Botched (2007) – By Nic Brown

 You ever had a bad day? Sure you have, everyone has some bad luck sometimes. Unfortunately for professional thief Ritchie Donovan (Stephen Dorff) his bad luck starts with a jewel heist going wrong. He escapes with his life only to have crime boss Groznyi tell him that since he didn’t get the jewels, Ritchie has to make it up to him. To do this he must to go to Moscow and steal a priceless antique cross from a skyscraper’s penthouse apartment.

Ritchie is partnered with two bumbling Russian criminals as his partners in the crime and the new job quickly turns bad, forcing the trio to take hostages and hold up on the building’s 13th floor. Ritchie’s streak of bad luck continues as they discover the 13th floor is hidden from the rest of the building and the only people ever brought there become the victims of its insane occupants. Now Ritchie must figure out how to escape with his life and the cross while he deals with psycho killers and the oddball collection of hostages he’s stuck with.

Director Kit Ryan’s BOTCHED is a hard movie to pin down. The film is strange mix of slapstick humor, gore, and suspense that at times seems to not really know whether to try for laughs or horror. Though slow to start, BOTCHED picks up the pace about halfway through the film as Ritchie and the hostages realize what kind of trouble they are really in and begin working together to try and escape.

The quirky characters are what really make BOTCHED fun to watch. An incompetent, paramilitary security guard, a sheepish journalist, and bible thumpers are just some of the flavorful characters we follow through the maze of traps set by the killers who control the 13th floor. The psychos themselves are original; a weird mix of TEXAS CHAINSAW MASSACRE brutality meets renaissance festival as they chop, hack and occasionally shoot their way through their victims. It is Ritchie’s character that has to play straight man to this motley crew and it works nicely, accentuating the humor and horror in all the right places. All of these elements blend together well to make this a gruesomely funny film. So check out Kit Ryan’s BOTCHED and learn why you should avoid tall buildings the next time you visit Moscow!