[I didn't ask for this one to be added to the catch up pile (Mitch, I'm pointing at you) but on a whim I gave it a go and endured. More on this controversial supernatural horror film that screened at FanTasia after the synopsis off the official site]
WOUND is a Supernatural Horror Film that explores the dark worlds of mental illness, incest, revenge and death. We follow Tanya as she searches for the mother she has never met - a mother (Susan) who gave her up for dead after being abused by her own father who remains stuck in her present life. Tanya returns from the dead to confront and possess Susan with all her deepest fears and desires, sending Susan into a state of madness and gore filled
retribution. WOUND explores and confronts the dark, distorted supernatural world that lurks within us all. A young woman, alone, attempts to fight the demons that begin to haunt her days and nights - in a series of brutal confrontations with the enemies of the past who want to possess and kill her. But, they are all members of her own family ... of her own self. A dark, disturbing look into a haunted woman's mind. This is one terrible dream you will never wake up from.
David Blyth, word is that he is one of New Zealand's most controversial film directors, director of New Zealand's first ever splatter horror film Death Warmed Up
in 1984 [Yes, pre Jackson's Bad Taste
by three years], returns to feature film making after a six year foray into documentaries. Picking up where he left off his new film Wound certainly stirred up controversy in his homeland before ever going up on a silver screen. More on that later. Billed as a supernatural tale of incest, bondage, mental illness and graphic violence it certainly isn't for the faint of heart or weak disposition. Starting off with a gushing castration and ending with a double headed stillborn birth there is no shortage of graphic images that will leave an indelible mark on the psyche.
Clocking in at a lean, mean and bloody 75 minutes there is hardly a moment for rest as images of suffering, bondage and violence follow one after the other, repeatedly testing the fortitude of the viewer. High of style and low on budget Blyth makes the most of his nightmarish vision where drawing comparisons to David Lynch is the easiest thing the viewer can do. Other than that? You're on your own. Credit is due to Kate O'Rourke who plays Susan. Not only did she have to undergo a physical transformation of herself, think Christian Bale and The Machinist
, but to subject herself to such hardship and abuse for the sake of art is something else. The role of Susan had to be a physically and psychologically demanding one.
As far as Blyth is concerned? As the film faced a potential banning in New Zealand the director spoke out against those deeming his film unsuitable for viewing. "It's about sexual abuse in this country, no one else is talking about this. All my films have had a female theme and they all deal with the disenfranchised. I think it's important to find a place for movies of all kinds, and not just what the Film Commission approves.
]" Further to that, "I like to
think that my film is about the horror of the everyday I see around me, an increasingly uncaring society and it's all put down to 'oh we don't have the money to spend but we have to spend the money on our vulnerable women and children'
]" The verdict? They didn't, "But the film censor's office says the impact of some of the more shocking content of the movie is limited by it's low budget and unrealistic special effects.
]" Take that super sensitive ninnies! You don't win because of the film's low budget effects! Which is true.
This may not be high calibre film making but that doesn't detract from the effectiveness of the imagery I think. It's still pretty challenging stuff to watch.
Side note. Looking up Blyth's list of directorial efforts they include episodes and a Christmas special of Mighty Morphin' Power Rangers. Neat.
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