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Stockholm Syndrome - The Sleaze Box Print E-mail
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Written by Richard Taylor   
Monday, 13 March 2017
Review of Stockholm Syndrome from The Sleaze Box on Severed Cinema

Directed by: Ryan Cavalline
Written by: Ryan Cavalline, Jason Senior
Produced by: Ryan Cavalline
Cinematography by: Ryan Cavalline
Editing by: Ryan Cavalline
Music by: Tony Diana
Special Effects by: Frank Effects
Cast: Jason Senior, Eddie Benevich, Lisa Marano, Todd David Humes, Michael A. Migliore, Todd Proesl, Peter Blessel, Frank Marano
Year: 2008
Country: USA
Language: English
Color: Color
Runtime: 1h 17min

Distributor: The Sleaze Box

The fine purveyors of all things sleazy are re-releasing this indie roughie for another go around. Stockholm Syndrome is a welcome addition to The Sleaze Box roster but is lacking in the graphic nudity and abundance of tattooed babes they have become known for. Instead, Stockholm Syndrome is a grimy and filthy torture fest filled with seedy characters and human degradation and debauchery. It’s a gruelling low budget 77 minutes of serious no-nonsense humiliation with bought and sold human life which is treated as a cheap commodity.

You'll need a shower after watching this one as it’s just plain mad dog mean. There is no light at the end of the tunnel. The quality of my copy is not high grade and almost adds to the unpolished feel of the movie. This gives it even more character. The plot is thin but it’s the devil in the details which really sets Stockholm Syndrome apart from the rest. The beginning of the film begins outside a scumbag motel where David (Jason Senior) and Anna (Lisa Marano) are tired on their way back from an exhausting trip to see a doctor about Anna's pregnancy complications -- one of numerous it seems. While waiting for David to take care of getting a room, Anna is left alone in the car and confronted by the bizarre Geno (Eddie Benevich) as he starts talking strange about her being pregnant, including the best part which he says is “the fucking.”

Anna reluctantly enters the roach motel room as the couple take phone calls from concerned family. Outside the motel we once again meet Geno and his less than willing conscience laden accomplice Ty (Todd David Humes). The two goons are looking for nubile victims to abduct for their boss Mr. Pollino, another piece of trash that runs a human trafficking operation. Geno and Ty are scouting the parking lot of the motel when they spot David and Anna. Geno instantly targets the couple but Ty tries shutting him down because they normally go for homeless bums or prostitutes, which draw less attention to the disappearances due to the lack of family members, which means less concern for their kidnapping. Geno insists on getting the couple anyways, and the buffoon’s persistence wins outright, especially when he points out how much money they will get for a pregnant woman. The two invade David and Anna's hotel room and bring the couple to a warehouse where the Mr. Pollino conducts his slave trade business.

After this we get a long gruelling ride of Anna being tortured and graphically aborted, even having to watch her bloodied premature baby mutilated before her eyes. David is helpless, as are the other victims as we see they have slipped into Mr. Pollino's sickened grasp. In one memorable scene a sadistic perverted priest played by Todd Proesi brutally tortures one girl with this insane looking toilet plunger-like device, lined with razor blades used as a dildo. He barks insane commands and rambles on with ludicrous degrading jibber jabber. The priest is a well-known client of Mr. Pollino but has a tendency to take things too far, and kill the subjects, so Pollino hates the guy except for the high price he pays to carry out his sick tortures.

Stockholm Syndrome is a relentless and nasty low budget beating over the head. The acting performances are amateurish but characters like Geno are effective enough. The makeup effects are hit or miss with a big reliance on blood splatter more so than actual deep down prosthetic work, although I have to give special mention to an insane scene where David is trying to escape and finds himself on the bad end of a bear trap being forced to cut through his own ankle with a dull axe. That scene is stomach nauseatingly good, primo effects work there. I'm not sure if the film’s title ever really shines through enough to warrant a case of Stockholm Syndrome, I mean the victims obey commands in this but not because they have identified with their captors so much but because they are scared shitless and don't want to die.

Stockholm Syndrome is not brilliant filmmaking but it is effective, memorable and it delivers a lot of good indie filmmaking devices. The violence is disturbing as hell, it’s over-the-top and brutal and we get some despicable, memorable characters. Stockholm Syndrome is a rough looking exploration into the darker side of humanity and simply put, it delivers the nastiness. 




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