Written by: Michael Den Boer on August 25th, 2006
Theatrical Release Dates: Australia , 1986 (Marauders), Australia , 2000 (Sensitive New Age Killer), Australia , 2004 (Defenceless)
Director: Mark Savage
Cast: Paul Harrington, Zero Montana, Colin Savage (Marauders), Paul Moder, Carolyn Bock, Kevin Hopkins, Helen Hopkins, Colin Savage, Frank Bren (Sensitive New Age Killer), Susanne Hausschmid, Bethany Fisher, Erin Walsh, Anthony Thorne (Defenceless)
DVD released: August 29th, 2006
Approximate running time: 260 mins
Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1 Full Frame (Marauders), 1.85:1 Anamorphic Widescreen (Defenceless & Sensitive New Age Killer)
Sound: Dolby Digital Stereo
DVD Release: Suversive Cinema
Region Coding: Region 1 NTSC
Retail Price: $29.95
Marauders: JD Kruger and Emilio East start the day off like all good psychopaths do by killing those close them. JD on his way to meet Emilio is hit by a car driven by a boy named David. When he doesn’t stop that sets JD and Emilio off as they are hell bent on getting revenge so they follow him to a remote cabin in the woods. Mark is talking his latest girlfriend up to the cabin for a quick session of the old in and out. Along the way JD and Emilio piss off a lot of people who all then band together as a lynch mob to take out these punks once and for all.
Marauders has low budget written all over it, still it makes up for its shortcomings with its nihilistic take on eye for an eye. Director Mark Savage manages to create some wonderful shots that foretell of his growing ability as a director. The film though does have a lot of static moments Cinematography wise. Savage through his pacing and the mesmerizing performances of the two leads Zero Montana and especially Colin Savage is able to create an atmosphere of dread and hopelessness that never lets up. The rape scene I found to be not as graphic as advertised and the performances on a whole do leave a lot to be desired. There is an ample amount of bloodshed and violence in this one. Ultimately the best part of the film is Colin Savage’s performance. Let’s not forget his hair which should be classified as the eighth wonder of the world.
Sensitive New Age Killer: Paul as a young boy witnessed the notorious hit man “The Snake” kill a few lowlifes and since that moment he has dedicated his life to cleaning up the streets of all evil doers. Helping Paul with contract killings is his best friend George who has been having an affair with Paul’s wife. George not waiting to share Paul’s wife with him anymore concocts various schemes to have him killed and make it look like an accident. Luck seems to be on Paul’s side as he survives all the traps George lays for him. In walk’s Paul’s boy hood idol” The Snake” who now stands in between Paul and his place in hit man history.
Sensitive New Age Killer is equal parts film noir and a comedy send up of the genre. Mark Savage’s direction is spot on as he manages to recreate jaw dropping action sequences like John Woo and Quentin Tarantino. The acting all around is superb with each character given just the right amount of character background. The film also sports a playful version an Ennio Morricone song from his score for the 1963 western Gunfight at Red Sands. The film tends to spend to much time on the its numerous sex scenes and the various characters sexual fetishes like a son who loves his mother a bit to much. Despite some of its flaws SNAK is the best film included in Mark Savage’s best film to date.
Defenceless: 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.
Defenseless like the other two films include with collection Marauders and Sensitive New Age Killer are all tales 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. 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.
Marauders is presented in its original 1.33:1 full frame aspect ratio. This film was shot and video and even though the source material is in great shape some of the transfer’s short comings is largely due to the video source material. Colors look faithfully reproduced and details range from sharp to reasonably sharp. There are some instances of edge enhancement and artifacts pop up from time to time.
Sensitive New Age Killer is presented in an anamorphic widescreen that preserves the films original aspect ratio. Colors look vivid with colors gels being used to great effect through out the film. Black levels look solid and detail remains sharp and stable through out. The source material used for this transfer is nearly flawless and this is by far and away the best looking transfer include in this collection.
Defenseless 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.
Marauders comes with one audio option its original English language in a Dolby Digital stereo. THE audio is free of distortion or any other sound defects and the audio is more then accessible.
Sensitive New Age Killer comes with one audio option its original English language in a Dolby Digital stereo. Dialog is crystal clear and there are no problems with audio defects. The special effects and music sound evenly balanced and never distorted.
Defenseless 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 included on the Marauder DVD include bios for the director and various cast members and a two minute stills gallery that plays like a featurette and DVD credits menu that lists everyone associated with this DVD release. Other extras include a twenty eight minute documentary titled “Making of (Four friends in low Budget Heaven)” which includes interviews with Mark Savage, Colin Savage, Paul Harrington and Richard Wolstencroft. The four men vividly remember making Marauders and the difficulties making this film like how they at the last minute needed a rape victim for the film and ended up finding their victim at a party by simply asking if anyone would like to be raped on camera. Rounding out the extras is an audio commentary with Mark Savage, Colin Savage, Paul Harrington and Richard Wolstencroft. This audio commentary nicely complements the documentary and the four participants go into greater detail about the making of the film.
Extras included on the Sensitive New Age Killer DVD 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 thirty nine minute documentary titled “SNAK a Post Mortem” which includes interviews with Mark Savage, Paul Moder, Carolyn Bock, Kevin Hopkins, Helen Hopkins, Colin Savage, David Richardson and Frank Bren. The cast and crew all have many great stories to tell and fond memories working on SNAK. Rounding out the extras is an audio commentary with Mark Savage and David Richardson. This audio commentary is another strong extra that adds more insight into the making of SNAK.
Extras included on the Defenseless DVD 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. Rounding out the extras 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.
All three DVD come with these trailers Marauders, Sensitive New Age Killer, Defenseless and trailers for other titles released by Subversive Cinema. All three films also come with DVD booklets that include a production diary form director Mark Savage. This collection also comes with a bonus DVD of Mark Savage’s super 8 shorts and his controversial cable T.V. feature Stained. This bonus DVD was not included with the set sent for this review so the contents of this DVD have not been reviewed.
Subversive Cinema’s Savage Sinema from Down Under not only comes with three feature films it is packed to the gills with extra content. The best part of all is this sets ridiculously low retail price which makes this now only a must purchase for fans of Mark Savage but a prefect candidate for a blind buy if you are into films that showcase the darker sides of humanity, highly recommended.
For more information about Savage Sinema from Down Under and the films of Mark Savage visit Subversive Cinema here.