's even a script the cast is reading from.  The characters are either people we've heard about before, or even hung out with.  Interestingly enough, Fred and Shelby who are both newly married to each other are taking such a close look at the mysterious and overwhelming feeling known by many as "love".  "The Redsin Tower" is what happens when a filmmaker takes an axe and severs off the limbs of the "love story".  This is the result.  References are bound to be made throughout, though the end result is so invigorating and original, Toe Tag takes the basic concept of vengeance and takes it to a place no one would ever anticipate or imagine.  Watching the end credits, you begin to notice how much of a challenge it must have been for the crew to juggle so many different duties, as many of their names show up in the credits more than once or twice.  Evidently, the project was a labor of love for all cast and crew involved in the making of it.  The work is virtuous filmmaking, its extraordinary talents are present in every single mesmerizing frame, from behind and in front of the camera.  Horror is not a genre but a blending of moods and a celebration of our inner-most fears.  Toe Tag Pictures perfectly understands this.  Their film is a bold, remarkable attempt to bring the horror genre back to where it used to be, and most importantly, where it rightfully should be.  In this day and age when independent horror is as rampant as ever, few filmmakers rise above the challenge and become truly innovative.  When was the last time you've actually been truly scared during a horror film?  Personally, I can only think of a few horror films of recent memory to scare me.  This is definitely one of them.  Being scared was only the beginning: this film has you hooked from the opening sequence, hanging off the edge of your seats, in fear and anticipation.

Quite clearly, "The Redsin Tower" was a movie Fred Vogel desperately needed to make.  It is solid proof to many he can do far more than the "August Underground" series.  Questions arose within the horror community once their new project was decided and announced, doubting whether or not Vogel was capable of making a conventional horror movie, away from the "faux-snuff" variety.  You will not be able to easy look at his previous works and look at this in the same light.  Character plays a major role in the screenplay with a cast of characters so superbly played their roles feel almost naturalistic.  We can rather easily feel a character's emotional pain and turmoil by only a glance at their faces, their expressions being so articulate and expressive as they are.  An independent film --  which has the tendency to be a bit forced or choppy by its sometimes inexperienced, first-time performers -- rarely makes acting look so natural and real.  Props must be given to the young debut cast for their intensity and fearless courage brought to the screen.  "The Redsin Tower" is a compilation of great talents from the Toe Tag crew.  The special effects led by Jerami Cruise (a young Tom Savini) assisted by Aaron and Ben Labonte are met with a dazzling perfection.  I can only imagine the trials and tribulations and the lengths Toe Tag Pictures must have went to make each special effect work so beautifully.  Yet, if it wasn't for the guttural fear and raw intensity the actors brought to their characters, its visceral impact may have been all but lost.

To experience "The Redsin Tower" in all of its uncut glory is to discover a new master at work -- in many ways, Fred Vogel is like a young Wes Craven, Tobe Hooper, John Carpenter, or even a young Dario Argento.  This is Vogel proving himself and proving the masses wrong and doing what he does the best: delivering a vision of unmitigated horror and terror.  As of yet, his movies have been based off a primal fear we human beings are most capable of in our daily lives -- a primal reaction we all hide deep inside ourselves.  In his work thus far, Fred Vogel's trademark is the darkest, most sadistic side of human nature.  In his new film, he demonstrates both sides of evil: the human side of violence, and the malevolent supernatural reaction.  While Vogel's films have been rooted in our reality, "The Redsin Tower" smashes a hole in the wall by breaking viewer expectations when the vision elegantly shifts into a surreal world.  The film's true nature will not be fully revealed until the time is right just as we least expect it to.  In many ways, "The Redsin Tower" is as spontaneous as any film because we always have the feeling that, at any moment in time, something can happen.  This is a dread that mounts unbearable tension and suspense, lingering over the characters throughout.  The pace of the first half is unassuming to the terror that awaits in the latter half.  Its set-up, quite careful and methodical, introduces teenagers having a fun time, smoking weed and partying then it erupts like a volcano, destroying everyone and everything in its path.  A chain reaction of mayhem occurs throughout the tower at once, by effecting the characters with deadly, evil ramifications.

As simple of a story it is, "The Redsin Tower" is anything but a conventional film.  In short, our prior expectations are smashed into pieces with a hammer.  If there's any film that benefits from walking into it blind, without being spoiled a single thing, it has to be this one.  Unfortunately, there may possibly be fans of Toe Tag Pictures that feel Fred Vogel is "selling out" to conform to conventional standards within the genre and break away from their current spot in the underground.  While Vogel may lose a few "August Underground" fans, it's abundantly clear to me he will gain even more fans with "The Redsin Tower".  This is a film made by hardcore fans of the horror genre and of cinema itself.  A glorious celebration of different genre moods, Vogel and the rest of the Toetag crew brilliantly mixes the "old school" 80's slasher formula with the comedic hijinks of "Porky's" and "Dazed & Confused", and the terrain of 70's supernatural horror with the rapturous atmosphere of a giallo.  Consequently, "The Redsin Tower" is a genre film with mass appeal written all over it.  I simply refuse to look at it as purely a "horror" film -- and it certainly shouldn't be pigeonholed as an "underground" film.  It is fully accomplished, polished, masterful cinema.  Fred Vogel's "The Redsin Tower" is, far and away, the best film of 2006 -- a beautifully twisted feast for the eyes, a gory spectacle of the unthinkable, a horrifying portrait of human psyche, a supernatural mind game, a timely sign of the most violent, perplexing times of troublesome adolescence.

"The Redsin Tower" -- Click Here to Enlarge Image -- Severed Cinema

"The Redsin Tower" -- Click Here to Enlarge Image -- Severed Cinema

"The Redsin Tower" -- Click Here to Enlarge Image -- Severed Cinema

"The Redsin Tower" -- Click Here to Enlarge Image -- Severed Cinema

"The Redsin Tower" -- Click Here to Enlarge Image -- Severed Cinema

"The Redsin Tower" -- Click Here to Enlarge Image -- Severed Cinema

"The Redsin Tower" -- Click Here to Enlarge Image -- Severed Cinema

"The Redsin Tower" -- Click Here to Enlarge Image -- Severed Cinema

"The Redsin Tower" -- Click Here to Enlarge Image -- Severed Cinema

"The Redsin Tower" -- Click Here to Enlarge Image -- Severed Cinema

"The Redsin Tower" -- Click Here to Enlarge Image -- Severed Cinema

"The Redsin Tower" -- Click Here to Enlarge Image -- Severed Cinema

"The Redsin Tower" -- Click Here to Enlarge Image -- Severed Cinema 

Comments
Add New Search
dave   |83.100.175.xxx |2009-07-20 09:38:36
shit film
Anonymous   |86.175.185.xxx |2015-09-21 01:21:19
i have to agree with dave that film was shit on the other hand i also watched
that maniac tonight now that was a truly awesome remake and scared the shit out
of me big up for elijah wood frodo smashed it
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