Botched (2007)

“In and out, what could go wrong?” has been the famous last words of every man in existence, and it’s basically the last words of our hapless hostages and their inept captors in “Botched.” While the premise is creaky with much of the narrative reminiscent of “From Dusk Til Dawn,” Kit Parker’s “Botched” is a horror comedy up there in lunacy with fare like “Severance” and “The Cottage.” While “Botched” begins clumsily with a poorly edited rushed sequence of events extrapolating Ritchie’s predicament, it’s a movie you’ll want to stick with. Once the blood begins to pour, the raucous comedy and gruesome horror ensure a worthy experience deserving of an audience.

Stephen Dorff stars as professional thief Ritchie, a man who just can’t catch a break after getting into a car crash with his partners in America. His boss sends him to Russia to pull off one more heist involving a sacred cross. On the way out of the gig, his psychotic partners Peter and Yuri kill a woman and they find themselves in an elevator stuck with a group of people they take hostage in a moment of desperation. When they abruptly stop on the thirteenth floor, the feces hit’s the fan as the body count rises inexplicably.

Sadly, director Kit Parker can never quite decide what his film is in the end, so “Botched” suffers because it jumps onto all sub-genres from slasher, to crime thriller, to pure slapstick comedy, which ultimately leaves this to feel very genre confused and muddled. What saves “Botched” from mediocrity, though, are the performances. Stephen Dorff, while oddly out of place here, works well off of his mostly Russian cast, acting as the voice of reason in a room full of cynics, religious lunatics, and gun toting thugs. Dorff keeps this movie grounded in drama adding a sense of urgency to a situation that’s utterly outlandish.

Jamie Foreman as over the top killer Peter serves up a majority of the laughs here screaming and bursting from the seams like a bodily function, and Jaime Murray, best remembered from “Dexter,” is often very entertaining as smoking damsel Anna. While the allusions to “Shaun of the Dead” and “Severance” is inevitable (and apt), Parker’s film has an interesting advantage of originality, as the villains of the piece are kept shrouded in the shadows, and never seem to run out of methods to mutilate these bystanders. How many movies have the heirs of “Ivan the Terrible” maiming office yuppies? Not many. While it’s not perfect, “Botched” is a good time with a twisted sense of humor, great writing, and ace performances by a cast of veterans who bring the sharp comedy and grue home.