Guns Akimbo first published by SciFiNow
Illegal online game Skism pits armed players in live-action death matches, with the whole city their arena. After casually flaming its users, hapless geek Miles (Daniel Radcliffe) is visited by game runners who nail guns to his hands, and force him into a deadly contest with reigning champion Nix (Samara Weaving).
In Jason Lei Howden’s follow-up to Deathgasm (2015), the high-calibre, over-the-top dynamics of a shoot-’em-up are grounded in the comic normality of an everyday protagonist who prefers flight to fight, and whose voiceover keeps emphasising the un-cool realities of combat (the deafening loudness of bullets, the indignity of hemorrhagic shock, the ravages of PTSD, etc.).
Not that this ever stops Guns Akimbo being an all-out hyperbolic bullet ballet, or Miles improbably travelling from zero to kickass hero over the course of a single day.
Along the way, Ned Dennehy’s tattoo-covered Riktor is a mirthfully mercurial villain, while the film gently satirises our addiction not just to our electronic devices, but to the low voyeuristic pleasures of Schadenfreude and ultraviolence.
Strap: The game is on in Jason Lei Howden’s self-satirisng, ultraviolent shoot-’em-up
© Anton Bitel