Indie flick Sweatshop spits at the concept of a tight script, making it one wacky, sleazy, disgusting, bizarro experience.
A bunch of punk rockers are preparing for a rave at an empty warehouse in which resides a big butcher wearing a welding helmet and carrying a huge meat tenderizer. He also has two friends—jump scare-ready crawling demon chicks that make the ladies from The Ring and The Grudge look like sweet virginal brides on their wedding night.
Plot and characterization are meaningless after the setup. This group of trippy, trashy punks just kills time, talking about filthy sexual situations, banging each other, drinking, and dancing. Totally makes me miss the club scene.
Adding to the gritty, direct-to-VHS vibe is the quirky, cartoonish, performances of all the actors. And while it’s refreshing to see a slovenly, chubby straight bear dude score some skanky sexy lesbian cream hole, the highlight is really this scumbag dude with a Mohawk….
He’s awesome. He fricking breakdances. He also has an aversion to anything oral beyond getting a blowjob, so it is a hoot watching him dodge a snowball and fear for his life when a chick tries to ride his face.
In between the partying fun, these kids start splitting up to explore the creepy warehouse with just flashlights. Out come the fucking demon bitches to snatch them…and bring them to the meat tenderizer! Sweatshop flips the bird at CGI, predominantly delivering real gore-ific effects depicting the kind of mutilation you’d enjoy when you’d step on a firefly as a kid then smear it across the ground to see the lovely streak of light.
The beautiful part of all the over-the-top massacre madness and less-than-human characters? There’s none of that hard-to-watch torture porn stuff that makes horror viewing an unpleasant experience. The good old-fashioned, obscene flesh pulverizing here makes you feel all warm inside and puts a smile on your face.
By the way, there’s no explanation for anything. We learn nothing about the demon bitches or the meat tenderizer. Not what they are, where they came from, why they do the things they do, or what’s under the welding mask. We just sit back and enjoy the violence and brutality.
We’re reminded of Texas Chainsaw Massacre during a psychotic table scene that is ten times more disgusting—and kind of funny (at the expense of the chubby straight bear dude, naturally). And as a special treat, the chase scene isn’t simply the final girl running for her life. Somehow, the party in the warehouse has started on its own, so the meat tenderizer just goes to town on everyone.
Sweatshop is grimy, dirty, gross, vicious, raunchy absurdity. If you’d rather skip it because you prefer a horror movie with some integrity…I’m so glad I’m not you.