revenge

Takashi Miike's Blade of the Immortal (2017)
Blade of the ImmortalAdapted from the critically acclaimed manga, Blade of the Immortal, Takashi Miike’s 100th film, introduces us to an incredibly beautiful story about Manji (Takuya Kimura), a samurai haunted by his past and cursed with immortality, and Rin Asano (Hana Sugisaki), a girl whose parents are killed by Anotsu Kagehisa (Sôta Fukushi) and his Ittō-ryū. Swearing revenge, Rin approaches Manji to request his services as a bodyguard. Eventually, Manji gives in and agrees to be Rin’s bodyguard as she seeks to avenge the death of her parents. Now, to those not too familiar with Miike’s work, he is one of the best in the business when it comes to an extreme amount of stylized violence combined with a deep story, thus making one hell of a film.Blade of the Immortal

With this film, Miike does not disappoint in the least; it is full of blood and guts, over the top stylized violence, and a beautiful story of revenge and redemption. At nearly two and a half hours long, viewers are given a story that moves at an incredibly quick pace and leaves one feeling as if the film was only two hours long. With each fight scene beautifully choreographed and showcasing a number of brutal weapons, viewers are also given the pleasure of watching a samurai film that is not just dueling katanas. It is certainly a refreshing take on revenge films, and I honestly found it delightful to watch as Manji slices through person after person with a variety of bladed implements.

Blade of the ImmortalIn my opinion, Blade of the Immortal is one of Miike’s best films to date and shows his mastery of cinematography, violence, and story-telling. His hundredth film really delivers, and I was not disappointed in the least. I’ve even found myself going back to it a number of times for the artfully choreographed fight scenes — not to mention, the final thirty minutes or so is a fantastically violent battle of Manji versus hundreds with him dispatching them however he can so that he is not overwhelmed. This scene alone exhibits every side of Miike’s artful mastery of filmmaking, and it will keep you enraptured and unable to look away as every shot has been done precisely. For Miike fans, I cannot recommend this film enough, and for people new to Takashi Miike’s work, this is the perfect starting point!

MOVIE REVIEW: Takashi Miike’s Blade of the Immortal (2017)

MOVIE REVIEW: Takashi Miike’s Blade of the Immortal (2017)

Takashi Miike's Blade of the Immortal (2017)
Blade of the ImmortalAdapted from the critically acclaimed manga, Blade of the Immortal, Takashi Miike’s 100th film, introduces us to an incredibly beautiful story about Manji (Takuya Kimura), a samurai haunted by his past and cursed with immortality, and Rin Asano (Hana Sugisaki), a girl whose parents are killed by Anotsu Kagehisa (Sôta Fukushi) and his Ittō-ryū. Swearing revenge, Rin approaches Manji to request his services as a bodyguard. Eventually, Manji gives in and agrees to be Rin’s bodyguard as she seeks to avenge the death of her parents. Now, to those not too familiar with Miike’s work, he is one of the best in the business when it comes to an extreme amount of stylized violence combined with a deep story, thus making one hell of a film.Blade of the Immortal

With this film, Miike does not disappoint in the least; it is full of blood and guts, over the top stylized violence, and a beautiful story of revenge and redemption. At nearly two and a half hours long, viewers are given a story that moves at an incredibly quick pace and leaves one feeling as if the film was only two hours long. With each fight scene beautifully choreographed and showcasing a number of brutal weapons, viewers are also given the pleasure of watching a samurai film that is not just dueling katanas. It is certainly a refreshing take on revenge films, and I honestly found it delightful to watch as Manji slices through person after person with a variety of bladed implements.

Blade of the ImmortalIn my opinion, Blade of the Immortal is one of Miike’s best films to date and shows his mastery of cinematography, violence, and story-telling. His hundredth film really delivers, and I was not disappointed in the least. I’ve even found myself going back to it a number of times for the artfully choreographed fight scenes — not to mention, the final thirty minutes or so is a fantastically violent battle of Manji versus hundreds with him dispatching them however he can so that he is not overwhelmed. This scene alone exhibits every side of Miike’s artful mastery of filmmaking, and it will keep you enraptured and unable to look away as every shot has been done precisely. For Miike fans, I cannot recommend this film enough, and for people new to Takashi Miike’s work, this is the perfect starting point!




