A group of five American friends are hitting the late night Chinese streets looking to have a good time, like everybody else. What was planned to be a night of debauchery and fun quickly turns into terror as the group has a run in with some Triads. Though the gangsters are the least of their problems when they stumble into an adult-entertainment theater, where they become the nights entertainment. As a very large man dawning a leather BDSM mask plans to torture and mutilate them for the members in the audience.
After the release of "Saw" and "Hostel", it seems that any movie that features any form of captives and torture that they will inevitably be compared to either movie. Regardless of the fact that people seem to forget that torture has existed in exploitation films since the 60's. (Might have been in the 50's too, but I haven't seen enough films from that decade to make that claim.) Unfortunately "Live Feed" is one of those movies that everyone compares to "Hostel" before and after it's release, even though the films have very little in common with one another. Plus it's just not fair for any movie to be compared to something as awful as "Hostel".
The only thing that the two movies share in common is the underlying tone of xenophobia, and the main theme of torture. Anyone though with a respectable knowledge in exploitation cinema knows that torture has always had a part in the story, it's just that now it's become a cash cow for the latest in Hollywood horror movies. Other than that, "Live Feed" is it's own little creature, and if you have seen any of Ryan's other films, then you know what you are in store for. Sleaze and gore. For a movie like "Live Feed", that is really all that you need. There is really no need for deep storylines, engaging characters, or anything else. The movie could have a bigger punch if you actually care what happens to the characters, but given the plot outline, you already know what's going to happen to them. So even if the time was taken to develop the characters, the viewers are only going to be sitting their waiting for the violence and torture to occur. So why not skip the nonsense and layout a decent enough groundwork of story and characters as to make it not completely pointless, but to also get to the mayhem quickly? Which is what Ryan does, even throwing in some sex and violence in the beginning to help get things going.
Not only is it the key selling point to the movie, but it seems to be Ryan's specialty: creating unique and interesting death scenes that are not short on the red stuff. Granted not all of the death scenes are unique or that interesting; there are some basic things like decapitations, stabbing's and slices with swords, etc. But when you've got scene like a woman getting force fed a snake, or a guy getting his head slowly twisted off...It should be able to make any gore fan giddy. Granted, this is all done in the typical over-the-top style that Ryan Nicholson is becoming known for, so this isn't a movie that's going to get to the audience with realism. That's not the point of the movie though; it's suppose to be an over-the-top exploitation-gore flick that has equal parts sleaze and violence.
I'm sure it sounds like I loved the movie, but to be honest, I didn't. At least not at first. This was the very first Plotdigger Film I ever saw, and the first time I saw it, I did not like it at all. It's also no secret that this is the least favorite Plotdigger Film by the fans. Given that though, it's a movie that is growing on me with each viewing but it's most likely to remain as my least favorite Nicholson movie. Even though I didn't like it all upon that initial viewing, when I watch it now, I appreciate it for what it is. A sleazy gore flick. While the acting and story is only decent, and the characters are annoying, it's the death scenes, the gore, and sleaziness of the whole thing while being over-the-top. That helps make "Live Feed" to be a decent enough time killer.