13th Mar2016

‘Left To Die’ Review

by Phil Wheat

Stars: Natalie Burn, Vinnie Jones, Daryl Hannah, Edward Furlong, Jason London, Robert Davi, Michael Paré, Christa Campbell, David Keith, Michael Copon, Daz Crawford, Augie Duke, Benny Urquidez | Written by Mark Atkins, Natalie Burn, Ryan Priest | Directed by Mark Atkins

left-to-die-cover

What makes distributors think that joe public will grab any Vinnie Jones movie off the supermarket shelf sight unseen? The man isn’t exactly the bastion of quality direct to market movies these days (have you seen the godawful Kill Kane?) Thankfully I took a look at the rest of the credits for Left To Die and it was those that sold me on buying this gem of a film on iTunes, NOT Mr. Jones… After all, just look at that cast: Daryl Hannah, Edward Furlong, Jason London, Robert Davi, Michael Paré, Christa Campbell, David Keith and there’s even a cameo by Benny “The Jet” Urquidez – a veritable who’s who of DTV megastars!

Also known as Awaken, Left To Die stars Natalie Burn (who is also credited with co-writing the film) as Billie Kope – a woman searching for her missing sister who awakens on a deserted island with no memory of her abduction. However she is not alone, as the island is populated by more survivors, all of whom have no idea how – or why – they’re on the island. All they know is that they’re being hunted by a group of mercenaries who, ultimately, are abducting them as part of a diabolical plan to harvest and sell their organs to the highest bidder! There’s a small problem though, Billie just happens to be the daughter of a Russian Special Forces agent who has taught her everything she needs to know to survive…

Well well. It looks like we have a new female arse-kicker in town… Come on down Natalie Burn! Previously seen in DTV Euro-horror Killer Mermaids, Burn – who according to IMDb co-wrote this film – kicks plenty of ass and takes no prisoners as the real star of Left To Die (sorry Vinnie), showing much more skill as an actress and a fighter here than in any of her other roles. Kudos to her for taking charge of her own career and pulling this film together (I’ve read numerous interviews with her co-stars stating this is HER movie, she was the driving force behind it – calling in favours with actors she knows/has worked with to get such a great ensemble cast).

But its not only Burns who seems to have stepped up their game, director Mark Atkins – who has spent an eternity churning out movies for The Asylum – shows a deft hand in direction, staging the fight scenes well – managing to show the action and give them a kinetic energy without over-editing (as is the wont of many an action-movie director these days). Atkins is also an equal opportunity director, allowing each and every one of his cast a chance to shine for a least a few scenes throughout the film – even former Gladiator Diesel, aka actor Daz Crawford, gets a decent fight scene against fellow Brit Vinnie Jones. Though if I’m honest (and I always am) David Keith is somewhat wasted as the doctor in charge of this medical malpractice…

The kind of DTV action movie that I really, really, enjoy (this is essentially another take on The Most Dangerous Game) Left To Die is available now on DVD and VOD from Kaleidoscope Home Entertainment.

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