DVD Review: Scavengers

Travis Zariwny, the man who served as production designer on a number of genre pictures (Hatchet III and Behind the Mask: The Rise of Leslie Vernon) directs his first feature length project, Scavengers. While there is clearly a lot of passion gone into Zariwny’s debut this is overshadowed by cheap effects, hammy performances, and a flat script.

Scavengers sees two rival space debris hunters who find their paths collide as they fight over possession of a staggeringly powerful alien device. The film stars Roark Critchlow, Jeremy London, Louise Linton, and perhaps its biggest draw Sean Patrick Flanery.

Whilst this is of course a modestly budgeted independent feature one cannot expect the special effects that we may be accustomed to seeing on the big screen. However, Scavengers falls below the bare minimum standard of straight-to-DVD effects work – with the film’s exterior space shots looking like they have been crafted using Microsoft Paint. Fortunately, the film’s interiors look more convincing with Zariwny capturing the typical industrial aesthetic that we commonly see within the genre. 
Unfortunately Scavengers’ narrative does not improve much on the visuals, presenting us with a story bogged down by phony technical jargon – so much so that it is likely to make you lose interest fast. Not only will viewers be lost by the film’s incomprehensible technical dialogue, but it appears the cast are too – with most lacking any true commitment to what they are actually saying. This bogged down screenplay prevents us from relating to or connecting with any of the players’ human characteristics – subsequently furthering the general tedium of Scavengers.
Whilst Flanery is most likely to be the biggest draw for direct to DVD connoisseurs, the actor flies through the feature on autopilot for the most part. However his hammy Southern accent does prove to be the most engaging element of Scavengers. The remainder of the cast fail to make huge impression, however, through no fault of their own – his can mainly be blamed on Scavenger’s flat screenplay and distracting effects.

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