Mike, his brother Tony, and friends Carl and Joe are out for Mike's bachelor party when they get kicked out of a club. Determined to keep the night going, they decide to ride the New York subway to get to another club. When they get on the train, they just so happen to get on the same carriage as two strippers who were coincidentally at the club they were just kicked out of. Carl and Tony go over to the women and start flirting when Tony gets a little frisky, when our charming bookworm stripper Brita sprays him in the face with mace. This happens of course just as the train comes to a temporary stop for the tracks to change, then for no reason I can think of, all six get off at a station that's been closed down since the seventies, despite the fact that the broken payphone has a modern push button dial. Realising they can't get out from where they are, they decide to split up as you do and walk down the track to the next station. When they arrive near the next station, they witness three homeless cannibals brutally murder a cop. With no danger of being seen by them, Tony accidentally kicks a solitary can that has somehow found it's way on to the track. Spotted by the underground transients, the group of friends are in for a long night of being chased by the most energetic, sophisticated, cannibalistic homeless maniacs i've ever seen in any film.
The acting is pretty decent, not that they have to do all that much but run. Kip Pardue as Mike was nowhere near as annoying as I found him in the last film I saw him in, the very poor but reasonably entertaining Wizard Of Gore remake. Vinessa Shaw who I liked quite a bit in the Hills Have Eyes remake, puts in a decent performance as the stripper with brains and heart stripping her way through college. Breckin Meyer gives just about the best performance as Mike's mess up of a brother Tony, Scott Adkins, Karl Geary and Sarah Barrand round off the group of friends and aren't terrible. The homeless are played by Bulgarians where the film was mainly shot, they are reasonably menacing and they grunt and sprint through the tunnels. It's written and directed by Peter A. Dowling, he wrote the decent jodie Foster film Flightplan but Stag Night is his debut as director. He actually does a decent job at directing, the atmosphere is decent and some of the chases are quite suspenseful. He could have wrote a better script but I try not to nitpick horror film scripts too much. He should however have sacked his cinematographer who thought he was making a found footage film, during every bit of action the camera shakes all over the place, ridiculously so at some points. I don't know what the aim was with the shaky cam, it only annoyed me and I nearly turned it off at one stage because of that alone. The music is very good, as other reviewers have stated, it has a John carpenter in the eighties sound to it and worked nicely. The film is very dark in places with it hard to see what's going on, it doesn't happen often and it is set in underground tunnels so it should be dark. There's no nudity and nor should there be, there's plenty of gore and it's done what appears to be practically and looks good.
I really did enjoy aspects of Stag Night, and it obviously has rewatch value as i've seen it twice and will watch again in the future. It just has a few too many bad points to be a great film, the dodgy writing is the main offender with there being too many coincidencies. It irritated me slightly that the hobo's were so fit, healthy and at times appeared to be kung fu masters, I know if I run without stopping for five minutes I need a cup of tea and a lie down, but they just keep going. They've clearly been living underground for years, possibly decades. When you consider they killed a cop or security guard early in the film, if that was a regular occurrence then there's no way the underground wouldn't have been searched by a large police unit. I think they try and explain that away at the beginning when it says that over 100,000 people go missing in New York every year and the adults are never looked for, hard to believe but I can accept that, but not when so many people would have gone missing from the same place including cops or security guards. The homeless also keep dogs who are very well trained, and again would require regular feedings. We pretty much guess who's going to live and die throughout the film, and if it wasn't for a pointless, ridiculous, pathetic last jump at the end I would have been spot on.
Despite all the films faults it really is an enjoyable watch, acting's okay, good direction, camera work is good when the cinematographer doesn't get carried away, there's plenty of decent gore, and it feels like a bit of a throwback to seventies and early eighties films. Some other reviewers have mentioned the film Creep as a comparison, I don't really see it myself apart from a similar setting, to me it feels like Gary Sherman's 1973 low budget gem Death Line or Raw Meat as it's known in the US, on steroids. It was made for $4,000,000 in Bulgaria, a new favourite place for director's to shoot on a low budget and get more for their money. It certainly doesn't look like a cheap film, the slimy, grimy underground setting is great. The picture quality is good, apart from a few overly dark scenes there's nothing to complain about, the sound is fine and all the dialogue is clear. The real disappointment is that the dvd is as basic as they come, no extras, no audio options, not even subtitles. In the last four or five days i've watched maybe five films and every one has had no extras, it really irritates me that films like this made in 2008 are still being released with no extras at all. For what we pay, it would be nice to have a few extras, especially for the people that really liked the film. Stag Night is by no means a great film, i'd recommend Death Line as a better film, and I did just about prefer Creep to be honest, but it's a very entertaining way to waste 80 minutes.