Salvage: Fear Can Not Be Contained
Christmas Eve, and the residents of a quiet British cul-de-sac are suddenly plunged into a world of violence, terror and paranoia when a group of heavily armed military personnel storm their road ordering them at gunpoint to retreat inside their homes.
Unsure if this is the sign of a terrorist attack, or something much worse, one local mother finds it in herself to desperately fight to save her estranged daughter stranded across the street. However, with growing dread, the residents soon discover that the threat is more monstrous than any of them could possibly imagine, and survival is no longer a guarantee...
A stunning debut from director Lawrence Gough, featuring an award-winning cast (Neve McIntosh – Best Horror Actress at Fantastic Fest 2009), Salvage is a nail-biting exercise in sheer adrenaline-fuelled fear that will chill you to your very core.
TOMATOMETER 86% Critics | 20% Audience
Directed By: Lawrence Gough
Written By: Colin O'Donnell
In Theaters: Jun 21, 2009 Wide
On DVD: Jul 6, 2010v Runtime: 76 minutes
Studio: Revolver Entertainment
A movie review by John Chard
The Salvage Savage.
Salvage is directed by Lawrence Gough and written by Colin O’Donnell and Alan Patterson. It stars Neve McIntosh, Shaun Dooley and Linzey Cocker.
It’s Christmas Eve, The Wirral, Merseyside, and 14 year old Jodie is reluctantly spending Christmas with her estranged mother, Beth. But family strife is to be the last of their worries, for soon this small cul-de-sac in the North West of England will become a battle for survival as something is loose and on the kill, and the army has got itchy trigger fingers…
It’s perfectly understandable that some horror lovers come out of watching Salvage immensely disappointed at getting yet another spin on the “creature/infected human/zombie on the loose” formula. There’s nothing exactly fresh here in terms of plotting, but considering the minimalist budget and sparsity of production aids, first time director Lawrence Gough has done a bang up job with this picture. The suspense factor is high, where McIntosh’s (excellent) frantic mother tries to stay alive long enough to rescue her daughter from a house just across the road. Something which sounds simple in premise, but as the film unfolds, this proves to be a tense, fraught and nail biting mission. While the fact that the two main characters have been humanised, deep flaws and all, puts added spice to the survivalist horror.
As Mcintosh and Dooley (very good), the latter a one night stand liaison forced into the battle for survival along with some self examination, prowl around with fear and stoic bravado, themes of paranoia, prejudice and military over-kill slide easily alongside the jolts and blood. Nothing is crowbarred in here, the gore is kept in check and the politico rumblings remain just that, rumblings and not vociferous lectures over the loud speakers. The mystery element remains strong as well, where it’s so nice to see a fledgling director not playing the hand too early. Once the “reveal” comes we are in frantic territory as we literally hurtle through stalk the prey land and finish with a finale that is bleak and deserves credit for having the audacity.
It’s badly under valued on the big internet movie sites, which is a crying shame, because it is damned by familiarity of other genre pieces, where the low budget skill in the film making process doesn’t appear to be taken into consideration. No this is not a terrifying and breakneck paced picture, but it has its moments without doubt and certainly deserves better appraisal notices than those afforded the likes of Creep and the recently awful Storage 24. 7/10
NEVE MCINTOSH – BETH
Neve McIntosh trained at the Royal Scottish Academy of Music and Drama and began work in theatre productions with the RSC. Her feature film credits include Plunkett & Macleane, The Trouble with Men and Women and One Last Chance. She has won two Best Actress Awards for Salvage - at Austin's Fantastic Fest in September 2009 and Portugal's Fantasporto in 2010.
Her extensive television work has included the UK television series Psychos and Gormenghast opposite Jonathan Rhys Meyers. Her most recent appearance has been the female lead in the very successful series Bodies.
SHAUN DOOLEY – KIERAN
Since winning the Royal Television Society North Award for Best Actor for the military drama Mark of Cain, Shaun Dooley has appeared in several films including UK horrors Eden Lake and Salvage as well as Kandahar Break and the critically-accliamed Red Riding Trilogy.
His prolific Television appearances include roles on The Bill, Coronation Street, Eastenders, The Street and Holby City and he is currently appearing in ITV’s primetime drama Married Single Other as Eddie.
LINZEY CROCKER – JODIE
Hailing from Manchester, Linzey Cocker left school at the age of 16 to join the Laine Johnson Theatre School. Linzey has appeared in the feature films Wild Child and Is There Anybody There? Her appearances in UK TV series include Shameless, The Innocence Project and Drop Dead Gorgeous.
LAWRENCE GOUGH – DIRECTOR
Salvage marks Lawrence Gough’s debut feature film. He has previously directed some impressive short films through his company Hoax Films and UK Film Council, winning awards including Best in the Northwest and Best Drama, from the Cornerhouse Cinema. He trained as professional actor but his intentions have always been on directing feature films.
He is currently developing his latest film The Drought, an Ecological Horror, which is set in the UK during a global drought.
COLIN O’DONNELL – WRITER
Award-winning writer Colin O’Donnell was discovered during his Screen Writing MA, winning the 2003 Lynda La Plante writing award. As Story Editor for British soap Hollyoaks at Liverpool’s Lime Pictures, he was part of the winning team that scooped Best Storyline at the 2006 Soap Awards. Colin has written several thriller feature film scripts currently in development.
JULIE LAU – PRODUCER
Julie Lau has worked predominantly with digital projects and has a background in music videos. Most recently she worked as production manager on the feature film All Day And All Night. Her drama credits include Daydream and O Jerusalem.
ALAN PATTISON – ASSOCIATE PRODUCER
Manchester based Alan Pattison started out directing a wide variety of plays in Manchester theatre, including ‘King Lear’ at the Contact, ‘Rita, Sue and Bob Too’ at the Library, and ‘Abigail’s Party’ and ‘Endgame’ for the Green Room. In the last five years he has gone on to produce films with Lawrence Gough at Hoax Films.