Tonight, the crew of the U.S.S. Enterprise touches down on planet Valhalla, as we cover 2016's Green Room, a surprisingly nasty and effective independent slice of survival horror/thriller from director Jeremy Saulnier, that stars the late Anton "Chekov" Yelchin and Sir Pat Stew himself, in a one hundred-eighty degree dramatic departure from the "infinitely wise leader of humanity" roles he's been sopping up in recent years, the equivalent to Ben Kingsley's Don Logan role in Sexy Beast (2000) in a way.Despite heavy praise from seemingly most everyone who's seen it thus far, I approached with cautious interest, as the familiar subject matter has often been wincingly fumbled in Hollywood hands over the years. To add insult to injury, the vast number of uninteresting arthouse trailers that preceded the movie on the disc didn't ease my mind at all, but then like a lightning bolt (or two)...
"You here to see Lou Rawls? That's twenty-five each, no flash photography..."
After an ignominious start to their latest tour of the Pacific Northwest, punk outfit "The Ain't Rights" find themselves booked to a club off the beaten path near Portland that's frequented by a lot of skins, some of the sieg heiling, red laced variety. After throwing a ballsy cover at the mostly bald patrons (Dead Kennedy's "Nazi Punks Fuck Off", of course) to kick off the festivities, the rest of the band's heavy set wins over most of the close cropped crowd. When Sam (Alia Shawkat) forgets her phone inside the green room, Pat (Anton Yelchin) heads back in to retrieve it, only to stumble across a dead chick with a knife protruding from her domepiece on the floor, and her friend, a skinhead girl named Amber (Imogen Poots) being held in the room against her will at gunpoint, much like the punk band is about to be. With their phones confiscated, our heroes are left at the mercy of a guy named Big Justin (Eric Edelstein), while the other bouncer, Gabe (Macon Blair), consults with the club owner on what to do with all of these pesky eye-witnesses. I'm sure he's a reasonable guy and he'll chalk it up to a misunderstanding and let them all go, in the end. Or maybe not...
"There I was, swinging down the high street, yeah.", croons Amber (Imogen Poots) the skinchick.
The club owner, Darcy (Patrick Stewart), has a continuing mission to raise racial consciousness among the local bootboy population (can I get a "Hail Victory!"?), to explore the manufacturing of strange new drugs, like heroin, in the club's basement bunker, to snuff out lesser lives while issuing red laces in the process, and to boldly kill like no man has killed before. In keeping with his mantra, Darcy calls for the elimination of the pesky punks, who've overpowered Big Justin, taken his gun, and slapped an MMA-style arm bar on the big galoot, by now. When Reese's (Joe Cole) chokehold proves less effective than planned, Amber serves up a Stanley knife disemboweling for Darcy's employee. There's a struggle at the door that leaves Pat with a diced arm, hanging by the sinews in several places, and forces Darcy to call in his bigger guns, in the form of a white power dog trainer whose pit bulls throat rip at attack commands issued in German, and a small army of skinheads with shotguns and machetes who've already earned their red laces and are eager to spill more blood for their admired leader. You can bet what transpires from here on out is going to be packed with tension, deep-seated gore splattered murders, and bellicose bovver boys. My opinion may be slightly biased concerning these proceedings, but that's a recipe for success in my book. Check it out!
" This is a white bastion. No smelly Ferengi admitted.", exclaims Darcy (Patrick Stewart) and his Star Trek bootboys.
Make no mistake about it, the film's soundtrack, which includes such scene luminaries as FEAR, Poison Idea, Bad Brains, Slayer, Napalm Death, and Obituary, to name a few, is authentic and satisfying. Patrick Stewart has been a favorite of mine since his portrayal of Sejanus in BBC's I, Claudius miniseries put him on my radar decades ago, and this movie only reinforces that sentiment. Hearing Jean-Luc Picard talk about "earning red laces", "boot parties", and "nigger dope" is especially hilarious and surreal, and keeps the film from becoming bogged down by the apex levels of tension and on-screen brutality that it taps into in order to bring it's audience some genuine scares. As a long-time proponent of villainy, I confess that I may or may not have been cheering on the bad guys the whole time or most of it. I was certainly grooving heavily on the ultra-realistic violence, at the very least. On the scale, I've got to bestow the full Monte, four Wops, on this potent little indie thriller, and strongly recommend that you score a copy and see it for yourselves. See if it doesn't stick with you well after the end credits roll.
Go ahead and keep those tattooed Neanderthals at bay, mister Chekov, I'll be up here entertaining some blue and green women. Kirk out.