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First Look Review - PARTS UNKNOWN

A family of violent wrestlers make a deal with an inter-dimensional demon.


Review by Sue Finn

Directed by: Richard Chandler

Starring: William DeCoff, Alexandra Cipolla, Melantha Blackthorne, Sarah Michelle


You know those movies that are so bad they’re good? Films that embrace their inherent cheesiness and just make you laugh? Yeah, this isn’t one of them.

Starting with a shaky-cam faux wrestling match that lasts for an excruciating and murky four minutes, the only way is up for this movie.

Unfortunately star performer Hermann Von Strasser did not get the memo that the wrestling is all supposed to be fake and chose to slit the throat of his opponent with barbed wire he took from his Lucille-type weapon.

Even worse, it seems the director did not get the memo that it was all supposed to be uphill from here as the rest of the film is worse than the intro.

The women from GLOW this sure ain’t.


What follows is the drawn-out tale of the family Von Strasser, who are amateur wrestling royalty that have decided as a unit to embrace their bloodlust and murderous tendencies. To this end, Hermann (fresh out of jail) is encouraged by the demon in the woods with whom he makes a Faustian deal. Sacrifices are the apparent order of the day.

There’s some extra padding about the rivalry between two women wrestlers and some stuff about the reanimated corpse of their first victim, who can’t die and may be a demon too. At almost two hours, it staggers from one revolting set piece to the next before finally, and mercifully, collapsing on itself.

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There is so much wrong here that it's hard to know where to start.

One of the big problems is that the real fights look just as amateur and staged as the fake ones. Having said that, for a film about a wrestling legacy, there’s not much wrestling.

The director, Richard Chandler (who also wrote this atrocity), is obviously crazy in love with handheld visuals but it just makes the whole thing look like a cheap home video. It also fails in sound, where a lot of the questionable dialogue is muffled (thank the lord for small mercies) and the effects are laughably bad.


The staging is woeful with some shots nonsensically from above, some shots from an odd corner angle and even some shots from between two people’s waists.

There’s a scene where a reporter is interviewing two of the stars of the ring and he is wearing a suit that clearly belongs to someone much bigger - it’s like watching your kid brother play dress ups. Even in a good film, this lack of attention to detail would have a negative impact, but it's even worse with a film so devoid of positives.

I did like the synth score though, that’s about it.

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The cast are all universally awful and seem to think widening their eyes, shrieking and behaving maniacally is somehow entertaining, but to spend two hours in the company of such abhorrent people is hard enough without said characters being brought to life by pantomime style acting.

Between wrestling dynasties and woodland demons, none of it makes a lick of sense and it's also really boring.

In fact, the entire movie could be described as long stretches of boredom interspersed with manic yelling or ridiculous violence.


Which brings me to the worst aspect of this film - there is a deep vein of depraved sexual viciousness towards women that is genuinely disturbing. The razor blade dildo scene deserves to be destroyed; it’s misogynistic, hateful, truly sickening and should never have been put in this film.

Shame on everyone who took part in it.

There are not many films I say this about, but this is actually unwatchable and two hours of it felt torturous.

I’d like to forget I ever saw it.

Parts Unknown is on US DVD/Digital now. A UK/ROI release has yet to be announced.