When you’re working with practically no budget but you want to make a movie about a demonic serial killer stalking an Australian Roller Derby team, you get a lot of leeway. Especially when it’s your first feature length film and it grew out of an idea for an online short originally planned as four five-minute segments. Murderdrome isn’t the most polished horror movie you’re going to see, but goddammit it’s got heart. And blood. And Roller Derby girls. Directed by Daniel Armstrong and starring Amber Sajben as Cherry Skye, Murderdrome tells the somewhat chaotic and decidedly rambunctious tale of the return of the monstrous Momma Skate (Be-On The-Rocks) who was murdered and sent to hell years earlier and now is back to swap souls with Cherry Skye and rain down murder and mayhem on any Roller Derby girl who gets in her way. And pretty much all of the Roller Derby girls get in her way. With a fun, charismatic cast, an amazing soundtrack, and visual effects that go above and beyond, Murderdrome is a lot of fun. Special shouts outs should go to co-writer and ex-real-life-Derby girl Louise Monnington as Psych (credited as Cyndi Lawbreaker), the punk with a short-fuse and a heart of gold, Daisy Masterman as Princess Bitchface, the only voice of reason in the film, Rachael Blackwood as femme fatale Hell Grazer (who for someone who couldn’t skate, did an excellent job staying on her feet while being suitably menacing), and Dayna Seville as Clit Eastwards, who made sure something interesting was going on in whichever scene she was in. The rest of the cast is clearly having a lot of fun, too, but these ladies really sold it. Ashley Smart should also be singled out for praise here, because the visual effects in this film are extremely impressive. There are moments where the past and the present overlap and with little to no money, he was able to provide effects that easily stand up to similar efforts in the big-budget Silent Hill films. Be warned though. They didn’t have enough money for a continuity person, forcing them to wing it and try to keep things straight from scene to scene. But when shooting on weekends and during spare time over quite a while, you’re going to get glitches and errors scattered throughout the film. In addition to this, there were the standard issues that you get with low/no budget films where locations are no longer available when pick-up shoots are required, so you do what you have to do to get the picture made. This is how it’s done folks. These guys and gals are warriors and the finished product isn’t spotless, but it’s handmade and beautiful for all the bumps and dents along the way. The DVD release from Strongman Pictures and Camp Motion Pictures is a nice package with an audio commentary by director Daniel Armstrong, visual effects supervisor Ashley Smart, cinematographer Brendan O’Shea, and most of the Derby girls, including Amber Sajben, Louise Monnington, Kat Anderson, and Gerry Mahoney. It’s chaotic and funny with occasional bits of insight for young film makers — mostly of the “don’t do this” or “here’s how this went wrong” variety. Most of the insights above come straight from it. There’s also a pretty entertaining Blooper Reel and a collection of five music videos (only two of which are from the movies kick-ass soundtrack). We’ve got “The Jokes Over” by Thorn Within, “Zombie Brains” by Strawberry Fistcake, “Stand Off” by The Dark Shadows (the first of the soundtrack tunes), and my personal favorite, “Can’t Stop” by The Mercy Kills. The fifth video (the first listed, actually) is a nearly 13 minute director’s cut for “Alice in Zombieland” by Kidcrusher, that serves as both an excellent demo reel for Armstrong’s directing and provides some nicely executed zombie gore effects on a budget. It’s not stated, but I assume these are all from Armstrong’s resume? Anyway, Murderdrome is a lot of fun. It’s low-brow and hi-octane with plenty of thrills, spills, and gory murders to keep you entertained. What more can you ask for from a film about a demonic Roller Derby girl stalking and brutally murdering other Roller Derby girls? Did I mention there were Roller Derby girls? Murderdrome will be released 9/9/14 ADVANCE REVIEW: Murderdrome (2014)3.5Overall ScoreShare this:TweetShare on TumblrLike this:Like Loading... Related 3 Responses Alex Wolfe August 28, 2014 Good grief, I have got to see this. Log in to Reply My Blog January 11, 2016 […] out this fab advance review of MurderDrome, being released in the US on September 9, […] Log in to Reply EZMM 2017 Day 5: From Parts Unknown: Fight Like a Girl (2015) - Psycho Drive-In April 14, 2017 […] in 2014, I reviewed Murderdrome, an Australian roller derby girls fighting demons film and loved it. Then, earlier this year, I […] Log in to Reply Leave a Reply Cancel ReplyYou must be logged in to post a comment.