RATLINE (2011)

…a plethora of head and neck trauma…





The less you know about RATLINE going in, the better off you’ll be.


Though the acting is solid, the story compelling, and there’s plenty of action to go around, I think what drives RATLINE is the atmosphere of mystery that surrounds it. I’m not just talking about the central focus of the film – which is, in and of itself, mysterious – but more the seemingly random elements that drive the characters, and ultimately, connect them. It’s a well-crafted puzzle, and one that shouldn’t be ruined.


With that in mind, I’m keeping the plot synopsis fairly vague. First and foremost, I don’t want to ruin the film for potential viewers. Secondly, writing plot synopses sucks ass. That’s just scientific fact, Bastards.


A typical night bowling.


Crystal and Kim are on the lam, both from the authorities, as well as some pissed-off thugs. The ladies are sisters who share a mother, but not a father. The only reason I bring this up is because “sisters from another father” doesn’t roll off the tongue like “brothers from another mother.” Just food for thought.


Anyway, our fugitives decide to hole up in Small Town, USA – keep a low profile, gather their thoughts, and consider their next move. They rent a room from Penny, an innocent local gal, whose grandfather happens to be the City Commissioner. Little do they know, there’s also a third stranger passing through, with a past even more nefarious than their own. When their paths inevitably cross, the results could be cataclysmic.


“I’m sorry, Mr. Roth, but I refuse to watch HOSTEL 2 again. You’ll just have to gut me.”


The Wicked Pixel standards are all present and accounted for: strong direction, sharp performances from the whole cast (especially Haack and Christ, both genre stalwarts), and enough of the gore and general nastiness you come to expect from our good friends in St. Louis. What I found surprising, however, was Stanze’s eye for cinematography. From establishing shots of Oktoberfest and the town, to quiet cemetery scenes (which, not being a big Joy Division fan, normally don’t do anything for me), to twilight (I’m talking about the fucking time of day), RATLINE is shot beautifully (which is kinda hilarious, considering the amount of decapitation depicted).


And for those worried I might be riding our Featured Filmmaker’s jock (which I’m not, unless he takes me out for a nice dinner), I do have one minor complaint: Though the relatively complex storyline is one of RATLINE’s prominent strengths, I felt some of the relationships between the characters (which, again, are essential to the plot, and something I don’t want to spoil) were a little underdeveloped. There’s a huge reveal towards the end, a fight, then basically the movie’s over. It just felt a bit rushed. Or perhaps this merely indicated I wasn’t ready for RATLINE to end. On second thought, maybe I am riding Mr. Stanze’s jock.


“No prisoner escapes from Stalag 13!”


All in all, RATLINE is a movie that needs to be on your radar. Supporting independent filmmakers is a great thing, but supporting independent films that are fucking awesome is a horse of a different color.


Buy RATLINE. Fucking today.


Highlights include: New stock footage, a plethora of head and neck trauma, chicks making out, moody night shots, the fact that everything occurs during Oktoberfest (it’ll make sense when you see it), the Schlong of Christ (compels you), a villainous bait ‘n’ switch, a casual disembodied head toss, incredibly lame satanists (as opposed to myself, an incredibly cool satanist), and last but not least, the only thing cooler than Naked Dancing Girl During Credits – pre-credit nudity!


Ms. Haack after she catches me creeping around her backyard. Again.


Check out Eric Stanze, one of our Featured Filmmakers:




Twitter: @Hyata74


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