Blu-ray Review: Kolobos (1999)

February 21, 2019

Written by DanXIII

Daniel XIII; the result of an arcane ritual involving a King Diamond album, a box of Count Chocula, and a copy of Swank magazine, is a screenwriter, director, producer, actor, artist, and reviewer of fright flicks…Who hates ya baby?

Kyra (Amy Weber), one of those troubled artist types, answers an ad in the newspaper (welcome to the future year of 1999!) to become a sort of human lab rat for a sketchy filmed anthropology experiment to take place in a fancy-ass mountain lodge. Once there she settles in with the rest of the “subjects”, and shows them her creepy A.F. artwork, which she fails to mention is inspired by a faceless man who haunts her dreams (waking and otherwise). Of course all of this leads to something dire; namely the lodge locks down come nightfall and his loaded to the balls with deadly booby traps. Will our heroes survive the dangerous dwelling, and how will Kyra’s fantasies affect their reality?

Man-oh-man, Kolobos is one stylish-ass fright flick! Taking it’s cues from Argento and Bava, the flick is packed tight with lurid colors (kudos to Photography Yoram Astrakhan), surreal fever dream imagery, and fetishistic displays of extreme gore that lead to one hell of an eerie experience!  Another area this flick excels in is the suspense department; Directors Daniel Liatowitsch and David Todd Ocvirk (who both co-wrote the picture along with Nne Ebong) provide a superb tension where the viewer doesn’t know where the next implement of death will strike, or how much of what we see may be strictly in the damaged brain of Kyra. And all of those positives are only strengthened by William Kidd’s atmospheric score that pays homage to the work of the aforementioned Argento and only adds to the feeling that this is a work of the Italian horror genre rather than a flick shot in Omaha, Nebraska. Finally the film features a performance from one of the most legendary Scream queens to ever stalk the horror biz; Linnea Quigley…and that is a beastly bonus we can always get behind!

The only element that didn’t click is the fact that for the most part our protagonists, actress Erica (Nichole Pelerine), film student Gary (John Fairlie), comedian Tom (Donny Terranova), and fast food employee Tina (Promise LaMarco) are all ego driven a-holes. They each have moments that help us feel a little something for them, but for the most part they are a pretty unlikable bunch.

Along with the off-kilter madness of the feature, the rascals over at arcane Arrow Video have included a nice selection of bonus material on this Blu-ray. First up we get an audio commentary by Liatowitsch and Ocvirk covering the production of the film first hand. Next we get a “making-of” featurette, interviews with “Faceless” actor Ilia Volok and Composer Kidd, and a short film from Liatowitsch. Bring up the ass end are an image gallery, two trailers for the film, and a brief featurette on the 2018 UK premier of the restored version of the film.

If you are a fan of giallo or the Saw franchise and wondered what a mash-up of those tropes would be like than step on up to Kolobos; it’s a filled with tricks, traps, and buckets of gore and an irresistible dream-like quality that make it a real devious delight for horror hounds!



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