HTS Moderator , Reviewer
Title: Skin Traffik
HTS Overall Score:58
I have a distinct weakness for low budget martial arts films. I grew up on Cannon films and other B-grade cinema that excelled at showing fantastic marital arts with little to no plot. So I wasn’t really shocked that Alchemy’s new release of “Skin Traffik” was a bit underdeveloped on the plot side of things. Unfortunately the rest of the movie wasn’t very fun either. The martial arts is chopped to bits thanks to the wonders of quick cut editing (even though Gary Daniels is a very talented martial artist), and the camera work for the rest of the film is amateurish and rather bland.
Bradley (Gary Daniels) is a hit man with a conscience. He knows what he does isn’t exactly a kosher living, but he makes sure that the people he’s assigned to kill REALLY need to die. After accidentally killing the innocent daughter of a scumbag (played by a VERY puffy, wig wearing Mickey Rourke), Bradley disappears off the map for good. Years later he surfaces living in London, making do the best he can without causing any trouble. When he sees a bunch of pimps beating up and abusing the hookers he passes by on his way home every day, Bradley decides enough is enough.
Tearing into the punks like paper, he rescues the hooker, only to find out that the rabbit hole goes MUCH deeper than anticipated. His old boss betrays him to the syndicate that is running the human trafficking trade, and he’s running for his life. Finding the person responsible ends up being a double bluff, as it seems that those who are protecting him, and those who are trying to kill him very well be one and the same group of people. Now Bradley is going to do what he does best. Get rid of the scum population by a few more heads.
I didn’t really expect a whole lot from “Skin Traffik”, but was a little disappointed by what I saw even thus. Gary Daniels has always been a rather emotionless actor, and there’s nothing new here. He fights, he shoots, and he displays some awesome martial arts skill. Too bad that a lot of his skill is hidden behind a bunch of quick cuts and fast edits that many times don’t feel natural. Another surprise was seeing a hose of fairly big name former stars. Daryl Hannah, Mickey Rourke, Michael Madsen, Eric Robert, the list goes on. Not surprisingly, they really are only in there for glorified cameos. Well, except for Eric Roberts, who gets to have it up to level 11 at every turn. He even gets to walk around one handed shooting a desert eagle 50 caliber pistol!
Rated R for violence throughout, language, sexual material and some drug content
[img]http://www.hometheatershack.com/gallery/file.php?n=57017[/img]“Skin Traffik” comes to DVD with a fairly middling 2.39:1 encoded transfer. The digital photography tends to look a bit flat, and unfortunately changes coloring, detail and tone depending on the shot. It appears to have been shot with several different camera types, as differing shots can look rather drastically opposite. Sometimes the image is crisp and clear, with a slightly yellowish hue, and other times it’s flat and bland, or even washed out and slightly noisy. Fine detail is inconsistent, but usually pretty good, but black levels suffer the most as they are consistently crushed throughout the entire movie, even showing some washed out levels in spots. A majority of the film looks rather good, but the changing quality of shots makes for a bit of a distracting viewing.
[img]http://www.hometheatershack.com/gallery/file.php?n=57025[/img]The 5.1 audio track for the film is about the same quality. Dialog is usually good, locked up front and legible. However there are times when the vocals fade a bit and get overwhelmed by the score. Action scenes have some nice impact to them, with strong sounds of fists and feet hitting flesh and bone. I actually find this a bonus, but gunshots actually sound like GUNSHOTS, instead of high powered cannons that they usually are dubbed in with for most films. LFE is tight and has some serious boom to it, but mainly adds weight to the score since the gunshots are more realistic and there’s not any major explosions except for the final battle. Surrounds are used pretty solidly, but there’s not a whole lot going on back there but some mild ambiance and said score that pounds away the whole movie.
“Skin Traffik” was never destined to be anything but a B movie due to the actors and director involved, but I was hoping for a bit more fun than was presented here. Gary Daniels is a talented martial artist for sure, but “Skin Traffik’s” low budget and poor cinematography hampered an otherwise palatable idea. The only redeeming qualities the film has is the hand to hand martial arts sequences, and even that is less than ideal due to the funky editing. Audio and video are decent, but not great, and extras are relegated to a few measly previews. Skip It.
Starring: Dove Cameron, Ryan McCartan, Katherine McNamara
Director: Ara Paiaya
Written By: Ara Paiaya, Adam Davidson
Aspect Ratio: 2.39:1 MPEG2
Audio: English: Dolby Digital 5.1, English DD 2.0
Runtime: 97 Minutes
DVD Release Date: October 13th, 2015
Buy Skin Traffick DVD on Amazon
Recommendation: Skip It
More about Mike