Peter Koller’s debut feature, On Evil Ground, seems frightfully simple in synopsis form, but the devil, as they say, is in the details.
A pair of psychopathic young lovers –- he an extreme, violent sadist and she a sexual masochist –- are looking to establish their own little love nest, a quest that leads them to, of all things, a rundown warehouse for sale in a desolate industrial region. She falls in love with it immediately, he tolerates her wishes and the purchase is made but what neither knows is that the original owner and the estate agent are simply using the property as a lure: a means to trap unsuspecting couples out where nobody is present to see or hear so that they may serve as fodder for the duo’s own sadistic urges.
On first blush, it appears as though Koller’s feature is merely the latest in the current rush of low-budget, shot-on-DV survival horror films aiming for nothing more than to push the boundaries of good taste as far as is humanly possible. Give it a moment, however, and you’ll find that Koller is aiming for something vastly more entertaining and ambitious. Scratch beneath the surface and On Evil Ground exposes itself as a blacker-than-pitch parody of the survivalist genre, one that laces its copious violence with an edge as much Tex Avery as Hostel. And while, yes, Koller does indeed shoot on DV, he is one of a growing number of young talents with the goods to prove that in the right hands, DV is every bit as visually compelling a medium as is film –- blood has seldom looked so good.
Director: Peter Koller
Screenplay: Peter Koller
Cast: Aleksandar Petrovic
Producers: Mirja Antelmann, Franz Novotny, Peter Koller
Distributor: Kop 11