The Movie Waffler Dublin Horrorthon 2013 Review - Discopath | The Movie Waffler

Dublin Horrorthon 2013 Review - Discopath

A young man's murderous rage is fueled by disco beats.

Directed by: Renaud Gauthier, Marie-Claire Lalonde
Starring: Jeremie Earp-Lavergne, Catherine Antaki, Francois Aubin, Sandrine Bisson

It's 1976 and Duane Lewis (Earp-Lavergne), a shy young New York City fry cook, discovers disco music. The trouble is the music's 4/4 beat reminds him of his father's accidental death, which he witnessed as a child, and sends Duane into a psychotic rage. When a pretty college girl takes Duane to a city nightspot, he murders her under the raised dancefloor before fleeing on a flight across the border to Montreal. Cut to four years later and Duane is working as an electrician at a Catholic girls' school when his homicidal impulses are once again stirred, leading him to commit a series of murders in his adopted Canadian city.
Whenever I inform people of my love for horror movies they often expect me to also be a fan of Heavy Metal. Truth is I hate Metal, and most Rock music, and never understood why so many link it with horror movies. For me, the soundtrack of horror has always been Disco. No other musical genre comes close to equaling the seediness of horror and exploitation movies. Like horror, Disco is a much derided genre, usually by those who don't really understand it. They're also both aspects of popular culture that were targeted by conservatives who saw them as threatening the downfall of society. At the same time as slasher movies were being banned under the UK Video Nasties act, right-wing types Stateside were burning disco records at mass gatherings in baseball stadiums. Disco and horror make a great match so it's strange it took so long for someone to put the two together.
What raises 'Discopath' above the level of other recent Grindhouse spoof/homages, like 'Hobo With a Shotgun' or 'Machete', is the genuine affection and understanding of the source material. Gauthier and Lalonde have delivered a film that sticks to the rules of the early eighties Canadian slasher, embracing the good, the bad and the awful of this sub-genre. This isn't the romanticized view of exploitation movies that you might expect from the likes of Tarantino or Rodriguez; 'Discopath' could genuinely be mistaken for a product of 1980. This means it's clunky as hell, it's got French-Canadians attempting and failing at New York accents and it feels like a film financed by a mob boss looking to make a quick buck. This level of accuracy means the audience for 'Discopath' lies among those of us who appreciate this sort of trash, as opposed to smart-asses looking for a cheap laugh at the horror genre's expense.
The music choices show a real understanding of Disco. Names like Cerrone and Katy Diamond probably won't mean anything to most viewers but they gave this hardcore Disco lover a warm glow. I thoroughly recommend this for fans of either slasher movies and Disco grooves, but if you're a fan of both you'll really have a blast with 'Discopath'.

Eric Hillis