DIRECTOR: Dan Pringle
WRITER: Dan Pringle
Lucinda Rhodes Thakrar
Salah is currently studying and has to put it all on hold when he is put in charge of taking over his father's kebab shop after his father is killed during an altercation with a group of loud drunken men. After Salah has his own run-in with an intoxicated man in his store that ends in death, he decides to turn vigilante after the endless nights of having to deal with the drunken club and drugged up youth of the United Kingdom.
After recently moving home to Australia from the UK after two years abroad. It was refreshing to watch a movie that felt realistic in its depiction of the drunken pub and club scene of the UK. I can't tell you how many times that I had enjoyed nights out, getting drunk with my friends and hitting up the local kebab shop for a greasy kebab on the way home. This film does well in representing how rambunctious the people of the UK are when they're pissed.
Going into K-Shop, I hadn't heard much about the film at all. I had only got a glimpse of the poster beforehand. Not witnessing the trailer for the movie before watching it, I had no real expectations about the movie. I had hoped at best, I would at least get a good laugh out of this film based on the plot of a revengeful kebab shop owner. This film's plot came across like a comedy if you interpreted the scenario in that fashion. It was anything but a comedy. This is dark stuff.
I found myself completely hooked after only thirty-minutes into K-Shop. I took this film, hook, line, and sinker. While the film had moments that play for laughs with all the footage of drunken people vomiting in the streets, fornicating in public or drunk idiots flashing their grotty parts at the camera, this is a film that takes itself entirely seriously. This movie is a dark and brutal little tale of one man pushed to the end of his limits. It also felt like it was trying to make a statement of showing the ugly side of public drunkenness.
I think the movie for a vast majority of it's running time was excellent. I never found myself ever really questioning Salah and his motivations. I found myself siding with him a lot. This may be a little awkward as this guy is a killer and does indeed butcher a few people. I also loved that director Dan Pringle went into great detail about how Salah was able to dispose of the bodies. I thought those scenes gave the film some weight as to how he was able to evade the police. I believed it for the most part.
I think the most significant issues that I personally had with K-Shop come down to the ending and the running time of the film. The movie clocks in at almost two hours. I felt a few of the subplots within the film may have benefited from a few cuts to tidy up the story and pacing of the film. As for the ending, I felt like, by the time the end rolls around, it was pretty predictable as to where things were going to go with the storyline. I think the ending will annoy people based solely on where you stand on Salah's action throughout the film, and where you stand morally.
While K-Shop is a movie that you'd class as a low-budget, indie production. This film had some of the most brilliant gore effects that I've seen being used in a movie in a very long time. I have a feeling for the most realistic approach, a lot of the movie's budget went into making the gore as close to practical as possible. When it came to the movie delivering on it's Sweeney Todd type of premise of human beings used as kebab meat, the movie didn't shy away from the gore, and it looked fantastic. Those gore-hounds won't be disappointed.
I found myself on the edge of my seat quite a few times in K-Shop. The movie while having a few elements that do relate to the horror genre such as kidnapping, torture, and cannibalism, this isn't a straight-up horror film. This is more a thriller. The movie had a few pretty intense scenes and used the tension of Salah possibly being caught and his actions catching up with him quite well. I think Dan Pringle crafted a very well made little thriller and used the element of suspense well.
Lastly, the acting is fantastic. Ziad Abaza as Salah is front and centre in the film and I found myself loving every single second of his performance. I really hope that people see his role in K-Shop and he goes on to bigger and better things and secures more leading roles as he is one very talented actor. Reece Noi as Malik is also excellent in his supporting role as a protege to Salah. I thought he was great. Scott Williams who plays the film's villain is charismatic yet sinister, did well as the seedy club owner.
DEATH TOLL: 4
BLOOD AND GORE:
- Footage of people fighting in the streets.
- An old man is pushed to the floor and dies from head injuries.
- A guy falls face first into a deep fryer.
- A few people's hands are chopped off with a meat cleaver.
- A person is hacked to pieces.
- Skin is shown being carved off.
- Body parts are ground up to make kebab meat.
- A throat is slit with a meat cleaver.
- A human heart is sliced in two with a butcher's knife.
- Someone is stabbed in the side.
K-Shop is a movie that I really had no expectations about when I went into the film and came out pleasantly shocked and surprised by how much I enjoyed this tale of one man's revenge and vigilantism. K-Shop is at times intense, has some seriously gruesome and well-done gore fx and a fantastic lead performance from Ziad Abaza. I can't wait to see what nasty little film Dan Pringle has in store for us next if K-Shop is my first taste of this director.