Now on DVD, ‘Discopath’ will get your blood pumping more then you can imagine

Posted in Movies by - February 09, 2015

For most people, hearing that disco music pumping through the speakers inspires most people to get up, boogie and dance the night away…most people that is.  Discopath is blood spattered ode to the indie horror of the 1970’s and early 80’s as this festival darling embraces how fun some truly gonzo filmmaking can end up being a hell of a lot of fun.

It’s the mid-70’s and a timid young New Yorker is living a timid and uneventful life working as a short order cook.  However he has a dark secret that stems from a traumatic childhood experience that he has successfully kept under wraps until now when he is first exposed to the pulsating rhythms of a brand new musical genre that is sweeping the nation…DISCO!  Whenever he hears that boogie down beat, he transforms from mild mannered nobody to a homicidal serial killing maniac and ends up fleeing from to New York to Montreal to get away from the music, but years later it catches up to him and the mayhem starts in earnest all over again.

A smash on the festival circuit and a Canadian revelation, Discopath is a slice of indie horror gold that marks the feature length debut of a genuine talent in writer/director Renaud Gauthier as he matches the horror side by side with some dead pan hilarity.

It’s so easy for budget period pieces to look cheap, but it all about knowing how and where to spend your money.  Gauthier and his team took great care in making this look and feel as authentic as humanly possible as every damn penny they spent is up on the screen.  Shot in a stylish haze, he made it feel as if it was shot on celluloid in a day and age where the cost is not only prohibitive but the film stock is increasingly nonexistent.  The set and costume design is immaculate and the tone and feel is exactly what it needed to be.  It only helps Gauthier get the narrative to exact where it needs to be as it goes at a healthy pace balancing the gore and the horror, with the moments that just make you out right laugh your ass off.  It never leans too much on any one side of the coin and is sealed to a tee with a musical score that isn’t some generic sounding disco music, it’s the real thing.

Films like this always hinge on the lead performance, if he doesn’t sell it , it just doesn’t work.  Star Jeremie Earp-Lavergne as our demented killer Duane Lewis sells it to a tee as he can pull of a vacant murderous glaze just as easily as he can sink into the background of a scene.  We buy into the chase of this guy very easily, and while the rest of the ensemble don’t necessarily have any huge moments to shine, they all serve their purposes to a tee as they set us up and take us down on Lewis’ murderous trail.

When all is said and done, Discopath is the proof in the pudding that indie Canadian cinema can be compelling, highly entertaining stuff that doesn’t have to draw attention to how Canadian it is and make it about the blood and the guts…just like it is supposed to be.

Special features on the DVD include a feature length commentary track with writer/director Renaud Gauthier, co-star Ivan Freud and composer Bruce Cameron and a Behind the Scenes documentary about the making of the film.

This post was written by
David Voigt is a Toronto based writer with a problem and a passion for the moving image and all things cinema. Having moved from production to the critical side of the aisle for well over 10 years now at outlets like, Criticize This, Dork Shelf (Now That Shelf), to.Night Newspaper he’s been all across his city, the country and the continent in search of all the news and reviews that are fit to print from the world of cinema.

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