Discopath (Renaud Gauthier, 2013) – For most people, hearing disco music pumping through the speakers inspires most people to get up, boogie and dance the night away or giggle and remember how silly the 70s were…most people that is. Discopath is blood spattered ode to the giallo and indie horror of the 1970’s and early 80’s and it’s a hell of a lot of fun.
It’s the mid-70’s and a timid young New Yorker is living a timid and uneventful life working as a short order cook, but he has a dark secret that stems from a traumatic childhood. It’s only exposed whenever he hears disco music, though. Whenever he hears it, he transforms into a serial killing maniac. He flees from to New York to Montreal to get away from the music, but years later it catches up to him and the mayhem starts in earnest all over again.
A smash on the festival circuit and one of the better Canadian indies released last year, Discopath is a slice of indie horror gold that balances shocks with deadpan period hilarity. It’s so easy for low budget period pieces to look cheap, Gauthier and his team take great care in making this look and feel as authentic as they can. Shot in a stylish haze, he makes the film as if it was shot on celluloid even though we know it couldn’t have been. The set and costume design is spot on and the tone is exactly what it needs to be. Gauthier gets the narrative to where it needs to at a healthy, brisk pace balancing the gore and the horror with the hilarity and outlandishness of it all. It never leans too much on any one side of the coin. It’s matched to a tee with a musical score of generic sounding disco music that feels like the real deal.
Special features on the DVD include a feature length commentary track with Gauthier, co-star Ivan Freud, and composer Bruce Cameron, and a Behind the Scenes documentary about the making of the film. (Dave Voigt)