Movie Review: HIGH VOLTAGE (Blu-ray Combo Pack)

HIGH VOLTAGE (fka Hollow Body) was written, produced and directed by Alex Keledjian and stars David ArquetteAllie Gonino, Ryan Donowho, Perrey Reeves and Luke Wilson. Keledjian also wrote the soundtrack for the movie that was also produced by Michael D. Jones, Ryan Gibson, Dwjuan Fox and Mitch Waxman.

A struggling rock band, led by washed-out rock star Jimmy Kleen (David Arquette), strikes a deal with cynical record executive Rick (Luke Wilson). Things take a sinister turn when the band’s lead singer, Rachel (Allie Gonino), and her controlling stage mother, Barb (Perrey Reeves) both get struck by lightning and killed. Rachel is brought back to life, but she is different than before: confident, sexy, with an irresistible stage presence. Lightning courses through her veins and she uses her new supernatural electrical powers to drain the life from men and turn it into electrifying stage performances. Her bandmates, including guitarist Scott (Donowho), discover her dark secret, and have to decide just how far are they are willing to let her go to help them succeed. As Jimmy says, “You can’t have rock n’ roll without electricity.”

Rachel and Scott meet Jimmy at his 50th birthday party one night and when the washed-up rockstar discovers that Scott can write songs and play guitar and that Rachel has a unique singing voice, he has a brainstorm and quickly forms a band with them. The newly formed Hollow Body definitely has some potential and Jimmy even talks his old record exec friend, Rick into giving them a deal. What happens is, when the shy singer gets struck by lightning and miraculously returns from the dead, she becomes a completely different person who’s desire for the spotlight and thirst for the human soul turns her into a sexy, cold-blooded killer. Rachel has a thing for Scott but he’s married and doesn’t have much interest in her except for the band part but that doesn’t stop her from trying to come between the guitar player and his wife. Jimmy on the other hand shows he’ll do anything for a last chance at stardom because he turns a blind eye at just about everything the wild child does. She’s got the looks, she’s got the voice, but she also has a kiss that kills and unfortunately this electrifying new gift also becomes the bands unfortunate demise.

High Voltage is all about the performances. David Arquette did a really good job with his performance as this washed-up rock star who becomes a desperate mentor of sorts for the other two leads. Arquette also serves as the narrator of the story as everything unfolds until the shocking conclusion. Ryan Donowho’s grounded character is kind of the stable one of the trio who gets sucked into this nightmarish rock ‘n roll fantasy. His character is married and has a kid but he can’t walk away from the stage which sadly leads to his undoing. Now to Allie Gonino who delivers as this cute, shy girl that turns into a beautiful, electrifying monster after lightning strikes her. It’s like she had to play two completely different characters in the movie and delivered on point. Let’s just say she delivered an electrifying performance as this twisted character. Luke Wilson fans take note that he just shows up in a cameo type of role in this sci-fi thriller but most of the scenes he’s in are a lot of fun.

The packaging comes with a slipcover/o-card. The front features the artwork you see at the top of the page and the back includes movie details, some images and list of special features. Each disc also features some artwork that matches the front cover. Inserting the disc, the menu screen was simple and easy to navigate. The picture and sound quality for the high-definition disc were crisp and clear. The picture and sound quality for the standard-definition disc were really good. I didn’t have any issues with the video and audio.

Bottom line is, High Voltage is one of those movies that had so much potential because of its uniqueness but falls a little short because of its execution and budget restraints. I will add that this movie is Alex Keledjian’s directorial debut so he gets a pass because there is so much potential here. The story is extremely interesting and I really liked how the music was inserted into the mix because it’s an important part of the story – just as much as the three main characters are. The movie is a sci-fi thriller that has elements of horror throughout the watch because when this girl kills, her victims become crispy fried figures and it’s not a pretty sight. With that mentioned, there’s also some visual effects to go along with the vicious killer that’s complimented by some practical effects. The SFX could have looked better but this is a low budget indie movie so it is what it is. High Voltage isn’t a great watch but it is an ambitious effort that does have its moments and it offers up something a little new for cinephiles. High Voltage is now available on a Blu-ray Combo Pack (plus DVD and Digital).

Distributor: SP Releasing

Run Time: 91 Minutes

Rated: Not Rated

Blu-ray Video: 1080p High-Definition Widescreen (2.35:1)

Blu-ray Audio: English DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 and 2.0

DVD Video: Anamorphic Widescreen (2.35:1)

DVD Audio: English Dolby Digital 5.1

Subtitles: English

Special Features: The only extras on the Blu-ray release is some audio commentary


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