The term “female empowerment” gets one heck of a meeting in this original Canadian horror-action film.
Ms. 45 is a local punk rock band consisting of sisters Amy and Emma, and life partners Cassy and Jill. During a show at a biker bar, they get involved in a major bar brawl in which they beat the heck out of some local goons. At the end of the show, they meet the very interesting Sam, who tells Emma she is meant to be in the arenas with fans cheering her on. That night, as the band head to their next gig, Sam attempts to run them off the stage. The girls get a flat and get help from the local sheriff, who takes them to a seemingly abandoned junkyard, where they find themselves knocked out with carbon monoxide.
When the girls wake up, they discover that they no longer have an arm, but they are replaced with weapons from an axe to a sword, and even a chainsaw. The girls soon discover they have been chosen by a sadistic cult leader known as The Emperor to “appease the gods”. With their new limbs, the girls must battle against various warriors to shed enough blood to satisfy the “gods of the dirt”. Under the tutelage of Driller, the girls go from newbies to able-bodied warriors. However, along the way, there are many dark secrets and revelations that will change the course of their lives forever.
You have to hand it to Canada and their horror industry. It seems like these days; they are coming up with more original ideas than some. Crazy ideas, but still originals. Where else are you going to find films about a serial killer who uses crossblades in a water slide (Aquaslash), a killer tire (Rubber), and killer jeans (Slaxx)? Here is another tale from our neighbors to the north where a punk rock band, named after an Abel Ferrara movie, find themselves in a situation they never imagined.
Michelle Argyris’s Amy is the lead singer of Ms. 45, who when not being a bit promiscuous with groupies, can be quite the badass as she leads the fight against the bikers in the opening of the film. Emily Alatalo’s Emma is Amy’s more level-headed and strong-willed sister (and lead guitar), who constantly berates her sister for her actions. Kiriana Stanton’s Cassy is the hot-headed drummer who protects bassist Jill, played by Chelsea Muirhead, as she is her partner and the two are expecting. The group, showing their toughness, soon find themselves putting that side to the test again when they are handless and given weapons to replace their limbs as if they came out of the Ash Crawford factory.
Julian Richings brings a charm to the role of the Emperor, the one responsible for putting the girls in the fights to appease the “gods of the dirt”. Jason Rouse gives off this Elias Koteas-vibe from Some Kind of Wonderful but amped up to ten in the role of the Emperor’s son Sam, who from the beginning tends to bring some sort of manipulation towards Emma like people would when it comes to rock band: hyping up one member more than the rest and causing friction. The only character to show any real sympathy to the group is their trainer Driller, played by Ryan Allen. He teaches the girls to hone their skills and yet, sees their pain and uses it to their advantage to make them stronger and not use them for the wrong reasons.
The action sequences are insane in the film as limbs are chopped off, throats and bodies slashed. The arena fights here as well as the opening bar fight are well done, adding a dash of MMA ground and pound when necessary. Kudos goes to the Mark brothers, James and Chris, who many will remember for Kill Order, as they served as stunt coordinator and fight choreographer respectively.
Spare Parts is a wild and insane imaginative horror-action flick from Canada. With shades of Evil Dead and various fighting flicks, this is one film that amps up both action and gore with a nice story with twists all wrapped up in one package that could cost an arm and leg…literally!
WFG RATING: B+
RLJE Films and Raven Banner Entertainment presents a Hangar 18 Media production. Director: Andrew Thomas Hunt. Producers: Bruno Marino and Pasha Patriki. Writers: Svet Rouskov and David Murdoch. Cinematography: Pasha Patriki. Editing: Andrew Thomas Hunt.
Cast: Julian Richings, Karolyn Kohut, Michelle Argyris, Emily Alatalo, Chelsea Muirhead, Kiriana Stanton, Ryan Allen, Jason Rouse, Erin Noble, Lewis Hodgson.