The Belko Experiment bashes its way onto Blu Ray and DVD on June 27, 2017, and it is hands down a thing of violent beauty.
The film, written by James Gunn, centers around a group of Americans working in an office building in Colombia. They arrive for work one day and soon after they get down to business, they find themselves locked inside with no escape as a voice over the building’s PA system instructs them to kill or be killed. Naturally, at first they think it’s a sick joke, but they soon find themselves in a fight for survival that would make William Golding proud.
I recently had the opportunity to chat with director Greg McLean about this corporate Lord of the Flies, and he was excited to talk about how the film came to be and what he has in store for its audience.
“James wrote the script several years ago, but it ended up being shelved,” McLean explained. “He went on to become a superstar with Guardians of the Galaxy of course, and a few years later, someone asked if he’d be interested in coming back to Belko.”
Gunn jumped at the opportunity to make the film but he had two conditions: 1) He got to pick the director and 2) there could be no restrictions on how hardcore violent the film could be. They had no arguments and before long McLean found himself with the script and pitching his ideas to Gunn on how he’d like to make the film.
“I felt like we had to use a counterpoint in the film,” he says. ‘The kind of thing we saw Kubrick use a lot. Have extremes between the form and content really creates an interesting effect. By pairing this crazy violence with really beautiful music and lighting it almost makes that violence a little more palatable. I wanted to see if we could make a very violent action movie that could be emotionally charged and fun, as well.”
It was a very thin line, the director admits, but one he ultimately walks well. The film is filled with violence that is over the top (they are killing each other with supplies you can find in an office building after all), but at the same time I found myself genuinely involved in what these characters were going through and that involvement makes each death more intense.
Each shot is beautifully rendered and acted by a superb cast including John Gallagher, Jr. Tony Goldwyn, Melonie Diaz and Adria Arjona alongside James Gunn film regulars like Michael Rooker and Sean Gunn. The score also stands out here with pop songs like “I Will Survive” and “California Dreamin'” translated into Spanish alongside the music of Dvorak and Tchaikovsky.
The director also manipulates color masterfully in the film.
“I think the key was trying to take the film from sort of normality to surrealism,” he confessed. “By the time you get to the third act, what happened has been so crazy that now you have these very vivid pinks and reds and blues. It reflects the insanity so well.”
When all of the elements come together, The Belko Experiment shines. This a movie that is not only extremely violent, but also extremely funny. You will laugh, gasp, cover your eyes, and hold your breath at regular intervals.
Check out the trailer below and pick up a copy of The Belko Experiment on DVD and Blu Ray on June 27, 2017!