BBFC Classification: 18
Director: Ryûhei Kitamura
Starring: Luke Evans, Gary Grubbs, Adelaide Clemens, Lee Tergesen, America Olivo, Gary Grubbs, Laura Ramsey
Directed by Ryuhei Kitamura (The Midnight Meat Train), No One Lives sees an unnamed man (Luke Evans – Fast & Furious 6) and his girlfriend Betty (Laura Ramsey – The Ruins) on some sort of road trip. Stopping at a small-town diner they get hassled by a member of a local gang of thugs, led by Hoag (Lee Tergesen – The Collection), but Hoag calls them off. Once they leave the diner the gang attack again and kidnap the couple, killing Betty and forcing their unnamed captive to break free and show his true nature as the gang discover a) what the man has been hiding in the boot of his car and b) the real meaning of intimidation.
Possibly not the most original of movie plots but, as gets said many times in the film world, it’s not the material but what you do with it. And Ryuhei Kitamura knows exactly how to keep things moving along, as No One Lives is a fat-free exercise in exploitation goodness that jumps straight in and doesn’t let up for a second. Bringing together the gore of slasher movies, the calm madness of Hannibal Lecter and the action of First Blood, the film looks fantastic – thanks to master cinematographer Daniel Pearl (The Texas Chain Saw Massacre) – and gets the low-budget B-movie tone just right. The special effects are also excellent, with one or two obvious CGI blood splats worked into the practical stuff but they’re not as distracting as some of the CGI work in The Midnight Meat Train, and even give Evil Dead a run for it’s money in the amount of blood splashed around.
Luke Evans takes to the role of an unhinged and ruthless killer like it was always on the cards for him, his character taking the best parts of all of your favourite slasher villains and action antiheroes and putting them into one focused and deadly killing machine. The rest of the cast are all more than adequate, with the ever-excellent Lee Tergesen making as big an impression as he always does by filling the screen whenever he’s on it, and although the script may be a little lacking in clever or meaningful dialogue, the cast all seem to be having fun (of sorts) and the action is so intense that, quite frankly, who cares what they say?
There aren’t that many negatives to throw at the film as long as you know what you’re getting into before you start watching it. If you enjoyed the likes of The Texas Chain Saw Massacre, Switchblade Romance, The Hitcher, Evil Dead, Hannibal or even Machete then No One Lives is going to appeal to you in some sort of way as it is brutally violent, gloriously gory, simple to follow and achieves everything it sets out to do. If that sounds like your bag then go forth and gorge on the B-movie madness that is No One Lives; if it doesn’t sound like your thing, watch it anyway – you might just enjoy it.
Special Features: From the Script to the Crypt featurette.
UK Release Date: 23rd September 2013