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Sunday, April 12, 2015

7 IN THE TORTURE CHAMBER -- Movie Review by Porfle

7 IN THE TORTURE CHAMBER (2012) starts off with a blonde babe being bound and tortured in her kitchen by a psycho in a George Bush mask (Marc Sheffler of LAST HOUSE ON THE LEFT fame) who proceeds to carve her up with power tools before literally ripping her face off. And with that, the line is effectively drawn between those who say "Cool!" and those who will most likely choose to skip the rest of the picture.

But what first appears as though it's going to be a grueling excursion into torture porn (which I really don't care much for at all) then settles down into a more lightweight stroll through wannabe "Friday the 13th" territory (which I don't care much for either). It seems the opening, which probably used up most of the SPFX budget, was intended to get gorehounds going "ooh" and "ahh" right off the bat and hoping for more. Which they won't get.

What they do get is the story of Madison (Lina Esco), an incorrigible teen whose parents (including an unbilled Stephen Furst, ANIMAL HOUSE's "Flounder" and director Griff Furst's dad) send her to a sort of reform school-slash-summer camp called "Crystal Lake Treatment Center." Here, she is harrassed by the three horny guys who act as guards and terrorized by her fellow juvenile delinquents.

The film makes a limp effort at a "Reform School Girls" vibe with new-girl Madison vs. the bad chicks, while managing to squeeze in some "Porky's"-style T & A when we see the drooling guards peeking at the girls' shower room through a hole in the wall just in time for some softcore lezzie action.

At this point, things have gotten so dull that a little torture porn would be welcome if only to add some variety. After a lengthy stretch of this sort of stuff, with the guards getting more brazen and even the seemingly sympathetic camp administrator (the beautiful Wendy Carter) turning out to be cruel and corrupt, the psycho from the first scene suddenly appears from out of nowhere (still wearing his George Bush mask) to stalk and kill everyone he can get his grubby little hands on.

The subsequent kills, for those keeping score, are disappointingly tame and the suspense is practically non-existent. To make things worse, the film is all over the place technically, with confusing editing, below-par directing, and some of the worst sound ever. (I'm hoping the latter will be fixed on the finished DVD as I'm judging this from a barebones screener.) The only saving grace is a final twist that comes off as pretty nifty compared to everything leading up to it.

The final DVD will be released by Indican Pictures. I don't have any info on extras or other technical features.

I usually go pretty easy on well-meaning zero-budget flicks, but after a strong start 7 IN THE TORTURE CHAMBER goes straight downhill. In its lackluster effort to duplicate the atmosphere of FRIDAY THE 13TH, it manages to make SLEEPAWAY CAMP look like a Hitchcock film.



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