Breaking Glass Pictures does a bang-up job lately of finding low budget, indie horror that pushes the envelope off the mail truck and straight into the gutter. And yes, this is a good thing. Take this recent release, (please) which starts out with a real eye-opening scene. Though graphic in the extreme, these opening moments are so giddily over-the-top they put you in the mood for bloody fun. Of course, that's when writer/director David Blyth begins turning the screws: the screws that are boring holes into your skull.
If you read the back of the box, you'll get more of a line on the plot than I did originally reviewing a screener with no packaging. However, you might not want to do that, as getting there is half the fun in this highly disturbing, hypnotic psycho horror show. All the good bad stuff is there, supernatural elements, abusive family dynamics, bondage-domination/sadomasochism themes, graphic gore, and serious mental damage. You can't really call this a fun night at the movies, but if you're intrigued by the large, half-naked torturer wearing a cheap pig mask on the cover, you'll probably value your viewing experience anyway.
Kate O'Rourke gives a devastating performance as Susan, a mentally ill woman with an extremely troubled past, who can't escape the weight of everything she's done, or that's been done to her. One of her troubles is the daughter she abandoned, Tanya, (the ferocious Te Kaea Beri) an angry girl who might be returning to drive Susan even further off the deep end. Anchored by these two top-notch performances, Wound is free to be as weird as it wants to be. It's very weird. Full of overcharged symbolism, Wound shifts back and forth in time, and into and out of dreams with abandon. Though hard to grasp what's going on at times, the movie nonetheless generates a slow, mysterious, disturbing rhythm that should sit well with viewers who like their shockers pretty far out there.
Featuring a hypnotic, minimalist score, the growing horror coming off Wound, as pieces almost fall into place, creates a primal, cognitive disturbance that's truly unsettling. In other words, the movie's pretty scary precisely because you don't know what the hell is going on. Though it strains a bit here and there, the film's portentous weirdness, outrageous gore, and powerful performances will knock your crusty socks off.
One thing that's wounded is this 1.85:1 ratio widescreen transfer, which has some rough interlacing-type issues. Not great for your hi-def TV, but if you're back far enough the effect might be reduced to looking like a fairly soft image with plenty of aliasing, or something. Otherwise, colors are rich and robust, and the material is strong enough to overcome a bad transfer.
The Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround Sound Audio mix is pretty lively and deep. Music and dialog are mixed well, highlighting a great score that doesn't overpower the script, and sound design is calibrated to keep you on edge.
You get a Wound Trailer as well as other Breaking Glass Trailers, a Photo Gallery, the "Knot Nine" Music Video, plus two cool short subjects: "Damn Laser Vampires" is a sort of 9-minute music video, while Blyth's first short film (from 1976) "Circadian Rhythms" oozes cheeky art-school weirdness - think Meshes Of The Afternoon with nude members of Mummenschanz and you'll get the idea. It's 13-minutes of obtuse fun.
Wound polarizes with cult-film weirdness. Both hard to follow and hypnotic, this disturbing shocker features every form of fetishized badness you can think of, as Susan (a perfect performance from Kate O'Rourke) descends into madness. With lots of over-the-top gore and an eerie score, Wound (despite poor image quality) rates as Recommended for cult-film freaks.
- Kurt Dahlke
~ More of Dahlke's DVD Talk reviews here at DVD Talk I'm not just a writer, I paint colorful, modern abstracts, too! Check them out here KurtDahlke.com