Twisted Minds - Underground Reviews

onsdag 12 september 2018


Directed by: Ryûhei Kitamura
Written by: Ryûhei Kitamura, Joey O'Bryan
Stars:  Kelly Connaire, Stephanie Pearson, Rod Hernandez... read more

Country: Japan | USA
Style: Action | Thriller
Runtime: 1h 30min

Japanese director Ryûhei Kitamura (Versus, Midnight Meat Train) returns with his latest tense tale of suspense and carnage. A thriller which never lets up for most of its run time. It plunges you right smack dab in the middle with a group of friends who end up literally in the line of fire for a sick killers escapades. Downrange is an exhilarating, jaw dropping, violent and terrifying experience.

We get a group of friends driving through the countryside with different plans when they get to their destinations. Nothing interesting really when all of a sudden they experience a tire blow out. They proceed to eventually change the tire after we are introduced to the characters. All the cast are virtually unknowns but I did recognize Graham Skipper (Beyond The Gates, Almost Human, The Minds Eye) in a brief role as a police officer. After much pondering with cellphones and chit chat about how long it will take to change the tire they finally start changing it and the ball gets rolling thankfully. This is when things get get interesting with the film. The guy changing the tire notices an empty rifle cartridge fall out of the damaged tire. Before he can warn anyone of what has seemed to transpire it is too late and the group find themselves at the brutal attack of a hidden sniper assailant.

This has said to have been a low budget film but I've watched so many indie self produced underground films Downrange looks like a million bucks. I noticed the amazing editing and the points of view the camera achieves is nothing short of brilliant film making at its finest. When Kitamura released Versus in 2000 it was the action film wet dream of many young men alike. Its great to see his style maturing but still maintaining a no holds barred brutal violent edge.

The acting is not the best but the cast are all unknowns, I really didn't have a problem with it and found the performances to be competent with the material involved with Downrange, in a couple instances the cast brought forth some rather emotional moments. There were a couple of scenes where the lapse in logic made me scratch my head but truthfully I've never been in a situation where I was being used as target practice so I couldn't tell you how I would act if I took part in a living human shooting range.

The effects are on point, lots of gruesome and intricate prosthetic effects featuring tons of graphic and bloody bullet hits Downrange's killer is ominous and relentless plus he shows no mercy on any of his victims in any way. The movie is definitely mean spirited and one particular scene involving a family was pretty savage in its portrayal. I also liked the way they wrapped up the film, quite ironic but unexpected which was cool. I recommend Downrange, its an entertaining popcorn movie, a thriller worthy of your time.

My rating: 3.5 out of 5


Produced by:  Ryûhei Kitamura, Tarô Maki, Ko Mori, Matt Taylor
Cinematography by: Matthias Schubert
Editing by: Shôhei Kitajima
Special Effects by: Arthur Kleinpell III, Kazuyuki Okada
Music by: Aldo Shllaku
Language: English
Color: Color

Distributor: Shudder


Owner of and writer for Twisted Minds. Combined his love for underground films, music and comics with writing in the 90's. Started tape trading the good stuff around that time when originals of Italian classics by Fulci, Argento, Deodato, Castellari and Margheriti were hard to find. Then came German gore by Ittenbach and Schnaas, Mondo movies and Japanese gore such as Guinea Pig and Men Behind The Sun. Written for Violent Maniacs Cage, Mortados Pages Of Filth, ZFE Films With Attitude, Severed Cinema, Goregasmic Cinema, Pophorror & Extreme Horror Cinema.