On DVD this week from director Josh C. Waller and IFC Films comes a film that rides along the edge of a knife with RAZE.
This film tells the story of Jamie (Rachel Nichols), a young woman who is drugged and then kidnapped. When she wakes up, it quickly becomes clear that this is no ordinary abduction. Jamie also meets Sabrina (Zoë Bell), another women held against her will.
It doesn’t take long before the women discover that they are being held to fight like modern-day gladiators. Behind the madness are Joseph (Doug Jones) and Elizabeth (Sherilyn Fenn) who tell the women they either fight or members of their family will be killed.
It’s a fist fight battle to the death – in more ways than one.
FINAL WORD: Nichols as Jamie is a young woman trying to piece together what brought her to the death arena. This isn’t a film portraying beauty queens as Jamie is pushed to her physical and emotional limits and every moment of it shows in this performance.
Jones as Joseph is just one twisted mutha-puss-bucket! Bringing in those with the cash and a thrill to spend it on, Jones portrays a man who can easily justify what the girls are forced to do. With the right amount of creepy and a dash of disturbing, Jones makes this look way to easy.
Fenn as Elizabeth is a woman who poses with class but has an inner sadist lurking just under the first layer of make up. Choosing her favorite, Fenn’s character does the sweet voice of concern to lure the girls trust but it doesn’t take but a heart beat to know it’s all an act. She’s out for blood – everyone but her own!
The stunning performance here is Bell – insanely stunning. Watching this character go deeper and deeper into a madness no one can possibly imagine it is riveting to watch when the moments of humanity show themselves. From the moment she steps into the cameras view I couldn’t take my eyes off her.
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Other cast include: Tracie Thoms as Teresa, Bruce Thomas as Kurtz, Bailey Borders as Cody, Rebecca Marshall as Phoebe, Adrienne Wilkinson as Nancy, Allene Quincy as Brenda, Victoria Cruz as Sofia Diaz, Rosario Dawson as Rachel and Tiffany DeMarco as Chloe.
TUBS OF POPCORN: I give RAZE three and a half tubs of popcorn out of five. This film is gritty and not for the faint of heart at all. It is a combination of horror and action and it’s hard to tell where one starts and the other ends. Perhaps the reason this is so stunning is because most would probably never expect this film to have such a large female cast supporting the story and – it works beautifully folks.
There is no way to sugar coast this film as it is raw, rough and in your face. I can’t remember the last time I saw a film that absolutely drained me only to be followed up by such a jaw dropping ending.
The DVD includes extensive bonus features with the filmmaker’s commentary, cast and crew interviews, behind-the-scene featurette, deleted scenes, extended fight scenes and finally, of all things, a gag reel and more!
In the end – no man could survive this!