Friday, September 26, 2014

ZIFT (2008)

It's not often that a film can successfully be both depressing and uplifting, but somehow ZIFT does it.

Moth (played perfectly by Zahary Baharov) is doing time in a post-WWII Bulgarian prison for a murder he didn't commit, but that's the least of his worries though because everybody thinks he knows the location of a large diamond that is rumored to have belonged to the guy Moth supposedly murdered.  He's released early by the crooked warden but his new found freedom is actually a one way trip to Hell.

In one of Moth's many flashbacks (sometimes there's even multiple flashbacks within flashbacks!!!) he remembers an old cell mate telling him about a sign on the exit door of a prison that read "Abandon all hope, ye who enter here." meaning the outside world. That proves to be only too true because Moth doesn't even make it out the door before all Hell breaks loose. It's great.

I love high-energy movies that keep you on your toes and constantly guessing and ZIFT does it perfectly from the opening scene (a guy emptying a sewage truck into somebody's apartment window) all the way to the final moment. I was having so much fun I completely lost track of time.

Not only is the story engaging and the acting impressive all around (including Tanya Ilieva, who might have the hottest body in the history of the universe), but the look and feel of the movie is exceptional. Cinematographer Emil Hristow throws in all kinds of great stuff.  So many great shots that there's no way you can soak it all in in just one sitting.  And that leaves us with director Javor Gardev who, according to IMDb, has only directed this movie!!!  ZIFT is 9 years old now (March, 2017), so how come he isn't busy with something else? That is very disappointing to read.

Intriguing story, lightening quick pace, nudity, violence, murder, perversion, torture, glass eyeball, grave digging, beautiful B & W photography, quirky characters.  Highly recommended.