“Only hatred can lead you in this story & if you can thrive on it, any road will take you to him”
Adam Chaplin is an over the top splatter film from Italy. Let me just say that again, a splatter film from Italy! God it feels so good just saying that. My love of horror films can be directly traced back to the golden age of Italian horror. The movies of Argento, Fulci, Lenzi, Bava, D’amato etc had such an effect on me & still remain as some of my favourite genre movies. Adam Chaplin arrived from the indie horror scene on a wave of hyperbole claiming to be the most violent & bloody movie ever made. As a general rule I find any movie surrounded by this much hyperbole is A, not what was promised & B, shite! (Paranormal Activity, Insidious, Hostel, I could go on) So with this in mind I sat down to watch Adam Chaplin with low expectations & to my surprise was treated to a very impressive movie, one that while not perfect really impressed the hell out of me.
Adam Chaplin is set in the fictional city of Heaven Valley. A grim urban landscape ruled by the evil & hideously deformed Denny Richards. Adam’s wife owes Denny money & when she fails to pay on time, Denny & his two sons burn her alive. Stricken with grief, Adam summons a demon to aid him in his quest for vengeance against Denny, his sons, the corrupt police force & anyone who gets in his way. The demon gives Adam superhuman strength as long as Adam does whatever the demon says.
Despite the simplistic plot & low-budget, Adam Chaplin is a huge success. The film is virtually the work of one man. Emanuele De Santi wrote, directed, acted in & even wrote the film’s score. Mr De Santi plays Adam & looks like he just stepped out of some WWF ring, built like a brick shithouse with really bad 80s hair. Adam is a man of few words, bouts of extreme violence & has a demon living on his right shoulder. The SFX on the demon are simple yet very effective & it speaks to Adam with an almost child-like mocking tone. Denny Richards is a wonderful villain. After having most off his face ripped off as a child Denny has pumped his body full of chemicals that have wildly altered his system to the point where his entire body is hideously mutated. Speaking of deformity, with the exception of Adam & his wife everyone else in Heaven Valley has some sort of deformity or disfigurement as if the corruption of the city has manifested itself on it’s inhabitants. Now let’s get to the real issue, is Adam Chaplin the bloodiest movie of all time? Well, no it isn’t. Peter Jackson’s Braindead or maybe Premutos still holds that crown but trust me this movie bathes in the old red red kroovy. The fight scenes are reminiscent of a cross between Fist Of The North Star & Riki Oh. Adam rips limbs off, breaks bones, shatters faces & delivers hyper fast repeated kicks & punches that pulp victims to a bloody mess. The fight scenes are stylised & wonderfully edited. The gore effects are well handled, mostly old school with a few CGI scenes thrown in. The whole movie is filmed in a blue-tinted hue which captures the bleak urban landscape of Heaven Valley perfectly. Despite all that I have said the film has one flaw, the plot needed more exposition. How Adam came to be with the demon is never fully explained & the back story is told in brief flashbacks which could have done with a bit more filling out. The movie clocks in at just under an hour & a half & maybe could have used an extra 10 minutes.
In closing Adam Chaplin is well worth your attention. It is an enjoyable, entertaining 90 odd minutes & it will be interesting to see what Emanuele De Santi can do given a bigger budget. Highly recommended.