The Shaft, a straight-to-video release (that took a couple years to see the light of day in the States) is a slasher movie, except with a twist – the killer is…an elevator!
It’s an inherently silly premise which doesn’t have to prevent it from being an enjoyable B-movie. There’s a promising jokey tone early, best demonstrated while the film cuts from a tragic accident involving pregnant women to eggs sizzling on a hotplate. There’s tonnes of clunky dialogue – “I need 400 words by six. Make it juicy!” “…I’ll pee on them.” (Nope, that doesn’t make more sense in context) – I’m actually surprised that it doesn’t include any lines analogous to “He just got …the shaft!”
The film features a surprisingly solid cast slumming it, including Ron Perlman, a conspicuously villainous Michael Ironside and Naomi Watts, doing her damnedest to elevate (excuse the pun) the material.
You might have got the impression that this film is a bit of silly fun. It certainly had that potential, but instead it’s an interminable slog, feeling every one of its 110 minutes. The occasional so-bad-it’s-good moments are too few and far between for me to do anything other than recommend you skip this ride.
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