2013 / Director. Josh Waller.
Review by Glenn Cochrane.
50 women are held captive in an underground prison-hold. They are selected to participate in a physical tournament to the death. They have no weapons and must rely on their own fighting abilities to win. As an incentive their loved ones are kept under close surveillance and will be killed should a participant die. And of course the women fight for the entertainment of a wealthy audience who make up a centuries-old club of the elite. Some of the criticisms levied at RAZE are that it is exploitative and that it degrades women. That it is morally reprehensible and repulsive. FUCK THAT! Those kinds of disapprovals are, in fact, degrading to women and not the other way around. How many times have we seen the brutality of men in the same situation? How many beefed up, macho smack down movies have we seen where men beat the shit out of each other? Too many to count. I argue that RAZE offers something fresh and ballsy. Why is it so offensive that these chicks should get to pound each other to a pulp? ha. The concept of the movie isn't new but it sure as hell is fun. The violence is brutal and the women hold their own just fine. Zoé Bell leads the film and delivers more brute-force than most modern action-men. It might be classed as an "exploitation" film in the sense that its purpose is to be violent but it is absolutely NOT exploitative towards the women. There isn't a shred of nudity to be seen, nor are there any sexual implications. It is simply a good ol' fashion beat-em-up movie and having an all female cast makes it a hell of a lot more interesting then many other run-of-the-mill flicks. I had heaps of fun with it and at a short 80 minute running time, it's fast and audacious. A blood sport movie that has the hallmarks of a cult film.