Blu-ray Review: Vile

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Taylor Sheridan is riding high with his creation Yellowstone the hot cable show since it debuted in 2018. He is co-creator, producer, showrunner, screenwriter and director of the series. He does everything on that show except act as Kevin Costner’s divorce lawyer. This was a big breakthrough for Sheridan who had been a guest actor for years starting with an episode of Walker, Texas Ranger. His script for Sicario made him a hot commodity in 2015. In 2017, he directed his script for Wind River and declared this his first directorial effort. This wasn’t quite true. Turns out in 2011, he took over the directing chores from a buddy before the shoot began for the low budget horror film Vile. He’s gone out of his way to declare that he just pointed and kept the camera rolling. He really doesn’t want anyone to think he creatively invested himself into this Saw-like film. He claims the director credit is just a thank you from his pal. The fact that Sheridan wants to disown his first feature film director’s credit makes me want to see Vile even more.

Tayler (Kyle XY‘s April Matson), Tony (Akeem Smith), Kai (Elisha Skorman), and Nick (Eric Ja Beck) have been having a fun weekend camping when they begin the drive home. While they’re filling up the tank, they run into Diane (Passions‘ McKenzie Westmore). She is filling up a gas can since her truck hit empty down the ride. Nick is cool with giving her a lift, but Tayler is hesitant. She loses the good Samaritan argument. When they drop Diane off, she offers to give them perfume samples. Whatever she lets them whiff knocks them out. The foursome wakes up in a locked-up house with four other people. Not only have they been kidnapped, but they also have a weird device attached to the back of their neck. A woman on a TV monitor informs them that they can be set free, but they need to work together. Turns out the devices collect a chemical given out when a person experiences overwhelming pain. The eight of them must collect a certain amount of the secretion to unlock the doors. They have only 22 hours to hit their goal or the device will explode and kill them. This kind of changes the attitude in the room. The 8 people have to figure out how to allow themselves to be tortured with random devices in the kitchen and other grubby rooms. They figure out a system so one person doesn’t all the pain. They’re yanking out fingernails, burning themselves with waffle irons and dunking body parts in boiling water. But how long can they endure the pain even if they swap off turns? And are they really going to get released when they generate enough pain to fill the vials attached to the device?

Vile came out in 2012 when the Saw franchise was taking a break after seven movies. There were horror fans eager to see another film about people getting stuck in a really bad situation. Vile does come up with a good reason as to why the abducted people have to go through such nasty incidents. They are working towards hitting a goal like a really disturbing charity event. The kitchen scenes are rather brutal. It will take make a few days to feel comfortable using my waffle iron.

Taylor Sheridan should be happy at his effort in the directing chair and embrace his first cinematic feature. Vile is not a miserable rip-off. We’re basically given a hideous escape room where instead of lame puzzles, they have to tear into body parts. Sheridan should be extremely happy that a distributor didn’t try to completely cash in on his newfound fame and re-issue the film under the title YellowSaw.

The Video is 1.85:1 anamorphic. The 1080p transfer lets you see how nasty the rooms are as the eight people torture each other. The Audio is Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround Sound. There’s also a 2.0 LPCM Stereo Sound. You’ll hear a lot of screaming. The movie is subtitled in English.

Deleted Scenes includes Drug Deal (2:24), Greg and Lisa (4:09) and Director Taylor Sheridan Mops Up The Aftermath (1:01). This last outtake proves Sheridan did more than point on the set.

Trailer Gallery includes Vile, Ghoulies, One Dark Night, Witchtrap and Swamp Thing.

MVD Marquee Collection presents Vile. Directed Taylor Sheridan. Screenplay by Eric Beck. Starring Eric Jay Beck, April Matson, Akeem Smith, Greg Cipes, Maya Hazen, Heidi Mueller, and McKenzie Westmore. Running Time is 88 minutes. Rating: Unrated. Release Date: October 24, 2023.

Joe Corey is the writer and director of "Danger! Health Films" currently streaming on Night Flight and Amazon Prime. He's the author of "The Seven Secrets of Great Walmart People Greeters." This is the last how to get a job book you'll ever need. He was Associate Producer of the documentary "Moving Midway." He's worked as local crew on several reality shows including Candid Camera, American's Most Wanted, Extreme Makeover Home Edition and ESPN's Gaters. He's been featured on The Today Show and CBS's 48 Hours. Dom DeLuise once said, "Joe, you look like an axe murderer." He was in charge of research and programming at the Moving Image Archive.