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Remember Hostel, that over-the-top gore flick that came out earlier this year? The one that your faithless reviewers couldn't quite agree on? Yeah, it was a bit of a hit or miss amongst viewers, but it was enough of a "hit" to warrant a slew of impostors (although I have to admit, Turistas is looking like a must-see). So then, here we have a movie that features a cover that looks like it came straight out of the third act of Eli Roth's film and boasting a storyline that sounds awfully familiar - just another low-budget ripoff, right? Whoops, wrong - this was announced a full year prior to Hostel, shockingly enough.
Review by Chad
Added: November 06, 2006
The storyline centers around five young adults who decide to head over to China for some drinking, drugs, and partying. They enter a bar where they eventually encounter and befriend an undercover cop (well, he doesn't exactly shout out "Hey! I'm an undercover cop!", but it's pretty obvious to us at home) who manages to save their collective asses when one of them gets on the bad side of a Yakuza crime lord. Their newfound hero convinces them that hanging around here probably isn't the best of ideas, and they actually take his advice - and decide that spending the evening in a run-down smut theater is a damned fine alternative. What they don't know is that this isn't your ordinary porn theater, as the clientèle here prefer to watch snuff movies. That would normally be fine and dandy, but in this particular establishment, the American visitors get to "star" in these movies once they find themselves locked up in their "VIP" rooms.
I know, I know - it sounds almost exactly like Hostel, but go reread my first paragraph - although it was only recently released, this was announced prior to Roth's project. Got it this time? Alright, here's the next bombshell: it does have a similar story in the beginning, but it turns out to be quite a bit different once things get rolling. I won't reveal how for fear of spoilers, but take my word for it.
Now then, with all of the Hostel talk out of the way, let's focus on the movie at hand. I'll admit that when I picked it up, my expectations weren't too high. The ripoff thing was stuck in the back of my mind, and the general rule of direct-to-video horror releases is that a good cover means absolutely nothing when it comes to what you'll get out of the actual movie. Take, for instance, another recently-released horror film that featured a huge, towering man on the cover. Hell, look at the cover for this movie and imagine that, but with an even bigger guy who looked much more menacing. Imagine my surprise when the killer in that movie turned out to be Ron Jeremy. Nothing against Ron, but he's certainly not fit to play the role of the killer in a serious horror film. That's not the case here: what you see on the cover is what you get from the movie. Yes, that hulking giant of a man is featured prominently throughout the storyline, and yes, that blood-soaked chair gets some use. This is a minor thing, granted, but it's nice to see a cover that actually represents the movie found within the case for a change.
The selling point of this movie isn't the award-winning storyline, nor is it the incredible acting abilities of the cast, because to be truthful, neither of those items are particularly great. Granted, they're good enough when compared to some other low-budget horror offerings, but it's definitely not something that I'd recommend this based on. The real treat of the film is the gore and the creative kill methods. Gorehounds who pick up the unrated cut of this film will be in for the treat of a lifetime. Although Hostel had the bigger budget and the effects looked a bit better as a result (just a bit - they're damned good here as well), director Ryan Nicholson had his blackened little heart in the right place when it came time to deliver the red stuff. Heads are severed, teeth pop out and hit the ground like marbles, blood squirts and oozes all over the place, and yes, you even get to see a woman being forced to eat the severed penis of her now-dead friend. Then there's that scene where a snake is forcibly inserted into a woman's body... well, I'll let you watch it for yourself, as describing it simply wouldn't do it justice. If that's not quality entertainment, I don't know what is.
Much like the repeatedly-mentioned Hostel, this is one of those films that horror fans will either love or hate, and you can probably determine your own reaction ahead of time by how much you enjoyed said movie. If you want a thought-provoking horror, skip right on over this; however, if you're in the mood to see a bunch of people get hacked up in particularly nasty ways, bump this up to the top of your to-see list. Personally, I'm always up for a good gore-flick, and this one delivered. 9/10.
