Director: Darryn Welch (2009)
Starring: Natassia Malthe, Sam Page, Michael Maxwell
Find it online: IMDB

If mockney idiot Guy Richie were to direct a horror movie, it’d no doubt resemble Slave; a curious, uneasy little mishmash of Hostel, the Vanishing and Sexy Beast. It’s entirely obvious that director Darryn Welch couldn’t afford Ray Winstone, because all the characters seem to have been written with the big fella in mind. As it stands, this is a movie that even Danny Dire would be ashamed to be associated with.

Visiting his ex-boxer gangster stereotype dad in Spain, sickeningly loved-up couple David and Georgie fall afoul of kidnappers. Georgie disappears whilst useless, wet Dave is drugged off’ve his face in a sleazy nightclub.

If Slave AKA The Boat that Shlocked were to be believed, Spain is full of cockney geezers and gangsters. Dave’s ex-boxer dad seems to be channelling the spirit of the late Mike Reid (that’s ex-Eastender Frank Butcher to you).

The two exceptions are a hapless, hopeless Spanish tough guy and the movie’s BigBad, a Russian ex-con arms dealer known as the ‘White Arab’ (because an Arab Arab wouldn’t do), who speaks like the Leslie Neilsen incarnation of Dracula and looks like an aged hippy.

But it's when the White Arab is introduced that Slave becomes briefly watchable. It’s an intriguing concept; the kidnapped girls are taken to the Arab’s luxury yacht, are plied with drugs and made to vomit a lot. Kinda like Hostel on a boat, except with a lot more syrupy barfing.

So it’s a shame that the Arab’s movie is so horrendously stupid. Tonally, it’s all over the place (kicking off with a ‘comedic’ voiceover introduction by dreary Dave), with unintentionally hilarious sex-scenes and obtrusive, unsexy porno music abounds.

The DVD cover and menus to Slave would have you think that it’s a grotty, gritty, sleazy, sick piece of torture guff; but in fact, it’s more of a silly gangster music than anything else.

There’s a juicy piece of schadenfreude to the ending, but otherwise Slave is like an Eastenders special on holiday.

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