Exploitation Retrospect | The Journal of Junk Culture and Fringe Media
Chaos: The Director's Cut (2005)
Review by Louis Fowler | Razor Digital Entertainment | Buy at Amazon

Yes, CHAOS is, for the most part a rip-off of Wes Craven’s LAST HOUSE ON THE LEFT. Let’s be honest here. But, was Craven’s LAST HOUSE not itself a take on Ingmar Bergman’s THE VIRGIN SPRING? The fact that CHAOS pretty shamelessly does copy LAST HOUSE should be beside the point – CHAOS, as a film, is powerful, brutally evocative filmmaking that goes places that LAST HOUSE never could. It’s a survivalist horror neo-classic and I can say that without a hint of irony. This is really a great film. It’s scary, it’s devastating and it’s frighteningly realistic. I don’t care how jaded a horror fan you are – it’s impossible to finish CHAOS and not be left shaken.

It’s the same story that your parents told you but you thought was merely a mechanism of their overprotectiveness: two average teenage girls go out in the woods for a rave, only to be lured away to a cabin with the promise of free drugs. But, as soon as they arrive, that elation disappears when they find out that it was a trap and that, for the next few hours, they will be mercilessly tortured at the hands of a group of consciousless deviants.

It’s literally one repugnant, devastating scene after another that offers a decidedly nihilistic view of life, but it’s also much more realistic depiction that will have you recoil in fear the next time your stuck in an unfamiliar place with unfamiliar people. Like watching Last House on the Left for the first time, there’s very much the same sense of “fucked-up”-ness that goes through you, like your watching something that maybe you shouldn’t. And, in a perfect world, you probably wouldn’t, but this ain’t a perfect world by any means, as CHAOS proves. It’s disturbing on so many levels, that it kind of ceases to become entertainment at one point, transgressing into a brutal how-to manual for budding sociopaths. It’s on par, as far as I’m concerned, with SLAUGHTERED VOMIT DOLLS for pure evil captured on film.

On the flipside, if said pure evil isn’t your cup of tea, then I suggest just getting the DVD for the incredible bonus features, which includes the ill-advised attempt of the filmmakers taking on Roger Ebert’s criticisms of the film, but even that is overshadowed by one of the funniest things I have ever seen: muscle-bound director David “The Demon” DeFalco touring the LA coroner’s crypt, shirtless and spouting insane rants like “This is what evil’s all about baby!” and “Stare in to the darkness, baby! Pure evil!” or something along those lines. His act is so incredibly manic and out-of-place, that even after multiple viewings, it has to be some sort of Borat-style performance piece. It truly is the best special feature to ever be put on any DVD ever. Hell, if they were to make a movie of DeFalco just going around L.A., shirtless and spouting craziness, I’m sure it would be one of the best DVDs ever. Please do it. Please. I’ll buy two copies myself.

 


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