Movies Reviews

Review: Shudder’s Nekrotronic

If there’s something strange in your neighborhood, who you gonna call? If you answered Ghostbusters, you’ve got the wrong movie, bub.

Nekrotronic, from Kiah Roache-Turner, Tristan Roache-Turner, the brothers who brought you Wyrmwood, is what happens when you put Ghostbusters, Hellraiser, Evil Dead and Pokemon Go into a cinematic blender. With all the subtly of a drunken kangaroo, Nekrotronic shouldn’t work but it does.

Howard North (Ben O’Toole) and his goofball pal Rangi (Bob Savea) are two hapless sewerage-waste workers who bumble upon the soul-stealing scheme of a former demon hunter turned sinful succubus, Finnegan. Finnegan is played by the scenery devouring Monica Bellucci. Rangi, like the rest of the oblivious population, is obsessed with a Pokemon Go ghost hunting game that is really a way for Internet demons to invade our world.

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And if things couldn’t get any worse, Howard feels as if he is starring in his own version of The Omen as he discovers Finnegan is his biological mother.

Through the help of a pair of demon-hunting sisters – Molly (Caroline Ford) and Torquel (Tess Haubrich) – Howard learns he is a Nekromancer, like them and has some really cool powers that he never knew he had.

It is Caroline Ford and Tess Haubrich who steal the show as they slice, dice and blast their way through the demon hordes with unabashed glee, looking as cool as hell while doing it.

In another nod to Ghostbusters, the Nekromancers are shadowed by an irreverent, fledgling ghost. Imagine Slimer with a frat boy sense of humour.

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Australian filmmaker brothers, Kiah and Tristan Roache-Turner grew up as sci-fi, horror fans and Nekrotronic is their homage to those genres. Nekrotronic’s plot mirrors Ghostbusters, the Nekromancer’s even have their own crime-fighting van. The cubes used to imprison the captured demons and ghosts are replicas of the Lament puzzle cube from Clive Barker’s Hellraiser. The demons themselves and the over-the-top Looney Tunes style violence are right out of Sam Raimi’s The Evil Dead series.

Even for a horror, sci-fi comedy, Nekrotronic doesn’t just push boundaries of believability, it obliterates them. There are talking possessed human heads inside cable boxes, defibrillators that help people download their souls into the Internet and then there is the gigantic 3D printer and Lazarus Pit that is used to resurrect the dead. For some, all of the electronic hocus pocus may be a bit too much to swallow. For others, it is all part of the blood-splattered, outrageous, wacky trip to the past that is Nekrotronic.

Top Photo: Monica Bellucci in Nekrotronic (2018). Courtesy: Guerilla Films, Hopscotch Features.

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