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directed by Mark McQueen
UK 2010

 

NewGen has injected 30,000 test subjects with an experimental endurance drug for a two-month trial period. Within that time, more and more of the subjects experience drastic symptoms from internal bleeding to total organ failure and are filling up NewGen's treatment center as well as all of the area hospitals. 29,999 are accounted for, all but Angela Mills (MyAnna Buring, THE DESCENT) who has seemingly disappeared. NewGen's president Peter White (Colin Salmon, RESIDENT EVIL: RETRIBUTION) sends burnt-out company hitman Cole (Craig Fairbrass, CLIFFHANGER) in search of her. While Cole, White, and drug creator Dr. Brook (Del Henney, STRAW DOG) are examining the mutations occurring with the very first test subject, the patient turns all RESIDENT EVIL/28 DAYS LATER-esque (shrieking, bouncing off walls, eating human flesh) and Cole is the only survivor (although he is bitten and has only an eighteen hour supply of the virus suppresent). He connects the riots that have broken out all over the city to the zombie massacre occurring at NewGen and is more determined than ever to find Angela Mills, who may be mankind's only hope of a cure. Meanwhile, Angela's Marine Services Unit boyfriend Joe (Danny Dyer, DOGHOUSE), who has been in jail for killing a kid who tried to steal a boat, has just made bail thanks to his mate Steve (Craig Conway, DOG SOLDIERS). Angela has been staying with her brother Matt (the film's writer Bart Ruspoli, DEAD CREATURES) and has taken up with Jim (Jack Healy, SCREWED). When Matt and Jim go off to work, they too are caught up in the zombie attack and email Matt's girlfriend Kate (Lisa McAllister, PUMPKINHEAD: ASHES TO ASHES) to get Angela and meet up with them at a remote construction site that they know has a helipad and helicopter (Matt and an infected Jim are forced to row in a lifeboat to the construction site when their frightened superior makes off with their boat). With Cole in pursuit, Angela and Kate get stuck in traffic and take a detour which reunites them with Joe and Steve, along with subway attack escapees Lavinia (Jaime Murray, THE DEATHS OF IAN STONE) and Geoffrey (Shane Taylor, TV's BAND OF BROTHERS), and Cole. The group hold up in Steve's auto shop and debate whether to make for the construction site or the coast. When it is learned that the helicopter they are supposed to be taking is a four-seater, Lavinia and Geoffrey start plotting to thin out their group's numbers and target Angela when they learn that she was one of the test subjects. DEVIL'S PLAYGROUND is a well-mounted, low-budget zombie apocalypse picture (some would argue the definition, but when the infected get up after being shot multiple times, it's pretty safe to say they're zombies). There's nothing really original about it visually or in terms of the plot, and it possess the same annoying contrivance as every other recent zombie/infected crazies film: 1) the infected succumb when convenient (there seems to be no logic to the length of infection, some turn violent right away, others linger for the right moment). Fairbrass, Burring, McAllister, and Conway fair best, Murray has little to do but be a cold, hot plot complication, and Taylor is appropriately slimey. Dyer is obnoxious as usual, even though he has dropped his usual schtick in favor of a more low-key and serious performance (part of this is due to a script that requires him to be contrary purely out of jealousy). Interestingly, Fairbrass, Dyer, and MacAllister had all previously appeared together in vampire gangster flick DEAD CERT (also 2010).

Eric Cotenas

Posters

Theatrical Release: September 2011 (USA)

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DVD Review: Indomina Releasing/Vivendi Entertainment - Region 1 - NTSC

Big thanks to Eric Cotenas for the Review!

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Distribution

Indomina Releasing/Vivendi Entertainment

Region 1 - NTSC

Runtime 1:36:48
Video

2.40:1 Original Aspect Ratio

16X9 enhanced
Average Bitrate: 7.25 mb/s
NTSC 720x480 29.97 f/s

NOTE: The Vertical axis represents the bits transferred per second. The Horizontal is the time in minutes.

Bitrate

Audio English Dolby Digital 5.1
Subtitles English, none
Features Release Information:
Studio: Indomina Releasing/Vivendi Entertainment

Aspect Ratio:
Widescreen anamorphic - 2.40:1

Edition Details:
• Behind the Scenes (16:9; 14:29)
• Deleted Scenes (16:9; 3:14)
• Start-up trailers for and BODYGUARDS AND ASSASSINS, CLASH, OUTCAST, TRUE LEGEND, and THE PACK

DVD Release Date: October 11th, 2011
Amaray

Chapters 12

 

Comments

This UK virus flick hits US DVD in a progressive, anamorphic, dual-layer transfer with typically overdone 5.1 audio. The deleted scenes are presented in 16:9 without the additional matting to 2.35:1 and without all of the moody color and contrast adjustments. A behind-the-scenes featurette is the only other extra (apart from start-up trailers). The shrink wrap and disc face have a QR (Quick Response) code that enables access to more bonus material, but that requires the viewer to possess a smart-phone with an appropriate application ("app" is not a word, get over it).

English-friendly Blu-Rays are available in the UK HERE and Germany HERE, but they are both Region B coded.

  - Eric Cotenas

 


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DVD Box Cover

CLICK to order from:

 

 

Distribution

Indomina Releasing/Vivendi Entertainment

Region 1 - NTSC

 




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