Posted by Spencer Evatt in GORE, MOVIE REVIEWS, REVIEWS, 0 comments
MOVIE REVIEW: Sargad (2017)

MOVIE REVIEW: Sargad (2017)

SargadRecently, I was given the pleasure to watch Sarah Giercksky’s film Sargad. Written by her and also starring her, Andres R. Ramos directs this gem of an independent, low budget revenge flick. Giercksky plays the role of a girl named Elina who has gone out to a cabin with her mom and little sister to scatter her father’s ashes. What at first glance seems to be a pretty basic revenge flick, turns into a film with multiple levels of depth and intensity.

Sarah Giercksky as Elina in Sargad (2017)When Elina and her family go out to scatter the ashes, three men arrive to harass, torment, and assault Elina and her family. This is when the film gets violent and one of the men forces Elina to get out of her pants and stabs her in the gut and leaves her for dead while they take her mother and little sister back to their cabin. With the harshly stark reality portrayed disturbingly well, we see Giercksky embrace all of the agony and terror of someone who was abruptly stabbed, the blood pouring from her as she crawls and attempts to get to her feet. Once she has gotten to her feet, she hurries back to the cabin in search of her mother and sister. This is when we get a rather visceral, toe curler of a scene where Elina gives herself first aid with an office stapler and duct tape.

This first aid scene gives Giercksky a fantastic opportunity to show her acting skills as we see her facial expressions and hear the pain you would expect to see from someone stapling a stab wound. Shortly after this, Elina finds out that her mother and sister were both brutally assaulted and killed. This is where we get to see Elina begin her delightfully brutal path of vengeance upon these three men who took everything from her.

Sargad (2017)So as to not reveal all of the fantastic plot elements that Giercksky incorporated into the film, I’ll just say that there’s some twists that alone make this a very worthwhile film to watch. And for all of my fellow sadists who have a passion for the brutal, Giercksky gave Elina a fantastic level of sadism. One instance that is still ingrained upon my mind being that of when she takes a knife to the penis of one of the men cutting down the middle of it lengthwise and then stapling it back together.

Sargad (2017)As a man, I had to grit my teeth and thank heaven, hell, and everything in between that it wasn’t my genitalia being mutilated!

Overall, with the title Sargad, which translates to Wounded in English, you get to watch a phenomenal tale of revenge unfold and I highly recommend it for all my indie film lovers! I will certainly be watching to see where Sarah Giercksky’s film career takes her both in her writing and in her acting, I’m quite confident that she has quite the future ahead of her in the industry and I am excited to see what she puts out next!

Sarah Giercksky as Elina in Sargad (2017)

Posted by Spencer Evatt in BRUTAL REALITY, GORE, MOVIE REVIEWS, REVIEWS, THRILLER, 3 comments
MOVIE REVIEW: Final Girl (2015)

MOVIE REVIEW: Final Girl (2015)

By Amy Mead

Final Girl poster

Directed by Tyler Shields

Starring Abigail Breslin, Wes Bentley, and Alexander Ludwig

After unseen events take her parents from her at a young age, we see our heroine Veronica being "interviewed" by a mysterious man named William.  At the completion of the "interview" and seeing that she seems particularity unfazed by the death of her parents, he asks Veronica if she'd like to come and stay with him and be trained for a job for "special" people.  After asking if she can have ice cream and being told that she can have as much as likes, she agrees.

Flash forward twelve years, and we see how Veronica is put through training exercises and situations of varying degrees of intensity. From running barefoot through the forest, being injected with a combination of truth serum and a psychedelic drug that makes her face her fear, and learning how to fight and protect herself,  she is shaped into a force to be reckoned with. Finally, he tells her that her training is finished and explains to her exactly her "job" will be.

It seems that there is a group of virile young men who like to "hunt" and kill girls.  The girls are selected by their ringleader, and they are always blonde.  Veronica is to be their next "victim" and she must kill them all on her own, in order to survive.  She is to be the murderous group's Final Girl...

Not to be confused with the campy horror comedy The Final Girls, starring Malin Akerman, Tyler Shields' directorial debut Final Girl is a revenge/payback thriller that feels like the ultimate mash up of female ass kicking films in the vein of Sin City,  Sucker Punch, and La Femme Nikita.

