SPARE PARTS (2020) Reviews and overview

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Spare Parts was released on Blu-ray, DVD, and Digital by RLJE Films on June 1, 2021.

Special features:
Audio commentary by director Andrew Thomas Hunt and cast
Cast interviews
Fight training videos
Behind the scenes gallery

‘Let the battle begin’
Spare Parts is a 2020 Canadian science-fiction action horror feature film about an all-female rock band that gets turned into customised gladiators.

Directed by Andrew Thomas Hunt from a screenplay written by David Murdoch and Svet Rouskov, the movie stars Julian Richings, Michelle Argyris, Emily Alatalo, Jason Rouse, Kiriana Stanton and Chelsea Muirhead. It was produced by Pasha Patriki and Raven Banner under their production label, Hangar 18 Media.

The kicking rock and synth soundtrack score was composed by Wade MacNeil and Andrew Gordon Macpherson (Random Acts of Violence; The Ranger).

Plot:
In a godforsaken bikers bar in the middle of nowhere, an all-female rock band, Ms. 45 (presumably named after the Abel Ferrara flick) rip the stage apart with their punk spirit and defiance of the rowdy male crowd. Their performance impresses an enthusiastic ‘fan’ who lures the girls into a trap, sedates them, and starts customising them.

The four wake up with weapons for limbs to fight gladiator-style, in an arena-style auto-wrecking yard for the amusement of the Emperor and his sadistic townsfolk. The women must now truly band together and use all of their talents if they’re going to get out alive…

Reviews:
Spare Parts is an interesting concept that’s entertaining enough but it never rises to greatness. The whys of the situation aren’t explained in a satisfactory enough way and after a while you do tire of the constant repetitive fight scenes. The film’s tendency to be gratuitous with the gore hampers it too as some of the special effects pull you out of the realism the film is aiming for.” Entertainment Focus

“I’ve got a couple of reservations about this movie, especially the way it deals with an unwanted abortion and the slightly clunky attempts to pretend it’s not saying women shouldn’t go out alone in case they get into danger, all the while saying exactly that, but it was still a lot of fun. The Mad Max stylings, the elaborate gore, the neon lights… yeah, it was a pretty enjoyable time.” Ghosts Are Real

“The production values are slick, the set design intriguing, and Andrew Thomas Hunt helms the proceedings nicely. The screenplay from David Murdoch and Svet Rouskov has a few issues, though, including stock characters and reliance on some well-worn genre tropes. Also, the film never settles on a camp, absurdist, or played-straight vibe.” Horror Fuel

“Interesting idea but everything happens so quickly that you end up not caring very much. Highlight for me was the performance of Julian Richings as demented leader of the junkyard.” Kevin Cormier

“The gore is great. The actors are lively. And the makeup and costume design for these girls is on point. The premise is ridiculous and it’s damn near impossible to take anyone in the film seriously, but Spare Parts is a flick that oozes an infectious attitude that just barely covers up its many battle wounds for an overall entertaining adrenaline boost.” Killer Horror Critic

“Richings, getting top billing for once, is value for money as the wannabe Caesar, delivering English-accented speeches about how the dirt wants blood spilled in it and the Gods must be appeased.  Everyone gets character stuff about on a level of those 90s comic books with multiple covers and steroids-in-swimsuits figures, but at least the cast attack their roles with commitment.” The Kim Newman Web Site

“Like Emma’s axe prosthetic, modified to shoot rivets, this film has us nailed – and it is all too easy for the viewer, along with Emma and the gladiatorial trainer Driller (Ryan Allen), to become complicit in a hierarchical structure that ought instead to be overturned. Here patriarchy really is a bitch, and revenge is just another bid for ascendancy – which makes Spare Parts, for all its gleeful splatter, deeply political.” Projected Figures

” …realism goes out the window for Spare Parts: it’s not that kind of film. Otherwise, fighting the very day after surgery would not be likely, let alone wearing make-up for battle, or getting turned on by chainsaw prosthetics. This is a film made by men, most likely for men… but it’s entertaining, fast-moving for the most part, and will give some attractive actors a step forward in their careers: that’s fine.” Ready Steady Cut!

Release:
In the USA, Spare Parts will be available On-Demand, Digital HD, DVD and Blu-ray on June 1st 2021.

Cast and characters:
Julian Richings … The Emperor
Michelle Argyris … Amy
Emily Alatalo … Emma
Jason Rouse … Sam
Kiriana Stanton … Cassy
Chelsea Muirhead … Jill
Ryan Allen … Driller
Kathryn Kohut … Lea
Kayla Dumont … Irina
Erin Noble … Doctor
Kevan Kase … Earl
Michael Vincent Dagostino … Deputy 1
Justin James Remeikis … Deputy 2
Bruce McFee … Daniel
Matt Connors … Bartender 1

Technical details:
1 hour 31 minutes

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