Drama

Red Krokodil (2012)

Comments Off on Red Krokodil (2012) 25 April 2017

RedKrocodileCover

Studio: One 7 Movies

DVD Distributed By: CAV Distributing Corp.

Initial U.S. Release: January 1, 2013

DVD Release: February 9, 2016

Director: Domiziano Cristopharo

Rating: UnRated

Reviewed By James M. Dubs

I’ll watch anything…including Red Krokodil.

Desomorphine, street name Krokodil, has been called “the world’s deadliest drug” by Time Magazine, and is a flesh-eating, inexpensive substitute to heroine that has plagued Russia and surrounding economically depressed countries for several years now. It’s an epidemic by all real accounts, but you might not know about it if you watched American news outlets. The only mention of Russia these days are claims of voter fraud and Trump collusion with Putin. Meanwhile there’s an actual problem with people using this toxic shit, and the drug is slowly making its way across America.

Film and art has always offered an additional outlet for social activism and alarm, especially topics like drug abuse. Director Domiziano Cristopharo and film’s star Brock Madson attempt to tackle the devastating effects of Desomorphine with their 88 minute feature, Red Krokodil.

Film Rating: ½☆☆☆☆

The official plot synopsis:

Red Krokodil tells the story of a man meant to represent all men. It is the story of a man addicted to Krokodil, that suddenly finds himself alone in a post-nuclear city similar to Chernobyl. His physical decay, caused by the massive intake of drugs, is mirrored in his inner world, as reality mixes with hallucinations. The result is a film that uses the Krokodil as a metaphor of destruction.

This movie deals with many themes, from the environment to the use of drugs, but the story is just an excuse that director Domiziano Cristopharo uses to focus on a psychological condition that brings a total detachment from oneself and from the surrounding world. A dark trip that shows no way out.

What a Kroko-shit. Here’s what Red Krokodil is really about…

Nothing. There is no plot.

Hi, I’m Brock. Wanna party?

The film opens with a VERY LONG opening text scrawl explaining the effects of Krokodil on the body and Russia. Brock Madson portrays an addict who spends his time in his filthy, unsanitary, shit-hole of an apartment wearing nothing more than soiled underpants or nothing at all. When the character isn’t shooting up, he’s either tending to the open and infected sores on his skin, or having nightmarish hallucinations about nuclear war, monsters, or running around outside with his penis flopping around. If you want to watch 88 minutes of that, then Red Krokodil is your kind of movie.

Brock Madson’s performance is generally strong and believable. I believe he is an addict and suffering. But why is he suffering? And why should I care? Because he “represents all men”? No, he does not and the script gives us no reason to empathize with his character.

The technical merits, including directing, cinematography, visual effects, make-up effects, are all very strong. Cristopharo proves he is a capable Director with a strong visual style. The apartment surroundings will give the viewer a sickening experience as you watch the character wallow in his own filth. Even more stomach churning are the make-up effects which portray the skin’s deterioration and decay with life-like realism. But we see this rot and despair from the opening frames and the film offers nowhere else to go. In seconds the audience knows Krokodil is bad news and the rest of Red Krokodil offers little more than sequence variations of suffering and hallucinating on rinse and repeat.

Video & Audio Rating: ★★½☆☆

The visual quality of the DVD is mostly strong. Clearly shot on video and for a paltry budget, the overall effect is nonetheless professional enough looking. I suspect make-up effect, digital effect, and set design flaws would become apparent in high definition, so DVD is probably the best medium for the finished product.

There is no actual character dialogue in the film, only a voice over. This was clearly by design so the filmmakers could easily re-dub the film for multiple markets. Therefore the DVD offers a stereo track in English which proves serviceable for basic music and sound effect elements.

Extras Rating: ★☆☆☆☆

The extras are complete throw-aways and provide nothing to add value to the production. The “deleted scenes” are more accurately “extended scenes” which offers nothing more than a few extra cutaways of apartment filth and other non-relevance. 

  • Ending with alternate music
  • Deleted scene 1
  • Deleted scene 2
  • Teaser trailer
  • Trailer 1
  • Trailer 2
  • Test FX for ending scene
  • Photo gallery

Overall Rating: ½☆☆☆☆

If I like a painting, I don’t stare at it for 88 minutes. However, if I did the painting would probably offer additional details within the brush strokes or color palette worthy of further scrutiny. Unless you’re really interested in performance art or fancy yourself an amateur make-up effects artist, there are no other reasons to subject yourself to this overlong, boring, and gross experience.

Red Krokodil is a film that could have easily been summed up in short film form. Watch the film’s trailer and you will experience everything the film has to offer thematically in a 2:02 minute time frame. The feature film experience has nothing more to offer than 86 minutes of additional wasted time and effort.

Author

- who has written 67 posts on UnRated Film Review Magazine | Movie Reviews, Interviews.

James Dubs is a father and husband who loves his family first and movies a close second. He believes every movie is worth watching once and, as a film fan and critic, believes that even the worst movies offer something in return. His mission is to watch anything and report without pretension. Follow James Dubs on Twitter and send him suggestions on movies you would like reviewed - popular, obscure, independent, etc. He'll watch anything for you.

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