Written by: Michael Den Boer on April 24th, 2007
Theatrical Release Dates: Australia, 2004
Director: Mark Savage
Cast: Susanne Hausschmid, Bethany Fisher, Colin Savage, Erin Walsh, Max Hopkins, Yvette Johansson, Mitchell Turner, George Gladstone, Anthony Thorne, Richard Wolstencrof, Pamela Croft, Nikita Fisher, Heath Flint, Lenny Anderson, Craig Sayers
DVD released: April 24th, 2007
Approximate running time: 98 minutes
Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1 Anamorphic Widescreen
Sound: Dolby Digital Stereo
DVD Release: Subversive Cinema
Region Coding: Region 0 NTSC
Retail Price: $19.95
Land developers have their heart set on an undeveloped beach property owned by a woman (Susanne Hausschmid) who refuses to sell the property at any price. The Land Developers refuse to give up and they pressure the woman by killing her husband. When their first threats are not all but ignored they then realize the only way to remove her as an obstacle is to kill her. Just when they though their troubles where all behind them the woman they just murdered returns from the grave to exact her revenge.
Out of all the Mark Savage films that I have seen to date Defenceless is the least accessible. Defenceless is tale about revenge. From the opening moments of the film one gets the sense that you are watching someone unlike anything you have ever seen and may never see ever again. Even though Defenceless cover familiar ground it does so in such a way that you never get that feeling of déjà vu. Visually there are many beautiful moments in the films that at times get overshadow by the sexual and violent content which makes up most of the plot.
Director Mark Savage boldly decided not to use any spoken dialog in the entire film which is a direct contrast to the heavy dialog polluted films that infest your locale Cineplex. Mark Savage besides directing he also worked as the films Cinematographer and his sense of visual style is immaculate as he perfectly balances beautiful moments with more brutal moments. The film won several awards including one for best actress for Susanne Hausschmid whose performance really is the reason why this film works so well. Her mannerism and body language is pitch-perfect. Ultimately Defenceless is a solid and refreshing take on the revenge film genre that deserves to be seen by a wider audience.
Defenceless is presented in an anamorphic widescreen that preserves the films original aspect ratio. Colors look strong and flesh tones look natural. Details look sharp though out. The source material used for this transfer is in excellent shape and the transfer looks amazing.
Defenceless comes with one audio option its original English language in a Dolby Digital stereo. There are no problems distortion or with any other audio defects. Music and effects sound balanced through out.
Extras include bios for the cast and crew and a one and half minute stills gallery that plays like a featurette and DVD credits menu that lists everyone associated with this DVD release. Other extras include a forty three minute documentary titled “Inside Defenseless” which includes interviews with Mark Savage, Susanne Hausschmid, Bethany Fisher, Erin Walsh, Anthony Thorne and George Gladstone. This documentary is broken down into sections that start with eh idea all the way to cast and the directors’ feelings bout the final product. The main extra for this release is an audio commentary with Mark Savage, Susanne Hausschmid, Bethany Fisher, Erin Walsh, Anthony Thorne and George Gladstone. Another solid audio commentary with the two main creative forces behind making the film Mark Savage and Susanne Hausschmid dominating most of the discussion. Also include with this release are trailers for Marauders, Sensitive New Age Killer, Defenceless and trailers for other titles released by Subversive Cinema. Rounding out the extras is a booklet that includes a production diary form director Mark Savage for the film Defenceless.
Defenceless was originally included as part of Savage Sinema from Down Under an excellent box set released by Subversive Cinema. Now the title has been re-released with the same audio/video presentation and abundance of extras giving fans of this film a chance to pick it up if they missed out on its first release via the Savage Sinema from Down Under box set.
For more information about Defenceless visit Subversive Cinema here.