by Martin Hafer
I am warning you up front that the first 15 minutes of Fire City: End of Days is confusing; so confusing that I was ready to turn it off. Fortunately, I resisted the impulse and what followed was a surprisingly good film, with a very inventive plot and awfully good prosthetics and make-up. While the film may not be for everyone, it is entertaining and worth your time.
When the film opens, you see a lot of things that simply don't appear to make sense. Don't worry and don't try to understand ... just keep watching. Soon you come to realize that some of the characters living in this sleazy world are not humans after all but are demons disguised as humans; demons who literally feed off our misery. Seeing humans suffer and destroy themselves is what these creatures live for, and helping them do so is their job. However, something strange slowly begins happening to one of them. Atum Vine is a demon unlike any other because for the first time one of these horrible creatures begins to feel sorry for one of the humans -- a young girl who reaches out to him for help. While he should take glee in her pain, Vine feels pangs of compassion. What follows and how this affects the humans and demon world is very interesting.
The biggest surprise for me was that I usually don't enjoy films of this nature. While the make-up and look of the demons is incredible, I kind of expected this with the background of first-time director Tom Woodruff Jr.. But I didn't expect a low-budget film like this to work so well. Now it isn't perfect -- I do wish the beginning of the film had been less confusing and a little more to the point. But it is still darned good and well worth your time.
My only reservation, and frankly it should come as no surprise, is that the film isn't family-friendly. After all, it's about evil demons, and it does have some very explicit nudity and language that would make this a film for an older audience.