Playing like the digital-video hell-spawn of "Psycho," "Eyes Without a Face" and "Groundhog Day," "Salvage" forces a young woman to repeatedly relive the day she was murdered by a knife-wielding maniac. Question is, will viewers brave a second viewing and relive the routine slasher-thriller mayhem, unintentional comedy and atrocious soundtrack to catch all the clues foreshadowing the clever twist ending? This is prime direct-to-video fare if there ever was any.
Brother writer-helmers Joshua and Jeffrey Crook drum up creepy tension in the early scenes introducing Claire Parker (Lauren Currie Lewis), a pretty college student with a cute boyfriend (Cody Darbe) and a weirdly sinister mother (Maureen Olander). One day, a scary man (Chris Ferry, who produced) breaks into Claire's home, drags her down to the basement and rips her face off. The next morning, she realizes it was all a dream -- or was it? Day after day, Claire keeps running into the same psycho while experiencing disturbing flashbacks from his point of view. Rest assured, it all makes sense in the end. The angry rock ballads playing during the climax, however, remain a total mystery.
Camera (color, DV), John Barrett Ashmore; editor, Joshua Crook; music, Evan Wilson; production designers, Joshua Crook, Jeffrey Crook. Reviewed at Sundance Film Festival (Midnight), Jan. 25, 2006. Running time: 79 MIN.