"Skin Trade", will center on Willie Flambeaux, a collections agent who happens to be a werewolf, and his friend, Randi Wade, a private investigator, who discover a dark secret behind a series of grisly murders in their decaying industrial city.
Status: In Development
Runtime: 60 minutes
Skin Trade - Skin Trade (film) - Netflix
Skin Trade is a 2014 action thriller film directed by Ekachai Uekrongtham. It stars Dolph Lundgren, Tony Jaa, Michael Jai White, and Ron Perlman. Lundgren wrote the film with Gabriel Dowrick and Steven Elder, while John Hyams performed uncredited script revisions. The film centers around New Jersey police detective Nick Cassidy, as he travels to Asia intent on killing the man who murdered his family, mobster Viktor Dragovic. Development started in 2007 after Lundgren read a news report about a group of girls being smuggled into the United States from Mexico. The girls were left in a vehicle along the border and, trapped inside, they all died of heat stroke and suffocation. Skin Trade had a $9 million production budget, and was shot over 50 days in Canada and Thailand. The film premiered at the American Film Market on November 7, 2014. This was followed by a limited theatrical release, starting on April 9, 2015 in the United Arab Emirates, and succeeded by Thailand (on April 23), Malaysia (on April 30), and the United States (on May 8). The film grossed $384 thousand at the worldwide box office, but received mostly negative reviews; particular criticism was aimed at Jaa's fluency in English, as well as the film's approach to the topic of human trafficking.
Skin Trade - Critical reception - Netflix
Chuck Bowen, of Slant Magazine, heavily criticized the film; he awarded zero out of four stars. He said Skin Trade “fails” to satisfy even the “qualified expectations” that someone brings to a “low-rent Dolph Lundgren ass-kicker”. Bowen went on to say there is “no beauty to this film, little rhythm”, and none of the “physical grace” that action-film fans “crave”. Frank Scheck, of The Hollywood Reporter, rated the film as poor, saying the film is “more suitable for late night cable viewing” than a theatrical release. He went on to criticize Uekrongtham's directing, saying that “[Uekrongtham] clearly [...] paid more attention to the casting than the onscreen mechanics. And for a film so seemingly interested in educating audiences about the evils of sex trafficking”, Scheck pointed out, Uekrongtham had no problem with “including copious doses of female nudity”. Scott Tobias, of The Dissolve, rated the film two and a half out of five. Calling the film a “throwback to the one-man-army” action films of the 1980s, he said, “[i]f the film happens to raise awareness [of human trafficking]”, then it's more of a “bonus than [an] objective”. Tobias expressed dislike for the film's “needlessly complicated setup”, which — according to him — “posits Skin Trade as the splashy global production that it [clearly] is not”. Simon Abrams, of Rogerebert.com, gave the film a positive review; he awarded three out of four stars, and praised the film's choreography and fight scenes. He said that “while time hasn't been kind to the best ass-kicking knuckle-draggers, Skin Trade is energetic, and winsome.” In his opinion, the movie hails from a “decadent period of action cinema [...] when every renegade cop had a private vendetta, a pet charity/social concern, and a few lousy quips in his back pocket.” He summed up his review by saying: “[y]ou can teach a new dog old tricks, though why you would want to is anyone's guess.” The Action Elite's Eoin Friel also enjoyed the film; he awarded four out of five stars, and praised the choreography, stunts and fight scenes. Unlike Schager or Vishnevetsky, Friel had no issues with Jaa's fluency in English, and even felt he “handled English pretty well”.
Skin Trade received mostly negative reviews. Rotten Tomatoes reports that 25 percent of critics gave a positive review, the “average” rating being 4.8 out of 10. On Metacritic, the film has a score of 39 out of 100, also indicating “generally unfavorable” reviews. Martin Tsai, of the LA Times, described the film as a “movie where cops self-righteously act as judge, jury and executioner”, without considering any protocols or procedures. He also said the film barely touches upon human trafficking. Nick Schager, of Variety, came to a similar conclusion, calling the issue of human trafficking (within the film) a “window dressing” for standard “revenge-driven” action. Schager also criticized Jaa's lack of fluency in English. Other critics have had similar feelings; Ignatiy Vishnevetsky, of A.V. Club, called it one of the film's “biggest drawbacks”.
Skin Trade - References - Netflix