out of Five
Running time: 85
The Violent Kind has a nice central idea and a few decent exploitation moments but it gradually degenerates into a chaotic, badly acted mess delivered at full volume.
What's it all about?
Directed by the self-styled Butcher Brothers (real names: Mitchell Altieri and Phil Flores), The Violent Kind stars Cory Knauf as Cody, a member of a punch-happy biker gang in Northern California. When Cody and his buddies go to a secluded farmhouse deep in the woods for, um, his mother's birthday party, events take a terrifying turn when his ex-girlfriend Michelle (Tiffany Shepis) shows up covered in blood and screaming after apparently having been the victim of a road accident with her new boyfriend.
However, that's just the start of their problems, as it turns out Michelle is possessed by a demon and soon she's picking off Cody's biker buddies left, right and centre. And if that wasn't bad enough, the farmhouse is then invaded by a group of Manson-like rockabillies (led by Joe Egender), seemingly from the 1950s, who have come to collect something growing inside Michelle and announce they're “looking for a few kicks ... the violent kind.”
The Violent Kind has an intriguing premise and gets off to a good start, with some witty touches, such as Michelle already being a handful even before she's possessed by a demon. Similarly, The Butcher Brothers obviously know their way around a bucket of fake blood and there are several effectively gory moments as well as a superb and occasionally bizarre soundtrack.
The cast are slightly more problematic, largely because none of them are remotely convincing as members of a biker gang. In fact, the script completely squanders any inherent dramatic potential in the biker gang idea, since it's only ever used as an excuse to get these people together under one roof. The dialogue is pretty atrocious too.
The other main problem is that, a few token nudity scenes aside (a stripping lesbian here, a naked demon there), the filmmakers are unwilling to really embrace the exploitation side of things and skimp on both the sex and the violence (as opposed to the gore) as a result.
Similarly, the film runs out of ideas shortly after the rockabillies show up and resorts to having superfluous characters just standing around and watching while Egender's character overacts and shouts the plot.
The Violent Kind deserves points for ambition and invention, even if the end result doesn't quite come together. As such, it's just about worth seeing if you're a genre fan but it's not as good as it could have been.