The Violent Kind (2011)

The Violent Kind is sharp, fast-paced, bonkers, weird, unexpected and – yes – violent. It is also very surprising; surprisingly good, surprisingly likeable and features some genuinely surprising twists and turns. It is a unique and very enjoyable horror / sci-fi film that confuses, amazes and compels. Quality stuff.

Young biker / mechanic / criminal Cody (Cory Knauf) is part of a small American biker gang and they are partying in a secluded woodland house when his ex-girlfriend Michelle (Tiffany Shepis) appears out of the darkness, bloodied and deranged. Her new boyfriend is dead and they’re stranded in the middle of nowhere; for some reason their vehicles won’t start and their mobile phones are going haywire… and there are people hiding in the woods… people in sharp suits and rockabilly quiffs.

Part of me wants to write more about the Plot, but doing so would only spoil the surprise. And surprising it is. The Violent Kind will go places you’d never expect it to, especially considering the first twenty minutes is “biker bad asses break noses, mend cars, get drunk and watch strippers”.

It is a cunning, twisting little tale that throws you in one direction before wrenching you back towards another. If you know the plot already – or have any prior knowledge of the twists – then the impact of The Violent Kind will perhaps be less strong. Ignore the marketing, avoid the blurb and watch it fresh. It’s an enjoyable, bonkers discovery.

The Violent Kind comes from the minds of The Butcher Brothers (Mitchell Altieri and Phil Flores) and they make effective use of the talents used in their previous projects, with excellent turns from Cory Knauf, Joe Egender and Taylor Cole. Whereas their other work has been hit and miss – the awkward but intense The Hamiltons and the dire April Fool’s Day remake – they have certainly proven themselves with The Violent Kind and it’s a quality piece of work.

Although I singled out the three actors above, everyone involved in The Violent Kind puts in solid, memorable performances, and the insanely prolific horror actress Tiffany Shepis does especially well in a brave and crazy role.

The soundtrack is superb – filled with punky, rocky songs that firmly compliment the action – the violence is bloody and raw, the script tightly written and the direction stylish and very disciplined. It is a finely crafted horror film that offers a mad 18 certificate violent romp and provides it with glee.

There are flaws within The Violent Kind; some of the CGI blood / gore is noticeably distracting, the make-up occasionally “Halloween party” amateur and a random fight in the middle of the film seems entirely unnecessary, but these are minor quibbles. Some audiences may find this film simply “too odd” to cope with, as it doesn’t precisely spell out what’s happening… in any way. Confusing, baffling and featuring a crazy ending, this film is certainly not for everyone. But it was for me – very much so.

The Violent Kind is a brutal, bloody, bonkers and brilliant horror film. Laced with intrigue, pumped with an excellent soundtrack and well acted by everyone involved, this is a surprising little gem from The Butcher Brothers. Some people will find it aggravating and confusing, but most will thoroughly enjoy it. The Violent Kind is a bloody good surprise.

Rating: ★★★★★★★★☆☆

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