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Written and directed by Paul Tanter

A supermarket manager awakens with a bloody face, hooked up to a lie detector and with an unmanned double barrelled shotgun pointing straight at his face. A deep voice over the tanoy instructs him to “tell the truth, shame the devil”, that he will be asked a series of questions and he must answer truthfully to live. If he lies, the shotgun will discharge. The scene quickly becomes a murder investigation where New Scotland Yard detective James attempts to piece together what little clues he has. As more deaths occur in the same manner, two of which James is present at, the detective is stuck off the case as a potential suspect. Still eager to solve the crime and find the serial killer, James flies to New York to visit an old flame who may just have the skills required to profile this homicidal maniac and stop them once and for all.

SHAME THE DEVIL is a horror thriller in the veign of James Wan’s SAW fom British director Paul Tanter, who directed the fine White Collar Hooligan amongst other London crime movies. Though this film obviously takes inspiration from SAW with it’s truth or lie death games, the film is not nearly as clever nor gruesome as the horror favourite.

Tanter regulars Peter Barrett and Simon Phillips star as supermarket manager John and police detective James respectively. Whilst Barrett’s screentime is short-lived, Phillips leads the mystery plot with death seeming to lurk behind him at every step of the way. His own private life seems full of secrets too, those he wishes to keep from his wife and mother of his unborn child, Kellie (Lucy Clements). His decision to seek aid from old flame Sarah (Juliette Bennett) in America doesn’t go down very well with Kellie, and neither would it too with his bosses if they were to find out. Will de Meo stars as Lee, James’ protege at New Scotland Yard, whilst Peter Woodward, son of The Wicker Man‘s Edward Woodward, puts in a great dramatic performance as Doctor West.

Whilst the film is shot well enough, it’s the story that seems to struggle, both in script and plot. Questionable actions are taken in the movie that don’t seem to be realistic and a major plot thread doesn’t seem to sew itself up by the final scene, leaving viewers to scratch their head and wonder if they’ve accidentally missed something. A lack of tension and believability leaves SHAME THE DEVIL a struggle to enjoy which is a shame as the opener had potential.

Rating: ★★★★★☆☆☆☆☆

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About Bat 4385 Articles
I love practical effects, stop-motion animation and gore, but most of all I love a good story! I adore B-movies and exploitation films in many of their guises and also have a soft spot for creature features. I review a wide range of media including movies, TV series, books and videogames. I'm a massive fan of author Hunter S. Thompson and I enjoy various genre of videogames with Kingdom Hearts and Harvest Moon two of my all time favs. Currently playing: The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt, Yakuza Zero and Mafia III.

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