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|Index||37 reviews in total|
This low-budget supernatural action horror film is proof that you don't
need a billion dollars to make a good, enjoyable, and high-end movie -
worth watching on the big screen...
I've watched the movie during the "Screamfest" horror film festival in LA, 2013, and although I had no expectations, I was surprised by the quality of the film...
Director Michael S. Ojeda has done beautiful work - with a wonderful little tale of revenge that turns epic, artistic shots and mise-en- scene, which fit perfectly in the slasher-genre, great actor-directing, fluent and precise editing, and excellent special effects...
In my opinion, having done most of the pre-production and post- production work on his own - definitely entitles Ojeda as being a new generation "Auteur-Director"...
The cast was awesome, each and everyone of them, and the producers have done great work - utilizing whatever budget they managed to scrape into making this slasher a great movie...
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
The Holy Grail of B-Class horror films is, was, and always will be to duplicate the success of productions like Living Dead, Texas Chainsaw, or Last House. That is to say, to walk into the production with only the minimum production budget (in some cases not even that); "volunteer" actors whose day jobs usually doesn't even include contact with other human beings, yet alone complicated dialog; and a stageset which is temporarily borrowed from existing buildings or Mother Nature, to avoid having to hire carpenters and designers. If, from these humble beginnings, you can produce something entertaining, engaging, and (Duh) profitable, you will have succeeded where many before you have failed. I have seen a lot of these, more than I like to talk about, and, I have to say, SAVAGED, written and directed by Michael Ojeda, tries hard and, although wildly uneven, succeeds much more often than it fails. The first 20 minutes or so is actually the weakest. The script initially shoots itself in the foot by making the heroine very unsympathetic to the audience. A slim and pretty young lady, deaf and mute, grabs her late father's GTO and, entirely on her own, begins a road trip into the US south-west, her only protection being her utter naiveté. If that is not cloying enough, she chances upon a Native American being beaten by some local yokels and actually tries to intervene. Within minutes (a series of fast cuts tells the tale) she is captured, tortured, raped, killed, and left to rot in a half-open grave. To that point, the film is hardly at its best. However, from then on it gets very interesting. Her more-dead-than-alive body is found by a local Apache "witch doctor" and he tries to bring her back, only to find, at the last minute, that the spirit of a vengeful Apache warrior has hitch-hiked back, too. Equally clever (this is told via backstory at the half-way point) is that, it turns out, the re-animation would have failed without the piggybacking spirit, so while the girl is animated and ready to party, her physical body is decaying and her time is limited. Overall, pretty clever. The story gets to play simultaneously with elements of I SPIT ON YOUR GRAVE; a lot of neat zombie-like themes, and also a riff on the iconic Graham Masterton "Manitou" story. And the best part of all?? From the half-way point onwards, the film actually gets better and picks up momentum right to the final scene. Boy is that rare. Most of these productions run out of money, creativity and SFX budget at that point, but SAVAGED turns it all around. Nice job. Rating 7.5 but IMDb doesn't do halfsies.
I had the pleasure of seeing this film at Screamfest 2013 and was blown
away. I went in knowing absolutely nothing about the movie and with
fairly low expectations due to a lot of the films I've seen at other
I came out of it with a renewed hope and optimism for the entire film industry. I'm rarely impressed with movies anymore and when I am, they're original indie gems that go against the Hollywood/studio status quo- 'Savaged' is one of those, but it's also more than that. It's perhaps the best indie horror film I've seen since 'Evil Dead', seriously.
The movie has an indie feel but the filmmakers achieved a very high production value all around with great picture quality, color grading, solid cinematography, wonderful practical and digital effects, perfect editing, solid performances all around with interesting characters, and most importantly- an original, entertaining, and fun story.
I highly recommend horror fans get their hands on this movie the second it is released!
