Sex, death, mugs of tea. The Brits have hit FrightFest with Isle Of Dogs, a lurid thriller that grows ever more Guignol.
Or maybe ‘giallo’ is the G-word to chuck around, given its preoccupation with bloodshed, beautiful women and musical bombast.
Directed by Tammi Sutton (Suture), it centres on a twisted love triangle involving a thief, his wife and her lover.
No cooks, though there are a couple of bumbling cops who arrive halfway to momentarily lighten the noir-y mood.
“She dies tonight,” is the ominous opening line, a reference to Nadia (Monica Bellucci lookalike Barbara Nedeljakova), young Russian bride of gang boss Darius (Andrew Howard).
Racist, misogynist and even capable of putting a bullet in a labrador, Darius is not a very nice man.
When he discovers that small-time hood Riley (Ed Hogg) is sleeping with Nadia, he issues a grisly ultimatum. Soon, the walls of Darius’ country pile are redecorated with a fresh coat of crimson.
A somewhat portentous first half gives way to enjoyable excess. Howard’s rasping, bawling performance makes Ben Kingsley in Sexy Beast look like Miley Cyrus.
Still, it’s all the actors can do to compete with the OTT score, which goes above and beyond the call of duty in amping up the action.
Subtlety may be at a low premium, but so is dullness: gorehounds in the audience were able to hang their hats on a protracted face-mashing, a driveway head-crushing and a scene of self-cauterisation.
Value for money, then – and reason to look forward to what gruesomeness Sutton will rain on Danny Trejo and Vinnie Jones in her next film, Welcome To Graveland.
To hear from Dogs' stars Edward Hogg and Barbara Nedeljakova, and director Tammi Sutton, check out the videos below...
Edward Hogg and Barbara Nedeljakova Interview
Tammi Sutton Interview