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Salvage (DVD Review)

6 Jun, 2010 By: Erik Gruenwedel

Prebook 6/8/10; Street 7/6/10
$19.98 DVD
Not rated.
Stars Neve McIntosh, Shaun Dooley, Linzey Cocker.

With Liverpool the birthplace of The Beatles, among other attributes, the 803-year-old city is a top tourist destination and was touted European Union (EU) City of Culture 2008.

As one of three films earmarked to celebrate the honor, low-budget Salvage puts a macabre twist on the theme of unwanted visitors to a quiet middle-class cul-de-sac on the seaward side of town.

Slightly annoyed Jodie (Linzey Cocker) is spending Christmas with her estranged mother Beth (Neve McIntosh), a situation exasperated when the teen arrives early and finds the mother having sex with a stranger (Shaun Dooley), who we find out later has a name (Kieran) and is, of course, married. Jodie storms across the street to a neighbor’s house pursued by her hastily dressed mother looking to apologize. Unable to convince her daughter to come out, Beth’s return is interrupted by a band of heavily armed soldiers ordering everyone back into their homes.

With Kieran in the shower washing off the “evidence,” Beth watches out the window in horror as the soldiers shoot and kill her knife-wielding Middle Eastern neighbor, Mr. Sharma. Panic and paranoia quickly set in as neighbors, unnerved by TV news reports about a washed-up cargo container on the beach two miles away (and unable to get cell phone connections) are convinced they are in the middle of a terrorist attack.

Undeterred, Beth climbs through her attic into Sharma’s home, a blood-spattered ransacked mess of a place with mutilated Mrs. Sharma at ground zero of the carnage.

Of course, Beth and Kieran soon discover that perceived terrorism is the least of their worries as the mayhem and bloodshed ratchets up in convincing fashion.

Salvage works on many levels, its main characters undeniably flawed but redeemable.

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