Eye For Film >> Movies >> Resurrecting The Street Walker (2009) Film Review
A new take on the faux documentary style favoured by budget filmmakers makes this an inventive Brit horror flick.
Wannabe filmmaker James (James Parker) is interning as a lowly runner in a small Soho-based production house. His mate Marcus (Tom Shaw) is on hand to record a doc on the British film industry from the ground up. While sorting out a jumble of rubbish in the cellar James stumbles across footage for an incomplete film called The Streetwalker. It’s a grim, grainy black and white Eighties video nasty about a serial killer torturing assorted women, but with no ending. Before long James thinks he’s found his career fast-track.
He delves into The Streetwalker, obsessed with its mysterious past and disturbing imagery, convinced some original footage is a snuff movie. He grows evermore intent on trying the finish it, despite the odds. With Marcus’ camera documenting the mounting struggles to get the film made, eventually James can only see one way forward.
Writer/director Ozgur Uyanik builds a sense of unease throughout, rather than scares and jolts, and uses judicious, mature editing to stitch everything together well. He mixes the faux doc film, ‘found’ reels, home movies, video diaries and reflective talking heads to persuasive effect. As James’ creative urges become embroiled in the madness of the film - and of filmmaking - it makes for a strangely compelling and, at times, disturbing watch.
Parker’s central performance handles James’ slow descent without resorting to glib histrionics. He’s soundly supported by most of the cast who similarly maintain the necessary naturalism, although this is less certain in some of their ‘after the incident’ interviews.
The film within a film premise has a horror heritage that flicks far back to the likes of Henry: Portrait Of A Serial Killer, by way of Blair Witch and more recently Paranormal Activity. Uyanik layers this by staging a documentary of the documentary of a film for another film. That it doesn’t fold under this structure is testament again to that editing and his knowing exactly where the film’s going. Prefacing the whole with a quick history lesson in UK video nasty licensing is a nice touch for genre fans. Added to this are the consistent retaliatory stabs at the acerbic world of filmmaking, likely to resonate with many a wannabe filmmaker and what the industry can ask of them. Altogether Uyanik makes Resurrecting the Streetwalker a worthy cult offering.Reviewed on: 14 Sep 2010