Director – Renaud Gauthier
Cast – Jeremie Earp, Sandrine Bisson, Ivan Freud, Francois Aubin, Ingrid Falaise
UK DVD Release – May 4th 2015 from Metrodome.
The début feature of Renaud Gauthier, Discopath centres around Jeremie Earps character Duane Lewis, a New York cook who goes insane any time he hears the low bass of the latest disco hit. The film is geared towards the horror gorehound who like their films low budget and their gore full on. I could see Discopath playing local horror film festivals and midnight madness style presentations.
Jeremie Earp plays Duane Lewis a sexually inexperienced New York short order cook where everybody’s accents play quick and loose with the location, sometimes slipping into a little bit of Canadian ‘eh!’ belying its actual shooting location. After getting fired and killing a lip smacking ‘lady of the night’, the opening scenes play out quick and fast setting the story out well, as the film and our main character hotfoots it to Montreal.
In Montreal, taking a new identity, and starting work as a handyman in an all girls school, he wears a hearing aid to fend off the incessant drone of the disco filled hallways. At this point, we learn that our character got his perversions from a childhood electrocution involving his father. Gauthier revels in the decadence of the 70’s with sharp suits and the latest fashions, but, as limited budgets go, the same song plays multiply times on the soundtrack (Walter Murphy Bands ’76’ if you are wondering pop pickers).
A favourite scene involves two local high school girls just about to strip down and get experimenting with kissing when Duane intervenes and decides to take the phrase ‘music from the heart’ a little bit too literal, using the vinyl of the day to make you squirm in your seat as the claret flows.
The film does have some flaws though and this comes in the way of two cops who give line readings so stiff they are practically suffering from rigor mortis. This takes away from the horror and at times feel semi-comical, making the film lose its way a little. The main aspect of the film that really worked was the score. Not being a lover of Disco (except for the excellent ‘I Was Made For Loving You’ by Kiss, which is included here) the score by Bruce Cameron is so John Carpenter it hurts and that’s a positive, the moody synth permeates most scenes and really works for the tone and look .
At the outset I thought it would be a chore to get through, but I really enjoyed Discopath and congratulate the filmmakers who had a good sense of story and never tried to pad out the length, so coming in at a perfect 75 minutes it doesn’t feel overly long or outstay its welcome.