Doug Bradley, Horror, Juliette Bennett, Lie detector, Murders, Paul Tanter, Profiler, Review, Serial killer, Simon Phillips, Thriller
D: Paul Tanter / 94m
Cast: Simon Phillips, Juliette Bennett, Will de Meo, Bradford West, Lucy Clements, Doug Bradley, Kellie Shirley, Peter Woodward
Oh dear. Oh dear, oh dear. Really. It’s that bad. I mean, really bad. Sooooo bad.
And once again, it’s all down to THE SCRIPT. An awful… no, god-awful, unholy mess of a script that makes no effort to be coherent, has a passing acquaintance with competence, and contains some of the worst dialogue ever committed to celluloid. The sad thing about Shame the Devil is that the cast and crew are actually trying their best…and failing miserably.
The plot concerns the hunt for a serial killer who hooks his victims up to lie detectors and then asks them a series of questions that will cause them to be killed if they lie. The killer tells them, “The truth will set you free; tell the truth and shame the devil”. The first victim is a supermarket manager, the second a doctor (Woodward), and the third a priest. The police officer investigating the murders, Trent (Phillips) is suspended because he appears to be linked to the victims, and heads to New York to seek help from an old flame (Bennett) who is a profiler. But while he’s there, the murders continue…
Ten things that are wrong with Shame the Devil:
1 – Simon Phillips demonstrates every emotion required of his character by shouting.
2 – Writer/director Paul Tanter allows each actor to play their part independently of any other actor that might be in the same scene with them.
3 – The whole concept of the serial killer being one step ahead is made laughable by the circumstances surrounding the death of the first New York victim.
4 – Lucy Clements demonstrates every emotion required of her character by pouting.
5 – Despite jetting off to New York after being suspended, none of Trent’s superiors have any idea of where he is.
6 – Lines of dialogue are repeated by characters in a vain effort to reinforce the seriousness of the relevant situation.
7 – The photography by Haider Zafar is bland and uninspired.
8 – Writer/director Tanter and editor Richard Colton have no awareness of what makes a scene tense, thrilling, and/or dramatic.
9 – Doug Bradley, one of the few actors capable of injecting credibility into this kind of thing, is reduced to appearing in only one scene.
10 – The music is intrusive and fails to add any menace to the proceedings.
11 – There are moments of childish humour that even the Chuckle Brothers would have steered clear of (apologies to any non-UK readers for the reference).
I know, I know, that was eleven things but that just serves to illustrate how bad this movie really is: I could go on and on and on and on… But I won’t. Suffice it to say, Shame the Devil is an unmitigated disaster – poorly directed and acted, appallingly written, unimaginatively shot and edited, and completely unable to drag itself out of the mire of its own making. Even the nihilistic ending – though welcome by the time it arrives – is badly staged and requires more of Phillips as an actor than he has to give.
Rating: 1/10 – another car crash of a movie from the writer/director of the White Collar Hooligan movies, Shame the Devil founders from its opening scene and never quite breaks the surface; an amateurish, dismaying waste of everyone’s time and patience.