11th May2014

‘Murderdrome’ DVD Review

by Phil Wheat

Stars: Kat Anderson, Daisy Masterman, Amber Sajben, Rachael Blackwood, Jake Brown, Demonique Deluxe, Anthony Cincotta, Pepper Minx, Louise Monnington, Mary Poppinskulls, Dayna Seville | Written by Daniel Armstrong, Louise Monnington, Trent Schwarz | Directed by Daniel Armstrong


It’s hard to believe that Australia once had a reputation for producing some top-notch exploitation flicks. In recent years the country has become more synonymous with soap operas that fear flicks, but recently there has been a resurgence in genre flicks from down under, from a growing “army” of independent filmmakers that are simply getting out there and making brand-new exploitation and horror movies. Murderdrome is one such movie.

Take one part Whip It and one part Gutterballs and you have Murderdrome, a fantastic rock ‘n’ roll-er derby horror from down under that tells the story of Cherry Skye, a roller derby sensation, who loves nothing better than competing in her favorite sport. Of course roller derby girls are as competitive off the track as they are, so when Skye catches they eye of Brad she also catches the attention of Brad’s ex, her Roller Derby nemesis Hell Grazer. If that isn’t bad enough, the heat generated by this romantic rivalry arouses a malevolent demon-spirit, hungry for human souls. Trapped between the wrath of Hell Grazer and damnation at the Gates of Hell, she has no option but to throw down and sort this mess out the only way she knows… on four small wheels.

I know not everyone reading Nerdly has the same taste in movies as I do (though if you’ve been reading the site long enough you certainly should know what kind of movies I enjoy), so take everything below with a pinch of “tastes may vary” but… I absolutely ADORE Murderdrome!

Now many reviewers would explain away their love of a film like Murderdrome as an example of a love of low-budget horror increasing their “tolerance” of cheap and cheesy productions. Me? Yes, I do enjoy low-budget horror movies, probably a lot more than many of my peers, but that’s not why I love Murderdrome. My love for the film stems from the fact it’s a BLOODY GOOD movie!

Following Murderdrome‘s official Facebook page (and the twitter feeds of many of my fellow reviewers from here in the UK) means that I’ve actually read a bunch of reviews of Daniel Armstrong’s debut feature since seeing the film for myself – most of which talk about how enjoyment of the film “depends entirely on your tolerance for bad movies”. But I disagree wholeheartedly… This film can in no way be described as a bad movie, not even by “Troll 2 is a bad movie” standards. Not by any conceivable margin is the film a bad movie. An extremely low-budget movie, yes. A bad movie? Hell no.

Murderdrome shares a lot in common with the work of Troma – not Troma the distributor but Troma the filmmaker. The difference? The films helmed by Lloyd Kaufman and co. – especially those from the early days of the company – those films, like Murderdrome, made the most of the cast, crew and money available to them and create fantastic fully-formed “worlds” in which their films take place. In the case of Armstrong’s movie, the film takes place in the world of roller derby, a world of hardcore women who take absolutely no shit from anyone. And that attitude spills out into the film itself… This movie takes no prisoners in the pursuit of telling its fun, gory and fantastically over-the-top tale.

A brilliant example of what you can achieve with a small budget, a little bit of determination and a crazy idea, Murderdrome is released on DVD on May 12th courtesy of Monster Pictures.