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  Directed by
  • Widescreen 1.78:1
  • 16:9 Enhanced
  • English: Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround
  • French: Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround
  • German: Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround
    English, French, German, Czech, Greek, Polish, Hungarian, Dutch, English - Hearing Impaired, German - Hearing Impaired, French - Hearing Impaired


    Universal/Universal . R4 . COLOR . 86 mins . M15+ . PAL


    Is there any better guarantee that a sci-fi film is gonna be rubbish than knowing it was made for recent U.S. cable television? Ultra low budgets, no-name actors, shitty stories, bad acting, shoddy effects, lame dialogue, limp action, stupid characters, clichéd developments, generic scores, desperate padding, cheap sets - I could go on and on...

    So I will. There’s also bad lighting, lazy cinematography, crummy direction and obvious commercial break points. I could still go on, but my microwave burrito is ready -

    Mmm... delicious.

    And so the latest piece of junk to foul up my screen and taint my eyeballs is Encrypt. This pointless title masks a seriously idiotic story that simply makes no sense at all. Set in the future, the world has been decimated by war and people are reduced to camps of survivors struggling for survival. While most of civilisation goes hungry and is reduced to gangs hunting down food and basic necessities such as a moisturiser that cleans and nourishes in a single wash, there are still some mega-rich and powerful individuals, in particular, one Anton Reich.

    This Anton Reich, he’s a cultured and intelligent bugger who’s right into the finer things in life. We know this because when we first meet him he’s conducting an imaginary orchestra. He then asks the nearest person whether he likes Bach and mentions how his peers “considered him to be the supreme master of counterpoint, best evidenced by his toccata and fugue in D minor”. Erm, right. “My cat's breath smells like cat food” as Ralph Wiggum would say. Wannabe scriptwriters take note; if you want to establish very quickly that a character is intelligent, powerful and rich, have him conduct an imaginary orchestra and mention the inverse tonality of glockenspiels. This also works for establishing characters who have bipolar disorder, are psychotic, actually are conductors or play the glockenspiel inversely.

    It turns out that Anton isn’t just a music loving repressed homosexual with a thesaurus, he actually has a plan to ‘liberate’ some major artworks from a heavily protected mansion nearby. To this end he recruits super tough good guy, Garth (Grant Show) which is a name just oozing with macho testosterone. If you’ll recall, Show used to be a himbo on Melrose Place but died of tofu poisoning while sleeping with his sister who was really his brother. Note to scriptwriters; to quickly establish how much of a bad-ass the good guy is, have him appear mysteriously in the beginning of the film, preferably standing atop a dumpster, with lots of smoke wafting across the screen. And call him Garth.

    Garth agrees to the lead the mission, in exchange for all the food, medicine and taped episodes of Dr. Quinn, Medicine Woman his people can carry. So, with an assembled team of experts (electronics, explosives, sniper, interior decorating) they enter the mansion and must fend off attacks from the deadly high tech automated security system that the late owner had installed before his death. These include an attractive talking hologram that bores you to death, remote controlled toys that chase you, a big number puzzle and a super cheap Predator knockoff that is indestructible yet is easily defeated with a fire extinguisher and some batteries.

    Along the way, besides losing most of the team to the security measures, Garth learns the true nature of his mission, which is the most insanely pointless and idiotic thing I’ve ever seen in a film and I won’t discuss here, except to say that it makes no sense at all and should prevent the creator of this gem from ever working again. More importantly, Garth also learns that love and companionship is a very important thing and that if you think your wife and child might be dead but you’re not 100% certain, then you should just give up all hope and try to bonk the first Asian looking hologram you see.

    You think I’m kidding, don’t you? Stupid you.


    This has much in common with the look of Webs, which is yet another masterwork of cable television science fiction. I’m guessing it was shot the same way on the same stock, and probably used the same crew. The 16:9 enhanced, 1.78:1 picture is dark, flat and lifeless, the lighting not helping to add any depth to the sets with shadows compressed and free from detail. It’s not an attractive looking picture in any way, but at least it isn’t riddled with problems or anything distracting in the transfer to DVD.


    Even though it comes with a Dolby Digital 5.1 mix at 348kbps, this does the bare minimum necessary to convey the important fact that it does actually have sound. Or maybe I’m just being harsh because this proves that a bad film isn’t made any better by a good mix. But that doesn’t mean this has a good mix, just a very ordinary one, but nonetheless it gets its point across in a workmanlike fashion that won’t bother you greatly. Confused? Don’t be, I’m just an idiot.




    Harsh? I think not. Doth this fillum deserve a more balanced approach to reviewing, taking into consideration the targeted market and the budgetary limitations? Arse it does! Encrypt is encrap, and you should not waste your money on it in any way shape or form.

    In fact, after a little bit of research, I dug up that the teleplay was indeed co-written by the guy who wrote the teleplay for Webs. Not only that, but the bastard also has a film called Bugs under his belt as well. What will that be about I wonder? Killer bugs take over the world? Bugs go mad, grow four heads and eat all the children on Earth, then Richard Grieco has to save us? Bugs that look like Richard Grieco invade Earth and demand a new spinoff from 21 Jump Street? I just don’t know. But one thing I do know is this, based upon his output so far, I guarantee it will be shit.

    This is Vincent Carrozza reporting from the trenches for DVDnet. Goodnight.

  • LINK: http://www.dvd.net.au/review.cgi?review_id=3946
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      And I quote...
    "...if you think your wife and child might be dead but you’re not 100% certain, then you should just give up all hope and try to bonk the first Asian looking hologram you see."
    - Vince Carrozza
      Review Equipment
    • DVD Player:
          Sony DVP-NS730P
    • TV:
          Philips 55PP8620
    • Receiver:
          Sony STR-DB1070
    • Speakers:
          Wharfedale s500
    • Centre Speaker:
          Polk Audio CS245
    • Surrounds:
          Wharfedale WH-2
    • Subwoofer:
          DB Dynamics TITAN
    • Audio Cables:
          Standard Optical
    • Video Cables:
          Standard Component RCA
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