Review: Pit Stop (2019)
We covered the poster and trailer release for Pit Stop, then known as Acid Pit Stop, back in October of 2018. At that point, it was aiming for a 2019 release. Well, it took a bit longer than planned and got beaten to the punch by Ravers, but it’s finally here. Was it worth the wait?
Paul (Hal Hillman) and Lucio (Callum McGuire) are hosting a rave. And you can’t have a rave without acid. While on their way to pick it up, they get rear-ended by Shailene (Megan Jenkins) and Anita (Jennifer Johnson). Anita, I should add, is Paul’s ex. Rather than doing the smart thing and leaving them to call a tow truck, the boys take them along.
The pickup doesn’t go entirely smoothly. Jake (Bruce Payne, Rizen, Highlander: Endgame) seems to have taken way too much of his own product over the years. But that is nothing compared to what’s to come. Homebrew drugs frequently have nasty side effects, in this case, it’s a hunger for human flesh. As the foursome try to make their escape, James (Gbola Adewunmi) shows up. He seems to have been expecting this and has a score to settle with Paul and Lucio.
Writer Matteo Valentini and director Jason Wright make the most of a meagre budget and get quite a bit of blood, and the occasional intestine, on the screen. Most of it by way of practical effects, though there’s the usual CGI blood and fire to ruin a couple of scenes.
They also lace Pit Stop with a dose of humour, some of which, like the identity of James’ zombie repellent, had me chuckling. But there’s more than a few gags that fall flat, especially some of the overly silly bits towards the end. That just seems too light to go with the film’s plot and overall tone.
But the main problem with Pit Stop is that it’s all a bit too familiar at this point. We’ve been seeing variations on this theme since 2005’s Return of the Living Dead: Rave to the Grave. There’s been Underground, Exeter and Trance. Hammer took a try at it with the vampiric Beyond the Rave. And while technically not set at a rave, Gaspar Noe’s Climax is certainly close enough. And that’s barely scratching the surface. Short of a massive rethink, this sub-genre needs to go into hibernation for a while.
If Pit Stop had managed that rethink, or even had a few new ideas it it could have stood out. But as it is it’s just a decent entry in a crowded field. Certainly worth a watch if you like the genre, but sadly, nothing outstanding.