HazMat – USA, 2013


”It’s all fun and games until someone loses a head’

HazMat is a 2013 American horror feature film written and directed by Lou Simon (3; All Girls WeekendThe Awakened; Agoraphobia). The movie stars Norbert Velez, Todd Bruno and Aniela McGuinness.


Struggling TV show ‘Scary Antics’ is forced to resort to ever more cruel japes to aid their flagging audience figures. Tensions amongst the production crew begin to fray as the latest episode is set up in an abandoned chemical plant, haunted according to local legend.

Their victim is Jacob whose father died in a chemical accident at the said factory and perhaps understandably has an unhealthy obsession with the place, his friends deciding that the best course of action is to shock him out of his silly ways. The ‘joke’ quickly goes stale and Jacob is none too impressed, electing to don a radiation suit and arm himself with an axe…


Almost intoxicatingly bad, HazMat (short for hazardous materials) marries many elements which are conspiring to throttle modern horror; much of the action is portrayed via handily-placed CCTV cameras, thus giving as near as damn it the unquenchable quota of found footage effect; secondly, a zany TV show set-up, allowing for copious crippling-annoying twenty-somethings with cheekbones as sharp as Jacob’s axe; finally, a convenient location, a dull series of corridors, all looking identical (in fact, it’s likely to be the same corridor re-dressed) – it was presumably the finding of an available space this large around which a film was constructed.


It’s peculiar that when a low-budget production has a cast of bad actors that there is rarely at least one member of the cast who offers some ray of hope – it is very much the case here, everyone is eyebrow-furrowing and as shiny-faced, as can be but not a drop of theatre creeps out.

The killer is an immediate knock-off of My Bloody Valentine (both of them) but without an interesting or believable enough background nor with victims to kill that you would give your back teeth to help him dispatch.

The only positives are a reasonable running time, the welcome lack of the usual ‘surely not?’ perfunctory ending, moderately acceptable hacking, some severed limbs and a so-so eye gouging.


Other reviews:

HazMat isn’t a good picture. However, this amateur crew does attempt to turn in the best performances they’re capable of mustering (respect is issued). And the movie moves at a fairly speedy rate, which prevents viewers from losing any attention. We’re interested in what’s happening, we just wish the production values were marginally elevated, and we certainly wish that a somewhat more innovative idea had been put to use.” Matt Molgaard, Best Horror Movies

HazMat has much going for it, in front of and behind the scenes. Director Simon keeps things short and sweet. The film moves along at a rapid pace and never allows the audience to drift off. It’s almost as if the film is split into two parts. The first half of the film deals with the execution of the prank while the second half is a fight for survival. It’s an inventive idea for what essentially is a slasher film.” Corey Danna, Horror News


 Buy: Amazon.com | Amazon.co.uk

Main cast:

  • Norbert Velez
  • Todd Bruno
  • Aniela McGuinness
  • Giordan Diaz
  • Tom Stedham
  • Gema Calero – All Girls Weekend
  • Reggie Peters
  • Daniela Larez
  • Mario Nalini
  • Dennis Spain
  • Brandi Rudicil
  • Massiel Checo

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