Left For Dead
Sound: B- Extras: D Main Program: C
We like trying something different here at the site and a
digitally produced Martial Arts/Gangster project would be interesting. Ross Boyask’s Left For Dead (2004) is
determined to show as much fighting action as possible without allowing it to
become a UFC program, which means it has a very loose and feeble script where
the reason for the fighting are British mobsters. However, this is one American who has seen more than enough British
TV and feature films in both cases to know how far this does not go.
So someone who is assassinated does not die and wants
revenge. That is the basis for almost
every bad 1980s Hollywood action production and most of them did not need any
mob. I like some of the fighting here
and the graphicness is not bad, but the problematic editing and phony look of
the video undercuts their impact. We
get plenty of unsolicited materials for this site and some of them are “martial
arts comedies” where younger teens and early-20s adults kick each other around,
but these are older adults with more skill.
Unfortunately, despite their ambitions and efforts, this is not much
better than those fan boy projects.
Right now, Guy Ritchie’s Snatch and Matthew
Vaughn’s lesser Layer Cake (made more relevant since its lead is
suddenly the next James Bond) are the best-known British Gangster
features. Did these guys even watch
these films? Did they see Peter Medak’s
The Krays or really pay attention to what they were doing? After an intended Cannes debut, almost half
of this was reshot. This shows a lack
of vision, if not enthusiasm. Some
people are enjoying this work as a cult item, but in the end, none of the
moves, lines or story is memorable.
They have done some more work since, so this was hopefully a turning
The 1.78 X 1 letterboxed image is from low-definition
digital video, likely PAL oriented, and is not bad, but the shaky camerawork is
one of the biggest downfalls of the production. It makes the good stuff look cheaper than it needs to and the bad
stuff worse. The Dolby Digital 2.0
stereo has some Pro Logic surrounds, but dialogue is a tad lower than it should
be form the location shooting. The use
of Hip-Hop/Rap music is a mess, though the Space Raiders record Middles
Boogie is a plus. There are no
extras, but should have been. Left
For Dead is only for the most curious.
- Nicholas Sheffo