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Salvage (DVD Review)

Revolver Entertainment has graced us with some horror DVDS for coverage and the first title that Why So Blu will be reviewing is something by the name of Salvage. Salvage comes to us from the UK and we are big UK horror fans here, so it’s no surprise that this title would be the first one on the to-do list. I’d never heard of Salvage before, but seeing all of the positive praise given to it on the DVD box I was actually kind of excited to tackle the project head on. That, and it’s Halloween, so why not indeed. How will Salvage do? Will it sink or swim? Will we be able to salvage it? Okay, that was a bad pun. Come on in and let’s see what we can see. 

 

 

Film

Salvage is a 2009 horror film that was inspired by real events that happened in the UK. These events were of a shipping crate that washed up on shore and the residents of that community diving into the water to “illegally” recover some of these items. Well, let’s just say that the maker of Salvage used that same premised and turned it on its head.

The Story follows Beth, who is a single mother and is expecting to spend Christmas with her daughter Jodie (Lindzey Cocker). Imagine the surprise that’s in store for Jodie when she runs in and catches mum in a very compromising position(s) with a male friend (Shaun Dooley). After the big fight Jodie runs of and boards up across the street at a friends house. As Beth tries to squash the fiasco, a military presence of elite soldiers descend onto this residential cul-de-sac.

These guys mean business and have orders of shoot to kill. They ask everyone to go back inside and stay there. This doesn’t go well for Beth, because she’s tuck inside with a man she barely knows and her daughter is across the street. That’s where here maternal instincts kick and she becomes our antagonist.

Salvage is a very tricky film top categorize, because it mixes genres, etc. It’s the characters motivations that actually save the film, but only slightly. I’ll get to the bad part in a minute. When the film gets started and we’re introduced to Beth – she’s not a very likable female. She has problems, but it’s not because she doesn’t know what she is doing. She knows exactly what she is doing – it just happens to be the luck of the draw as to why some of these bad things happen. Bad things like the estrangement of her daughter and the dissolution of her marriage. These subplots are great and I love the way the film handled them.

I was also a fan of the action and terror involved. It’s got a good story going, but it’s the ending that made me angry, because I felt a little bit manipulated. I dedicated my time and energy to a particular character only to see them fail. Not cool, because you were actually with the character from the beginning and actually thought that the person would come through at the end to find some sort of redemption. Then the rug gets pulled and, well, you know. That was a very frustrating moment.

There are elements in Salvage that harken back to the 28 Days Later films, but with an added twist. It’s a twist that is very appreciated and takes the film up a notch. This is a very low budget film, but the story is very strong and features a bunch of great actors. Neve McIntosh as Beth is awesome and Shaun Dooley as her male companion also pulls off a good little performance.

Low budgets seem to be the future of the horror genre, because these filmmakers are hitting it out of the park – and Salvage is no different. You make it with what you’ve got and move along. Salvage is a good time, but the ending left me a bit cold.

If you want more information about Salvage then please visit the Salvage website at: http://www.salvagethefilm.com/us/index.php

 


Video

Salvage is presented in 480p which quickly gets upconverted to 1080p via my system. Here’s yet another DVD that looks great and really gives it that bigger budget vibe. This being filmed in the UK the weather tends to be a bit dreary, so that is captured perfectly in the early scenes of the film, but when darkness and terror hit, those scenes are also captured without problems. Flesh tones appear strong and life like. Colors, when available, leap out at you – blood especially. The film was probably shot on digital, therefore, grain levels aren’t strong, and there are instance of softness throughout. Banding is not intrusive and contrast levels stay balanced. It’s a very good looking, if a bit on the muted side, DVD.

Audio

Salvage is presented in Dolby Digital 5.1, 448 kbps. Yes, here is another low rate 5.1 audio track, but you know what? It doesn’t matter! It’s an extremely rich sounding audio experience and we are talking about a horror film here, so let’s not make a fuss about it being a low resolution audio track. Instances of music and gunfire are handled extremely well, and there is plenty of ambient sounds in the rear surrounds. The LFE gets a nice workout, too. When the you know what hits the fan the sound stage comes through with flying colors.

Special Features 

Salvage has a few special features worthy of note – these include a crew commentary and a 45 minute in depth interview session with cast and crew. There’s also a 10 minute behind the scenes featurette which is pretty cool.

  • Behind-The-Scenes
  • Cast and Crew Interviews
  • Director, Producer, Writer, and Actor Commentary

Final Thoughts

UK horror films are kicking butt and taking names. Salvage is one of these films, so if you want to check out a neat little horror-thriller that only runs 76 minutes. It’s worth your time if you’re interested in discovering something new. The DVD has top notch video, but is light on the special features. I hope we get a Blu-ray in the not to distant future, because it would look and sound even more awesome!

 

 

Order Salvage on DVD!

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Gerard Iribe is a writer/reviewer for Why So Blu?. He has also reviewed for other sites like DVD Talk, Project-Blu, and CHUD, but Why So Blu? is where the heart is. You can follow his incoherency on Twitter: @giribe

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