Quite simply, Canadian feature Spare Parts is likely to appeal to gorehounds interested in watching young women in fetish gear kick butt, but those not in the mood for such fare may find it lacking. The film takes several ideas, from drive-in exploitation movies to postapocalyptic cinema to girls-with-guns fare to gorefests and more, and attempts to blend them together. The result is a technically sound film that aims to be more chaotic and violent than it is, but that revels in what brutality it does have on display.
The punk band Ms. 45 — Amy (Michelle Argyris), her sister Emma (Emily Alatalo), Cassy (Kiriana Stanton) and Cassy’s girlfriend Jill (Chelsea Muirhead) — play a rowdy gig that earns them enemies along with fans. When a tire on their van blows out, local law enforcement officers take them to an automobile junkyard that happens to house a cult — led by The Emperor (Julian Richings of Anything for Jackson and Vicious Fun) — that replaces human limbs with weapons and has its participants fight to the death for the glory of a deity. The young women musicians fall victim to this heinous act, and despite tension between the sisters, among other drama, they must decide whether to stick together and continue fighting, or give in to the alternative of certain death.
The performances from the five leads are all solid, though the film could use a bit more energy of the type in which Richings so gleefully revels as The Emperor. 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. The gore effects are well rendered and range from disturbingly realistic to outlandishly cartoonish.
Viewers in the mood for action, grue, and violence will likely warm up to Spare Parts quite nicely. Those looking for more than just clashing metal, fire blasts, severed limbs, and human suffering might find it harder to have their interest held, though.
Spare Parts, from RLJE Films, will be released on VOD, Digital, DVD, and Blu-ray on June 1, 2021.
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