SAVAGE SINEMA FROM DOWN UNDER
Reviewed by: JimmyO
What's it about
Three Mark Savage tales of revenge, murder, sex and depravity, including a sensitive hit man, teenage troublemakers and a woman seeking revenge after being murdered (yep, I said murdered).
Is it good movie?
Here they are; a three flick box-set representing Australian filmmaker Mark Savage including the good, the bad and the ugly. They are all proudly proclaimed as some really f*cked up shite. Does it live up to it? Read on…
First up is the ugly. This is one of the most awful films I’ve seen in a long time. Marauders is about a couple a really bad teens, one with really bad hair who go around f*cking people up and causing all sorts of trouble until some townsfolk take revenge. There is nothing really worthwhile about this film taking account the amateur acting, the horrible dialogue and the dull direction. By the time we get to the end when a bunch of people want to kill the bad boys, I really wanted them all dead. I didn’t care about one single character. My only wish is that the next films would be better.
Next up is the bad Defenceless as a woman, played by co-producer Susanne Hausschmid who will not sign an agreement for some land developers and they get all nasty with everyone she knows. This is a beautifully shot flick that sadly disintegrates in its own pretentiousness. There is no dialogue, only music and a few screams in the rape and torture sequences with a few cut off penis shots. Yes it sounds shocking but this is far from shocking, it is actually quite dull leaving the audience cringing every once in awhile but trying to stay awake during the rest of the film. The worst part is the laugh inducing climax where she takes her final revenge, and by the way, it ain’t supposed to be funny.
Is there anything worthwhile is this set? Why yes, the final film Sensitive New Age Killer which is a clever story about a hit man with a heart. Paul Moder plays the sensitive dude who has a partner that seems to be trying to sabotage him and a female cop (Caroline Bock) who is blackmailing the dude for sex. On top of his dangerous occupation, he also happens to be a loving family man who is just trying to keep his family with food on the table and earn himself some respect in the assassin business. This is a funny, clever look at a likeable guy that happens to be a killer. It also happens to be the only movie worth watching in this box set.
Video / Audio
Video: This is a decent transfer with both SNAK and Defenceless being presented in 16x9 and Mauraders in 4x3.
Audio: The audio is also pretty good in Stereo 2.0. Not great but it fits this box set just fine.
There are a whole bunch of extras on this sinful set. Each disc includes commentary, behind the scenes features and galleries and bios.
Marauders includes Commentary with director Mark Savage, co-producers and cast members Colin Salvage, Paul Harrington and Richard Wolstencroft. It’s an interesting listen and it’s much better than listening to the awful dialogue in the movie.
Next we have a talking head Making of (Four Friends in Low Budget Heaven) (27:50). The problem lies that Mark and the boy just chat into the camera about the fond memories of making the film. Not bad, just a bit dull.
We then have a Stills Gallery and Cast and Crew Bios, the bio being the point the remote and click variety, and the gallery is a short bit of photos. (This extra can be described for all three discs)
And finishing off this disc we have Trailers for “Defenceless” (1:24), “Sensitive New Age Killer” (1:49), “Marauders” (:45), “Candy Snatchers” (2:07) and “The Gardener” (1:27).
Defenceless includes the same extras including Commentary with Mark Savage and co-producer and lead actress Susanne Hausschmid. The description on the box says there are others here but that is incorrect. This is a good commentary but they seem to think it is a better film than what I saw. Hey, it’s only my opinion but I’ve seen much better revenge pictures that actually make sense.
Next up is this films talking head featurette Inside Defenceless (42:34) which suffer from the same fate as the Marauders behind the scenes. This is just a bunch of interviews with the actors with fond memories of the picture.
Still Galleries and Bios (see above).
And then we have more Trailers with the films in this set and the addition of “The Wild Blue Yonder” (2:23) and the special edition of “Dust Devil” (2:19).
And finally with Sensitive New Age Killer we have another commentary with Mark Savage and cinematographer and co-writer David Richardson. Again there are other names mentioned on the box but they are not here. This has the same energy as the other film commentary but maybe because I enjoyed this flick I had more interest in what they had to say.
Next is SNAK: A Post Mortem (39:11); another talking head featurette. I am surprised they didn’t try to add a little flair to these making-of features because they are all much too long just looking at these folks talking about good times making movies.
Still Galleries and Bios (again, see above).
And then come more Trailers including this particular set and “Metal Skin” (1:26) and “Blue Murder” (1:38).
Each disc also comes with a cool little collector’s booklet telling many of the same stories available on the disc but still a pretty cool addition.
And if you decide to put down your hard earned money and buy this set you will also get an extra disc featuring Mark Savage’s “controversial” cable TV feature “Stained” and a bunch of Super 8 shorts. This disc did not come with my promotional copy so I have nothing to say about it.
This is a real mixed bag of features from Mark Savage. It has one really worthwhile flick, “Sensitive New Age Killer” with a couple of nice performances, most notably Paul Moder and Caroline Bock. But the other two features missed the mark with one that is ludicrously bad and the other is just a pretentious mess. If you are a fan of Mark Savage then I reckon this collection will be worth your time. But if you don’t know who he is and want to get a taste of his work, I recommend skipping Marauders and Defenceless and rent SNAK. And just a little warning, if you are looking for true “Savage Sinema”, this ain’t all that savage.