Macabre…ish Horror Review: 31



31, 2016/ 1 hr 42 min


On Halloween 1976, a group of carnival workers, Panda (Lawrence Hilton-Jacobs), Levon (Kevon Jackson), Venus (Meg Foster) and Roscoe (Jeff Daniel Phillips) and Charly (Sherie Moon Zombie) are on a road trip.


On the road that evening, their way is blocked by scarecrows that are completely blocking the way thru. Upon trying to clear the road, they are attacked by people dressed like evil black and white striped bandits. Those who survived  are bound, gagged and driven to a big building and inside are three geriatrics in powdered wigs, dressed in full aristocrat regalia with fancy names to match: Sister Dragon (Judy Geeson), Sister Serpent (Jane Carr) and their leader, Father Napoleon-Horatio-Silas Murder (Malcolm McDowell).


This trio informs the kidnapped group that for the next 12 hours they will be playing a game called 31. The setting is a bunch of maze like rooms and in these rooms are clowns aka Heads and this group will have to defend themselves, even kill to survive. All they have to do is survive for 12 hours. Meanwhile, they have been assigned odds of survival.


First, they get a little taste of what they’ll be facing in the form of n-zi insignia covered little person known as Sick Head (Pancho Moler). And so the games begin, the group pick up anything they can find as weapons and wind through a maze of trash, staged corpses and Nazi memorabilia in disgusting abandoned, leaking remains of civilization.


Every surface is covered in filth and horror. Prior victims become part of the display or part of traps or both. And they are not all dead. Scattered throughout are traps.


And the whole place is wired for sound and video so the crazies can see the show. Every time one of them goes down, their odds are recalibrated. Plus every time a deranged clown goes down, they introduce more, brothers, Schizo Head (David Ury) and Psycho Head (Lew Temple). And then a Sex Head (E.G. Daily), a Death Head (Torsten Voges), Cherry Bomb (Ginger Lynn) and last but not least Doom Head (Richard Brake).


As time ticks down it all becomes more deranged and more dangerous. The likelihood of random kidnap victims surviving against seasoned killers is nil but it’s fun to watch and hope.

This is a Rob Zombie slasher and it is very graphic and extremely violent and gory. The physical effects are very well done. The kill effects and fight scenes are brutal and good. The entire movie is painful to watch. If you’re ever read the Dark Tower Series, this whole thing reminded me of Lud. A depraved dystopian nightmare and the movie could easily be a modern version of Lud.  This was good!