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Review: RAVERS (2018)

I have to admit, when I first saw mention of Ravers, the first thing that came to my mind was Return of The Living Dead: Rave To The Grave. That 2005 shitstorm was the film that killed off the Return Of The Living Dead franchise for good. Between that and Rave Party Massacre (aka Dead Thirsty) I had deep reservations about Ravers. Could director Bernhard Pucher and writer Luke Foster break the curse and give me something to rave about?

An unnamed factory somewhere in faux America where everyone sounds like Britons trying to pass for Yanks. As layoff notices are being passed out, the final batch of Renergize energy drinks is accidentally contaminated. The final day on the job turns into a bloodbath as a hulking 7’ 2” warehouse worker (Olivier Richters, Miami Heat) has one and goes on a rampage.

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The factory has sat empty since, making it perfect for holding a rave. Germophobic Becky (Georgia Hirst, Vikings) is assigned to cover the rave by her editor (Natasha Henstridge, Species, Ghosts Of Mars). Feeling down after a breakup wither GF Charlotte (Eve Connolly) she tags along with her cousin Ozzy (Danny Kirrane, The Hatching, Killer Weekend). However, when the remains of that batch of killer Renergize is found, germs become the least of her worries.

Ravers got on my good side quickly with a decapitation early in the going. But it’s not just an exercise in mayhem, although there is plenty of violence. Those affected by the drink don’t become zombies, although some of them certainly act like the infected from 28 Days Later. With others, it brings out other desires, for more drugs, more sex, more whatever. Indeed, “More” has replaced “Brains” as their catchphrase.

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It’s also refreshing to see a film like this where the lead’s hang-up doesn’t go away the moment the shit hits the fan. Becky doesn’t suddenly get over her phobia, she works around it. This leads to some inventive moments and a distinctly funny gag near the end.

Vince (Kamal Angelo Bolden) is quite effective as a still human villain. Undercover cop Jen (Maria Volk, The Basement) makes a fitting adversary and adds to Ravers’ overall chaos. Manpreet Bambra is also quite good on the other side of things as Hanna, a potential new love interest for Becky.

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Apart from the pointless American setting, Ravers is a smart and enjoyable film. It’s currently available in the UK via Blue Finch Films. Check the film’s Facebook page for updates on releases elsewhere.

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