Indie Buzz: Devil’s Mile (2014)

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Cally (Maria Del Mar), Jacinta (Casey Hudecki) and Toby (David Hayter) have been driving for hours after taking the wrong turning. Jacinta needs to pee so they stop at a service station. While Toby makes enquiries inside, Jacinta opens up the boot to reveal a pair of kidnapped Japanese girls. “Oh dear, it’s going to be one of those rape and torture films,” I think.

Well actually no, but Devil’s Mile is still pretty violent and bloody. The two girls are bundled back in the boot (what you American cousins mistakenly call the trunk) and the trio speed off since Toby, who has obvious anger management issues, has slashed the throat of the counter clerk. Keen to deliver the girls to the mysterious Mr Arkadi, they drive on all day, until Toby drops off at the wheel. Almost hitting a van coming in the opposite direction they skid to a halt as a tire blows.

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As you can imagine, having a pair of kidnap victims in the boot is a bit awkward when you need to get out the spare and Kanoko (Amanda Joy Lim) takes the opportunity to leg it. Cally runs her down in the car, but when Toby decides to finish her off with the tire iron, Jacinta shoots him in the head. Now, you’d think things could not get any more messed up than that, but then Kanoko comes back as one of those vengeful Japanese movie ghosts and Jacinta turns out to be an undercover cop, and all of this feeds into some kind of horrifically gruesome temporal loop.

So, what starts out as a hard boiled double crossing crime caper gets mashed with a Japanese ghost story and a kind of inky dark Groundhog Day. Oddly, in spite of everything the filmmakers have tried to cram into the movie’s 90 minute run time, there is an awful lot of footage of people cowering in vehicles and shouting “Fuck you!” at each other, and the end result is basically rather unsatisfying. Don’t get me wrong, I have no problem with swearing, but I do have a big problem with pointless padding to fill out a film’s duration.

A bloody, violent, but ultimately confused movie that tries a bit too hard, I give Devil’s Mile a 333/666.

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Review by Simon Ball

Connect with Simon: @RealShipsCook or here


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