Modified (2012) – By Misty Layne

Modified, the debut film by writer/director Paul Cotrulia, is a dark sci-fi thriller set in the underground world of technological body modification. Kerr (Cory Sanders) searches an underground world of illegal body modification with technology for Cole (Lia Albers) the woman he loves, but soon finds himself caught in a battle for control of the modification scene. Their world will be torn apart.

The film opens in a club when a young man runs in with a dying woman in his arms. He begs for help from the club’s owner and staff. The young woman has gotten a back alley body modification that’s gone horribly wrong. Unable to save her, she dies and the club people tell the young man that he doesn’t understand anything about why they modify their bodies and that kids like him should stay out of such things.

Next, enter Kerr who has come to London to hunt down his ex-girlfriend Cole who has become entirely immersed in the body modification scene and ran away. What follows is a dark thriller with death and mayhem where it seems sometimes the only thing keeping you alive is really the thing that’s keeping you from living.

An allegory for not just technology but also for any sort of obsession or addiction that numbs you while leaving you convinced you’re having the time of your life, Modified is slick with its black and leather color schemes and killer soundtrack (one that reminded me of Mortal Kombat). It has hints of the Matrix with people being plugged in to technology and hints of any given mob movie with its underground bosses and bodyguards.

Overall, it’s an enjoyable film, especially considering the entire thing is filmed in one single location, with some fabulous camera work and lighting. Parts of the script are a bit slow at times which brought me out of the film experience as did the character of Cole who mainly repeats that she ran away from Kerr and didn’t want him to follow her but it was clearly made with a lot of passion and love for science fiction, in particular classic cyberpunk movies from the 80s and 90s

The film boasts an international cast of actors including John Sandeman, Robert Dawson, Cory Sanders, Lia Albers, Joe Law, Megan Anstee, Egija Zviedre and Gabriel Constantin, and recently had its premiere at the Prince Charles Cinema in London. Modified is available to rent or buy online at