Although fairly refreshing and a nice departure from so many overused formulas we see in horror lately, the script feels a little underwritten and mildly underwhelming. The lack of character development, although seemingly intentional, leaves the audience less invested and maybe somewhat confused. We don't get much back story with any of the players, but that in itself seems to speak volumes about the strange relationship Veronica and William seem to have and is most likely an intentional and integral piece of the film.

Breslin and Bentley do their parts justice with their acting and this unlikely pair seemed to fit really well together, but unfortunately they don't have much on screen time together as Veronica is to take on this band of assholes without the assistance of her mentor.

After a long wait for the action to begin, it is sadly underdone, almost painfully predictable, and the outcome is not much of a surprise nor does it feel like much of a victory for Veronica, more of an obligation. However, the ending seems a little open ended and the audience is left with a desire to see more of Veronica and William, a little more vigilante justice from them, maybe even see them kill together.

All in all, Final Girl was a decent film for what it is, and definitely worth a watch.  It's just far less brutal than some of the other female-centered revenge films out there.  For me personally, the lack of character development really affected my enjoyment of watching her kick ass. I only wanted to see her defeat these young men because they were so unlikable, not because I related to her and I kind of wish that aspect had been a little different. Overall, Final Girl is entertaining and I would recommend giving it a go.

 

Posted by Amy Mead in MOVIE REVIEWS, REVIEWS, 0 comments

MOVIE REVIEW: Revenge Is Her Middle Name (2011)

By Travis Love

Revenge

Directed by Anthony Matthews and released in 2015 on Unearthed Films Revenge is Her Middle Name tells the story of a calculative downtrodden hooker named Kat, who has plans of changing her life for the better by any means necessary. Unfortunately for Kat, her pimp doesn't hand out a severance package or 4-Ho-1k to hos that betray him. What follows is an unbridled ride full of twists and turns and a few tricks pulled by the whore with a bloodlust for gore.

The plot line is as follows:
1.) Kat discovers that after countless tries she's finally become pregnant with the assistance of her dope fiend boyfriend.
2.) They formulate a plan to rob Kat's pimp to keep themselves in drugs, upon robbing her pimp Kat backstabs her boyfriend and bolts for a better life.
3.) Her pimp catches up to Kat after a some time and his posse has an all-you-can-rape buffet leaving Kat broken, bleeding, and childless.
4.) Kat begins to hunt down each member of her pimp's posse and dishes out her gruesome revenge Costco bulk style leading to her eventual main target...her pimp.

Have you ever wondered what it would be like if the gritty depression of Combat Shock and the unmerciful brutality of I Spit On Your Grave hooked up, and bumped genitals on a soiled mattress in a seedy alleyway? Well this movie is totally the bastard love child of that hump session in the best way possible! Every bit as dirty as it is bloody, the film leaves you feeling tainted by its unbelievable filthy sexiness, but begs you not to use protection so that you can enjoy the feeling (oh and you will!).

If anything can be said of 'Revenge is Her Middle Name' it's that it wins the hearts of Revenge film aficionados like a hooker shooting ping pong balls out of her ham wallet at a bachelor party, it makes you stare at it in awe and bewilderment. The story is filled with unapologetic risqué dialog that is every bit as enjoyable as the violence. During the rape scene you feel the tension building to the boiling point that will eventually explode into a tidal wave of epic revenge!

Anthony Matthews is definitely a talent to watch as his writing finds something often missing in indie cinema, actual plot twists. So many times during the film it directs you to one conclusion but immediately finds betrayal or hidden facts that don't come into play until later..or sometimes until the very end of the film. It's amazing when a film doesn't just give you all facts in a linear fashion, but leaves surprises and story arks to keep you on your toes.

The violence unleashed upon Kat's transgressors is completely bloody and cathartic as she dispatches her own brand of twisted justice. Sometimes dehumanizing and humiliating her victims before slitting their throats cold and void of any emotion but rage. The glory hole scene alone will have you covering your mouth in the grandest "Holy fucking shit!" moment ever. Horror nerd boners will be bountiful upon watching this film.

In conclusion Revenge is Her Middle Name has to be hands down one of my personal favorites to be released this year. If revenge films are your jam then you owe it to yourself to find this film and love it to death like that hamster you wouldn't quit petting in grade school. To quote Kat's pimp, "Blood and semen will spray in a frenzy of revenge", and I loved every minute of it!

Rating: 9/10

-Travis

Posted by Travis Love in MOVIE REVIEWS, REVIEWS, 0 comments