To say that I was impressed by this movie is an understatement, in a time where $200 million film production budget can equate to a steaming pile of dung, this movie proves that a budget like that can be better employed to make over 500 quality films like this one, I have no idea what there budget was so I might be completely off, this movie lacks the refined color filters of your typical Hollywood films but after a few minutes you get used to the look, it starts off looking like a typical revenge type movie, which I do like to begin with, any thing from Death Wish to I spit on your grave, revenge & vigilante flick are awesome if done right, this falls under the I spit on your grave variety but with a major twist, not going to spoil it for anyone, I never saw the trailer but if you do you'll see it's a supernatural horror movie along with all those elements I mentioned which are all showed in the trailer, the gore is phenomenal they use digital and classic latex make up effects which I love, some of the gore is over the top and I loved every minute of it, make sure you see the uncut version because the version I saw was labeled uncut so not sure if there are different cuts, BTW I had nothing to do with this movie, in fact never even heard about it till today, I say this because some people are quick to say "Oh this reviewer gave it a 10 because they were probably a part of the production team" that's not me I give this movie a 10 because it deserves it right now as I review it, it has a 5.6 score which seems low based on the movie I just saw, but that's the beauty of taste were free to express our opinions and from now on this production and director team are on my radar, the actors were outstanding, seriously the only person I recognized in this movie was the sheriff and the was it, great movie, well deserved 10 rating
Even ideas that were used and used can still make a small impact if
executed correctly. Exactly the case with "Savaged" where you'll see
some bad effects sometimes, or better say cheap ones, a plot that was
used before a few number of times, but you will also see heart, a
director that wanted to make a good movie, actors that were happy to
play their role, all of these resulting into a good B horror.
It has some elements from "Contracted", some from "Freakdog" or maybe "The crow", anyway it was a fun ride, especially that they decided to limit the torture screen of the girl and show more of her vengeance. Maybe it lasted a tad bit more than it should have, but probably wanted to offer some deepness to it all.
So all in all, "Savaged" is an OK movie for many horror fans out there, not limited to one exact category, which is a good thing. So whoever you are and whatever your tastes are, you should give this one a try. Especially for those looking for a nice indie movie!
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
As usual, I went into this film knowing only one thing - it's a horror film. To tell you the truth I was expecting something cheesy, low budgeted with atrocious acting and possessing a ridiculous script that made no sense. Yes, this movie will remind you of "I Spit On Your Grave" with a little bit of "The Hills Have Eyes" and "Wrong Turn" thrown in for good measure. That whole 'native American, spirit possession, ghost dance, zombie thing' took me by surprise, though. The filmmaker did go out of his way to make the story a little original. Just the fact that the lead was deaf and in an interracial relationship is a small triumph for the under-represented. The editing was razor sharp, the film well shot, and the movement of the story stayed at a crisp pace. The inevitable flaws and mediocre CGI doesn't destroy the momentum, either. At least the killings were bloody but not over the top or overly gory as, say, "Helldriver" or "Machine Girl." Anyway, the bottom line is I had fun and that's what I'd expected.
Savaged is the story of a deaf mute girl on her way to a new life
living with her fiancé. she stumbles across some unsavoury desert
dwellers up to no good and is brutalised and eventually murdered by
them. A local Shaman witch doctor tries to resurrect her but something
goes wrong and the girl comes back changed and ready for vengeance.
Michael S. Ojeda has come up with a great new twist on the rape revenge genre. Somewhere between "I spit on your grave" and "The crow" Savaged is full of so many cool and original moments that this indie horror easily puts most Hollywood efforts to shame. The casting in Savaged is great. Amanda Adrienne manages to look both Fragile and strong in equal measure as the Vengeful Zoe making it easy for the viewer to sympathise with her as well as get behind her as she dispatches the bad guys in ever more inventive ways.
Some of the set pieces in Savaged are truly great. One scene which can only be described as a bar fight with "guts" was truly inspired. Another scene where our heroine battles on the back of a moving truck was also impressive. Some of the more gruesome scenes also had me wincing with how just plain gross they are. All of this leads up to a great Showdown and a strong if tragic ending.
Given that the movie is a low budget Indie the special FX are very impressive. The make up for Zoe as her body gradually degenerates are fantastic. Granted there are some fairly poor CG effects in here but in general they are of a pretty high standard with nothing so bad as to ruin any enjoyment to be had. Although my one true gripe has to be the use of CG blood squirts, I wish people would stop using these as they just look poor.