- added 11/06/2006, 03:19 PM
I was given the chance to see this film at a
horror festival a couple of months ago, and I
opted to see another film instead, based largely
on the obvious similarities between this film and
the dreadful "Hostel". When it hit DVD and I had
nothing better to do, I took a gander. Wow. Talk
about 'imitation is the highest form of flattery'
-- Eli Roth should be feeling like he's getting
oral sex or something. "Live Feed" is lame. How
lame? Well, not as lame as "Hostel" -- I actually
liked it a great deal more than "Hostel", but it's
still pretty lame. There's nothing scary about
the film. Gore does not scare me. Severed limbs
do not scare me, especially when none of it seems
realistic. "Wolf Creek" worked for me. "Hostel"
did not. "Live Feed" works better than "Hostel",
but is still pretty bad. 3/10.
- added 11/08/2006, 10:58 PM
First off I would like to say "you kick ass"!!!
You are one of a handful of reviewers/critics that
understand what I'm trying to do with "Live Feed"!
You watched the movie start to finish and you
wrote an entertaining, informative review based on
facts not fiction. I appreciate you mentioning I
announced and made "Live Feed" before anyone knew
a peep about "Hostel", including myself. And I
also appreciate the fact you mentioned that "Live
Feed" is a bloody movie, not bloody good as in
"wow, how intelligent!" but more like"wow, did you
see that arterial spary!!!" That's what I did
with "Live Feed", murdered and maimed the
characters in grisly fashion with as much gore and
brutality as I could in that specific time of my
life. I made the movie for me and it's a pleasure
when others like it. The poster that replied
above me, he or she is clueless to the fact that I
did this before "Hostel" > I didn't rip this age
old formula of "tourists in trouble", i paid
homage to it in my own little way. But hot damn,
finally a review that is dead on!!! "Live Feed"
is not going to move mountains or change world
hunger but throw a couple of pints back, smoke a j
and "Live Feed" will probably entertain most of
the depraved horror fans, like myself, that like
the red stuff! Let it flow!!! Thank-you
MoviesMadame!! I can't wait until you see my next
little piece of work! Adios, Ryan Nicholson
writer/director/deviant "Live Feed"
- added 11/08/2006, 11:01 PM
Whoops, I meant the poster below me. My bad!
- added 11/10/2006, 05:48 PM
Having read your post, you are correct -- I had
no idea this was made before "Hostel" -- so, if
anything, you should feel like Eli Roth was giving
you oral sex or something. I think it's very cool
that you took the time to respond to the positive
and negative criticism on the site. I wish more
filmmakers would do that. So often, when someone
reads a negative review of their film, they
automatically go into defense mode and start
giving reasons why that critic was wrong. When
someone reads a positive review of their film, the
filmmaker usually smiles, tells his friends, and
that is that. The fact that you responded is very
good of you. And if you set out to make bloodiest
movie possible, you certainly get an A for effort.
That's not my cup of tea, but there's an enormous
market out there for 'splatter' films and that
trend continues to grow. But, comparing "Live
Feed" to "Hostel", I think you succeeded where Eli
Roth failed in that -- you made the gore more
realistic for me than he did. The writing was
more solid and there was not so much of the stock
horror cheese that Roth is drowning in. Thanks
for responding to the site!
- added 11/20/2006, 05:30 AM
Hey Bluemeanie, thanks for posting and leaving
your kind words. I visit boards now and again
just to see what horror fans have to say. My next
movie "Gutterballs" will be out next year and I
hope you check it out. I will be doing a "Live
Feed II" but in due time. The movie seems to have
caused quite a stir amongst horror fans. Some
love it to death while others say it's the worst
movie ever made! It's bizarre. I've seen worse
in my time and better as well. In anycase, I dig
this website and I'll be back to check in to see
what's new. Later my friend, RY.
- added 08/11/2007, 01:10 AM
Whoa, snap. I almost bought a shirt of this on
Fright Rags just because I thought it looked cool.
I knew it was a movie, but I had no idea we'd
reviewed it, or the guy had stopped by. I must
make a point of seeing this movie now.
- added 08/11/2007, 01:22 AM
I see someone kept up with the reviews back then.
- added 08/11/2007, 01:32 AM
Oh pish posh, I didn't really get into this site
as much until this year when you changed the
I like how you said "Turistas is
looking like a must-see" I still haven't seen it,
and unless boredom gets the better of me, it'll
stay in my movie folder forever.