Derek Cho (Steven Yeun) is having a really bad day. After being unjustly fired from his job, he discovers that the law firm’s building is under quarantine for a mysterious and dangerous virus. Chaos erupts throughout the office as the victims of the disease begin acting out their wildest impulses. Joining forces with a former client (Samara Weaving) who has a grudge of her own, Derek savagely fights tooth and nail to get to the executives on the top floor and settle the score once and for all.
I’ve been a fan of Joe Lynch since Wrong Turn 2, so when a new movie from him is announced, it has my immediate attention. The other draw is Steven Yeun, AKA Glenn on The Walking Dead. The trailer looked an awful lot like The Belko Experiment, but I knew Lynch wouldn’t be doing this kind of movie unless he inserted his own wacky style. I’m happy to report that this movie is bat-shit insane. The carnage starts early, and it doesn’t let up.
Mayhem takes place in an office, much like many we’re all familiar with. Only this office has a deadly virus pumping through the vents. The virus removes all inhibitions from the host, which translates to ultra-violent and hyper-sexual behavior. Soon the entire office will be engaged in all-out-war. One of Mayhem’s strength is the beautiful and often practical gore effects. This is one bloody ride. The blurb on the back of the cover boasts “A cross between Office Space and The Purge”, and I think that’s a fairly accurate description. Mayhem isn’t as funny as Office Space, but you can definitely tell it was part of the inspiration.
Steven Yeun puts in a great performance, but he is a very good actor, and was one of my favorites on TWD, until, well, you know… Between the two films, I think I prefer The Belko Experiment, but Mayhem is a strong contender. The pacing is brisk, and there’s never a dull moment. The overall story, as far as Yeun’s character being fired and questing for revenge, I honestly didn’t care that much. But it’s not a bad story, just not as important to the movie as the chaos. As far as Joe Lynch-directed movies go, I think Wrong Turn 2 is still my favorite, but he’s never made a bad movie. Mayhem continues the trend, and according to his IMDB, he’s got a couple more projects on the way. If you like wild horror/comedies with tons of blood, ,give this movie a chance. I’m pretty sure it will play well with you.
RLJE’s Blu-ray release of Joe Lynch’s Mayhem is about what you can expect from a new release. The video quality is excellent. Crystal clear. It features an AVC-encoded 1080p transfer, presented in 2.35:1. The audio is also as good as it gets. Well, as good as a 5.1 DTS-HD MA track can get. Extras include a behind-the-scenes documentary on the making of the movie, a full tech commentary with director Joe Lynch, and the collected works of Derek Cho, a slideshow highlighting some of the artwork featured in the movie.
Mayhem is highly recommended, and you can get the Blu-ray for cheap on amazon right now.
Full disclosure: RJLE provided me with a 4K UHD/Blu-ray combo pack to use for this review. I don’t have a UHD player yet, so I am unable to comment on its quality. My thoughts on this release are my own.