What this movie has is a real sense of fun and how it manages to maintain this at the same time as being very brutal is a great achievement. Savaged has that 80's movie feel where even though some of the things that happen are a little silly it doesn't matter because it's pure entertainment. I can't wait to see what Mr Ojeda does next.
You wouldn't expect much from a movie which mixes a standard vengeance
horror with a zombie movie, and when you throw in a low budget too,
your expectations go even lower. But prepare to be pleasantly
I missed the first few minutes of the film, but what I caught was very tautly written with just the right amount of pathos to leave you rooting for the vengeful zombie girl, and enjoying every kill. At the same time it gave you just the right amount of back story to draw you in without spoiling the pace.
About the only weak bit was the final 5-10 minutes; I won't reveal any details but it was dragged out past it's natural finishing point, and at the end you can't help but feel the innocent survivors are going to have one helluva job explaining things to the authorities...
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
SAVAGED is nothing more than a supernatural spin on the I SPIT ON YOUR
GRAVE storyline. A deaf-mute girl is travelling by car through the
desert when she accidentally witnesses a murder committed by a gang of
thugs. With no intentions of letting her leave alive, they take her
back to a house where she is raped and abused, before finally being
killed in an escape attempt.
At this stage the story begins properly. The girl is brought back to life by a Native American shaman while the spirit of a long-dead Native American war chief hops on board. From then on it's an orgy of mean-spirited violence as the girl goes on an odyssey of vengeance and gruesome, body-mangling horror. To add to the gore effects, she's a literal shambling corpse, her body gradually breaking down thanks to the effects of the plot events.
SAVAGED is a pretty typical but well made example of this revenge-horror genre. The gore effects are plentiful and only tempered by some less-than-impressive low budget CGI which could have been done without. The script is lean and pared down, focusing on the action which is always a plus, and Amanda Adrienne gives a heartbreaking performance as the put-upon girl. Not exactly an enjoyable movie, this, but an entertaining experience all the same.
Michael S.Ojeda's "Avenged" is a post-modern battle cry against the
monstrosity of bigotry. The film blends elements of exploitation-
revenge horror with classic, supernatural-action. It is a nightmarish
tale that sees a young deaf woman crossing paths with some of the worst
humanity has to offer. Witness to the brutal murder of two Apache men,
Zoe is abducted, raped and left for dead. But the supernatural power to
be avenged reaches beyond this reality exact primitive justice on the
men who did this to her. "Avenged" can best be described as "I Spit On
Your Grave meets The Crow".
The story that Ojeda has created around this supernatural transformation of a sexual assault victim is powerful, compelling, and emotional. "Avenged" becomes a complex multilayered story with characters rich in dimension. From the beginning I felt the fear rise in me for what was to happen to Zoe-that just on the exploitation-revenge horror side of this story which dominates the first piece to this story. I also hated the notion that the GTO was gonna be brutalized, luckily that didn't happen. However "Avenged" is filled with cruelty, brutality, grittiness and blatant sadism.
The acting and directing are quality. Michael S. Ojeda is a true talent with the gift of telling a really high-octane, and twisted story. The characters and situations are emotionally driven and effectively pull on you to feel and relate to both the horrors of man and the suffering of humanity. As "Avenged" gets into the crux of this supernatural-revenge legend-and legend is what Zoe is-some of that "human touch" gets lost in the intensity of the action and gore that permeate through the film. It isn't really a bad thing, "Avenged" morphs into a major action driven, splatterfest of thrills.
The special effects are pretty awesome. Some moments seem to fall a bit flat when it comes to realism, but for the most part "Avenged" will excite any gore, and blood thirsty horror fan. There is some CGI mixed in but Ojeda seems to have an understanding of what is a healthy balance of its use. The CGI is blended effortlessly in most of the violence-rich scenes. A couple of times it looks kind of The Asylum-ish, but honestly there is so much visceral, raw carnage that uses practical effects that the CGI is more than embraceable by the "Purist" horror fans. Overall "Avenged" is a worthy supernatural- exploitation mashup that entertains on pretty much every horror level.
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