Nekrotronic (2018) is probably the only movie I’ve seen with a hero who is described as a “down on his luck sewage worker.” And it’s almost CERTAINLY the only movie where Italian model and screen goddess Monica Bellucci (Irréversible 2002) gets shotgunned out of a tall building and lands in a Dumpster.
Nekrotronic is the latest Australian horror comedy by Director Kiah Roache-Turner (Wyrmwood: Road of the Dead 2014) and it serves up a highly watchable buffet of inspired goofiness and familiar situations. It doesn’t always make sense, and it sometimes breaks the very rules it establishes, but its high-energy badassery, silliness, and occasional surprises make for a fun and gory supernatural romp.
Nekrotronic drops slacker Howie (Dave Beamish: Thicker Than Water 2018) into a centuries-long battle between demons and their arch-enemy hunters, The Nekromancers. Quite recently, the conflict went digital, with demons now able to possess humans through their cell phones. A series of ridiculous set-ups later, and Howie discovers he’s actually a mega-powerful Nekromancer… and he’s only one who can stop the demonic Finnigan (Bellucci) from sucking all our souls out through a new phone app.
Hey, I told you it was silly.
And it doesn’t bother to hide its many references. Viewers will recognize themes and images from The Matrix (1999), Ghostbusters (1984), Blade (1998 – read our retro review here), John Carpenter’s Vampires (1998), and more. The acting is solid, particularly from Bellucci, who’s clearly having fun with her role. This is a woman who’s worked with directors like Gaspar Noe in Irréversible (2002), Spike Lee in She Hate Me (2004), and Mel Gibson in The Passion Of The Christ (2004). And yet, she evidently doesn’t feel above material like fart jokes, exploding goats, severed heads, and geysers of liquid sewage. And lest we forget… the John Woo-esque, two-fisted, shooting sequence set to an upbeat pop song.
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While its roots certainly show, Nekrotronic DID surprise me with some shocking kills and a few genuinely touching moments of friendship and sibling love.
Having seen and liked Wyrmwood: Road of the Dead several years ago, I had a good idea what to expect this time around. You’ve probably seen a lot of the tropes in this film already, but its ability to stay quirky and fun should keep your attention anyway.
Nekrotronic is set to hit select theaters and VOD on August 9th.