‘He fights a little dirty’
The Gardener is an action thriller about an immigrant living at an English manor house who has to save an American family from home invaders.
Produced and directed by Scott Jeffrey (The Mutation; Bad Nun: Deadly Vows; Don’t Speak; Cupid; ClownDoll) and Rebecca Matthews (Witches of Amityville Academy; The Candy Witch; Pet Graveyard) with action scenes directed by Michael Hoad from a screenplay written by Ben Demaree (Dolls; Ouija House; Hansel vs Gretel) based on Jeff Miller‘s story. Executive produced by Mark L. Lester and Jeff Miller.
The American/British Millman Productions-Proportion Productions movie stars Gary Daniels (I Am Vengeance; The Mark; Reptilicant; Bloodmoon), Robert Bronzi (Exorcist Vengeance; Escape from Hell Block 13; Cry Havoc; From Hell to the Wild West), Becca Hirani (It Came from Below; Bad Nun: Deadly Vows; Mummy Reborn), Sarah T. Cohen (Medusa; HellKat; Cupid; Witches of Amityville Academy), Nicola Wright, Kate Sandison, Peter Organ, Jake Watkins and Jon Callaway.
The quiet of the English countryside is shattered on a brutal night. A troubled wealthy family gathers in a quaint manor home for the holidays, never suspecting that bloodthirsty, sadistic Volker (Gary Daniels) and his crew linger at the gates, ready to attack, rob, and maim them at nightfall.
However, they didn’t count on the estate’s quiet gardener Juhasz (Robert Bronzi), who must return to the savage ways he learned as a soldier to save the family…
The Gardener is probably the best movie prolific Scott Jeffries and Rebecca Matthews have worked on. Unfortunately, it also includes too much of their trademark relationship/family drama for an action thriller, more of the dire fake Yank accents by Brit actors that plague their productions and it takes too long for the kick-arse stuff to kick in. Yet, when the conflab does finally does it’s pretty enjoyable. There’s also a fun kinda twist although it isn’t a major revelation given certain character traits shown earlier.
Gary Daniels provides some amusing moments channelling his inner psycho and Robert Bronzi demonstrates more nuanced acting ability than in most of his previous roles here – until he’s finally given chance to get physical during the film’s final minutes. The Gardener is passable entertainment yet hardly a recommend as the action thriller it purports to be.
Adrian J Smith, MOVIES and MANIA
“One of the plot lines you always see in films similar to this is: The bad guys don’t realize someone is in the house. Or, they underestimate the people inside the house. You should never underestimate Robert Bronzi. The baddies in The Gardener receive the Stupid Criminal Award […] The supporting cast is as dull as dull can be. You don’t care what happens to anyone but Bronzi. You sit and wait for the eventual Bronzi vs. Daniels fight to the death.” Bulletproof Action
“There are a few moments when the fights seem to be enhanced with some camera trickery and the CGI blood is, as always, annoying. But things like a hand being fed into a lawnmower are still quite effective. Less effective are some extremely unlikely, if expected, coincidences and an attempt to throw a twist at the viewers […]The Gardener does however show that, while his greatest strength is still his resemblance to Charles Bronson, Bronzi can, when he has a director a bit more competent than Rene Perez, handle a dialogue scene without embarrassing himself.” Voices from the Balcony
“Nobody ever wants to go to Leicester!”
In the USA, The Gardener was released on DVD, Digital and On-Demand by Lionsgate/Grindstone on December 28th 2021.
Cast and characters:
Gary Daniels … Volker
Robert Bronzi … Peter Juhasz
Becca Hirani … Woman
Sarah T. Cohen … Hannah
Nicola Wright … Lauren
Kate Sandison … Francesca
Peter Organ … Ivan
Jake Watkins … Justin
Jon Callaway … Drake
Pasquale Parisi … Felipe
Richard Kovacs … Stephen
Rob Kirtley … Man
Corinne Holt … Mischa
Michael Hoad … Michael
AJ Blackwell … Ken
Arthur Boan … Riley
The Gardener has been rated ‘R’ by the MPA for strong/bloody violence and language throughout.