Raze (2013)

raze

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2013, XYZ Films/Cinipix/Cosmic Toast Studios/Quincy Pictures

Director:
Josh C. Waller
Producers:
Zoë Bell
Kenny Gage
Andrew Pagana
Josh C. Waller
Writers:
Kenny Gage (story)
Josh C. Waller (story)
Robert Beaucage (story and screenplay)
Cinematography:
Dylan O’Brien
Editing:
Brett W. Bachman

Cast:
Zoë Bell (Sabrina)
Rachel Nichols (Jamie)
Tracie Thoms (Teresa)
Bruce Thomas (Kurtz)
Bailey Anne Borders (Cody)
Rebecca Marshall (Phoebe)
Allene Quincy (Brenda)
Adrienne Wilkinson (Nancy)
Amy Johnston (Gloria)
Tara Macken (Dee)
Doug Jones (Joseph)
Sherilyn Fenn (Elizabeth)

New Zealand stuntwoman/actress Zoë Bell stars in this very insane film that gives a new meaning to the word “girlfight”.

The film opens with Jamie, a young woman who is kidnapped after a date. Dressed in a white tank top and baggy pants, she finds herself in a small well-like arena. There, she meets Sabrina, who apologizes before ruthlessly beating her to death.

Sabrina is just one of fifty women who have been kidnapped by an organization led by couple Joseph  and Elizabeth. They force these women to fight to the death, which can result in the deaths of loved ones for the loser. Alongside Sabrina are Cody (Bailey Anne Borders), a young woman is fighting for her mother; Teresa, a woman fighting for her husband; and Phoebe, a psychopath who is in the tournament for one reason: bloodlust.

Despite the bonds between some of these women, they know that they have to fight to the death or they will not only lose their lives, but that of their loved ones, who are under surveillance by the organization. Who will survive as the ultimate champion, with the price being freedom for their loved ones and themselves?

From director Josh C. Waller comes this very brutal (and that’s saying it lightly) fight film that practically melds the likes of say Bloodsport with Battle Royale. All the fighters here are women and for some sick reason, the fights are meant to somehow empower women, according to Fenn’s maternal looking but at times insane Elizabeth. Some of the back stories of the fighters tend to be revealed while others tend to make up stories to make their opponent vulnerable before they meet their fates.

The primary focus of the film looks to be that of Sabrina, played well by Zoë Bell. A former military officer, she had given up her daughter for adoption as a baby and now becomes the reason for her entering the tournament. Bell has the stern look of someone who is truly mad and while she feels sympathy for some of her fellow fighters (especially Bailey Anne Borders’ scared as heck yet apt fighter Cody), when it boils down to it, she does get to business. Her main nemesis in the tournament is played by Rebecca Marshall, whose Phoebe is so psychotic she can pretty much castrate Battle Royale psycho Kiriyama with the way she approaches her opponents.

The fight choreography was done by James Young with assistance from Sam Hargrave. There are some nice kickboxing like maneuvers used by some fighters as well as some nice grappling. Add some gore to the mix and you have martial arts brutality on a whole new level. Some of the most disturbing scenes involve one fighter looking like raw hamburger after being repeatedly punched in the face and one fighter getting her eyes gouged in a truly sick fashion. In other words, to see this film, one must come with a strong stomach.

Raze truly takes the catfight to a whole new and brutal level. Truly meant for people with strong stomachs and Zoë Bell does quite well here. Worth a rental.

WFG RATING: B+

DVD

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