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Loaded (1994)

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Plot Summary:
"Seven teenagers retreat to a country house for the weekend to make their epic, an impossibly ambitious Celtic fantasy. As the making of the video drifts from playful hilarity to argument, frustrated ambition and accusation, intimate details seep into the script and the gap between fact and fiction closes, foreshadowing later events. When the group decides to lift the mood with an Acid-inspired initiation, secret dreams and fears are revealed, and pent-up emotions released, with all their youthful intensity and passion."

Review by
Phil Davies Brown
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Review Date: 07 March 2004 My Rating: out of 5


Quite possibly the strangest film that I have ever encountered, Loaded is only now available to rent 10 years after it was made!!

Now, the cover states that a group of 7 friends go to a cabin for a weekend to make a horror movie, but one of them is secretly a killer and one of them won't be coming back or words to that effect.

Seeing as I had never heard of the film (which is mostly unheard of) I bypassed it and decided to do a bit of research before renting it.

I discovered that the film had first been released in 1996, but am unsure in what capacity. I should probably mention that I discovered that the film's original title was 'Bloody Weekend' and that I was surprised to see Thandie Newton first billed (who I have never forgotten since I saw her in MI2).

I found one very brief review on line stating that it wasn't really a horror film but nevertheless I was intrigued so rented it.

Basically the film is not an out and out horror film but has it's roots firmly planted in the genre!

The friends go to the cabin (which is actually a rambling countryside estate) and begin making their 'horror film', I use the term loosely as it looks like utter garbage and not in the least bit scary.

Atr first everything is fine but then the friends begin to bicker and play off one another, causing all sorts of heartache and mind games to ensue.

As far as the horror elements: we have a genuinely creepy homage to 'The Shining', a debate about 'John Carpenter's Halloween', mentions of Hitchcock and finally, the film is if you like in my opinion loosely based on the idea behind 'Gothic'.

Now I haven't seen Gothic yet, but seem to recall that it is the supposed true story of how horror novels, such as Frankenstein were written, as Mary Shelley and other writers of her era would spend weekends dropping acid to find inspiration for their art, and that is fully explored here, as that is where things go wrong for the friends.

Hardly scary or even thrilling, there's just something about the film that made me want to keep watching.

If they had done more than just sit around debating the genre this could have been really good.

This is the sort of film that if an 8 year old caught a bit of it on late night TV , they would have to write into Empire magazine 10 years later to ask just what exactly they had seen all those years before.

Totally odd but moderately intriguing, the film has a good cast who are largely still working at establishing themselves, and has good use of camera too.

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