16th Jul2019

‘Defective’ DVD Review

by Phil Wheat

Stars: Colin Paradine, Raven Cousens, Ashley Armstrong, Dennis Andres, Jamie Tarantini, Nick Smyth, Ry Barrett, Andrei Preda, Christopher Spaleta, Erin Stuart, Neil Affleck, Diana Goldman | Written and Directed by Reese Eveneshen


Well well, it would seem that someone has been watching a little too much RoboCop (or maybe read too much Judge Dredd?) and decided that they had an idea for a sequel, expanding on the concept of the OCP and the police state they wanted to bring in with the ED-209 bots… only no-one would a) let them make a sequel; and b) no-one would give them a budget to make a film anywhere near as good either.

So what do we end up with? Defective. A film that loving lives up to its title.

In the near future, the corporation S.E.A., has implemented North America’s first and only police state. Uniformed, anonymous Preservers of Peace investigate, judge, and sentence people for even the smallest of crimes. The punishment? Instant public execution. Rhett Murphy and his sister Jean must escape certain execution after witnessing the dark secrets of the nefarious corporation…

Dystopian futures. When they’re done well you get films like Judge Dredd, RoboCop and hell, even Mad Max (the original rather than the post-apocalyptic sequels), when they’re done wrong. Well you get straight to VOD dross like this.

Obviously filmed on a shoe string budget, Defective is at its core a story of rebellion – and one that, given the current political climate, is aptly timed. But the film is put together so slap-hazardly that any effectiveness such a story could have had is lost in a quagmire of exposition. Because telling you what’s going on is apparently the new showing you whats going on. Well according to this film it is…

It doesn’t help that the films lead is an unlikeable shambling anti-hero. I get that he has personal issues – all well-rounded characters should – but the character is buried beneath them so much than there’s absolutely no empathy for him. In fact the first time he comes under fire from one of the S.E.A.’s Preservers of the Peace I hoped he be offed straight away and the film would move onto to another character! There is one good thing about Defective however, and that’s Ora Green, S.E.A spokeswoman and the person tasked with bringing in Rhett Murphy and his sister Jean. Actress Ashley Armstrong, in her one and only role (so far), seem to be channeling every “evil corporation” character that has ever been seen on screen, with a depth to her performance – even in the limited screen time she has –  that is lacking from just about about ever other aspect of the film.

As derivative as they come, Defective is hampered by some poor performances, a budget that could never match up to the films scope and some flat direction that does nothing to make this film stand out in the DTV crowd. Unless you’re obsessed with seeing each and every film made featuring a dystopian future this is an easy pass.

Defective is out on DVD from today, July 15th, courtesy of High Fliers.


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