Monday, May 12, 2014

Raze (MPI/IFC Midnight DVD) - Face Smashing Tournament of the Rolled Sweat Pant Girls

First off, I have been waiting to see Zoe Bell again for some time in starring non-stunt woman role. The advertising for the new MPI/IFC Midnight feature Raze had me excited. I'd get to see Bell pummeling piles of unworthy (and some worthy as the case turns out) adversaries. It reminds me of that raw fury I felt at the end of Tarantino's Death Proof or at least the edginess in the advertising did. The movie itself on the hand isn't quite the breakneck speed thrill ride that I got out of her previous starring role. It doesn't have the great Q.T. behind it (except in praise) however Bell did produce it. I think there's a place for Raze in a gradually expanding subgenre. Tournament horror (or close approximation there to).

Synopsis from MPI/IFC Midnight:

After she is drugged and abducted, Jamie (Rachel Nichols, Star Trek, Continuum) awakens to find herself in a concrete bunker where she meets fellow abductee Sabrina (stuntwoman-turned-action star Zoe Bell, Death Proof, Kill Bill, Oblivion). Before long the two women discover that they are in a modern-day coliseum, where they and 48 other women have been selected to fight to the death. If they refuse, their loved ones will be killed.

So aside from some fairly fun fight scenes, all girl on girl, not much happens in Raze. That means you better focus on those fight scenes and pay attention to who's in 'em. Some are better than others. Some are more gory than others but the first battle is perhaps one of the best. Smash. Face. Must have been the director's queue. I wish that it had set the tone for the entire picture as a giant splatter fest, but it does tame down until the climax which isn't altogether satisfying.

Let's just say this... don't expect Death Proof. Expect a couple of the stars from Death Proof fighting for their loved ones lives and their own lives. Expect blood. Expect a resolution of a sort and do not expect a sequel unless this tournament horror means that we have to get a Raze 2: Tokyo Death Match or some ridiculous shite. It's worth a watch, entertaining but not groundbreaking and probably not great for a repeat viewing. Did you enjoy Battle Royale? This isn't that awesome. Did you hate the Hunger Games (shame on you)? This isn't the Hunger Games either. This isn't closer to Would You Rather.

Order Raze here. Available May 20th. (and extremely cheap)

-Doc Terror

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