Subject: I have found a DVD that I think you would enjoy
Actors: Susanne Hausschmid, George Gladstone, Erin Walsh, Anthony Thorne, Bethany Fisher
Director: Mark Savage
Genres: Horror, Science Fiction & Fantasy, Cult Movies
A determined woman refuses to relinquish her beachfront paradise to wealthy land developers, who in turn begin a cruel, violent campaign to destroy her and everything she holds dear. Still unwilling to give in, she ends... more »
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Defenseless against carpal tunnel syndrome.
Paul Aragon | Virginia | 08/26/2007
(1 out of 5 stars)
"Lately there has been an influx of new revenge films about raped women who go on killing sprees. With the recent releases of the likes of Bad Reputation, Baise Moi, and now Defenceless, one almost feels like they are reliving the turn of the 1980's when such films as I Spit on Your Grave, and Miss. 45 assaulted cinema goers around the world. Defenceless, with its many lurid internet images of its blond headed blood soaked Germanic heroine Susanne Hausschmid, walking the grassy treeless shoreline in a skimpy black halter top, works as effectively as a liquor add on the male libido. Even after purchase, the product continues to intice the senses with its four boastful awards from the Melbourne Underground dotting the cover. They proclaim Defenceless to have the best director, cinematography, and actress, while also being the best movie of the entire year. Once unwrapped we find that the film has plenty of special features including a commentary track and making of featurette. Most impressive of all however, is the six pages of liner notes, which contains a production diary full of behind the scenes stories and film shots. Indeed, with all the care utilized in the packaging, one almost feels like they have just purchased a Criterion Collection release rather then a typical dime a dozen DVD. If there is one thing that Defenceless does do right, it's its ability to build up ones expectations and hopes about the treasures that just might be hiding within the contents of the film itself. The irony here is that once you do place the disc in the tray and push play, you realize within moments that you have just been bamboozled big time. This film is not just bad, its flat out amazing in how bad it actually is.
Is it art or just a cop out?
In case you haven't heard, Defenceless is a silent film, which is to say that there is no talking or sound effects, just a musical score that plays along with the action. The notion of this tactic almost seems like it was an ingenious artistic endeavor, but before you place a badge for creativity on this production, you should ask yourself the question. Just what are the advantages to making a film when you capture only the images while disposing of the sound? The most simple answere to this question is the very key to knowing what the contents of Defenceless are actually going to be like. With the sound jettisoned, the director can simply tell the cast just what to do, what expression to have, and how to behave. It makes it so that the production team does not really have to worry much about things like story boards, they can simply talk a cast through the moves, and film and print the rehearsals like Ed Wood JR. Had this feature been made by my buddies in cable access I would of been some what impressed, because not having a production cost is the only way to explain or excuse Defenceless. In a cable access production a director would hope that their unpaid friends would show up on a given time, at a given location, be able to do a walk through of the scenes once or twice, and then have enough time left over to capture the needed scenes on tape before their friends have to go back home or go back to work. This is exactly what Defenceless is like, right down to the flat blank shabby porno movie lighting, cam corder looking images, and constant use of the dissolve edit feature in which one scene slowly bleeds and fades away into the next set of images.
Can't spoil an already spoiled film with spoilers.
As cardboard phony as the soap opera like "cough cough" film stock looks, the acting of this best actress of the year is equally painful to sit through. The absurd story is about a woman who refuses to sale her beach front property to greedy evil land developers who in turn try to force her to sale the property by killing off her family friends and lovers. First to die is her husband, who for some reason is dressed like an assassin. She is sent a postcard with a picture of his battered corpse and warning to sale or else. Now, not only does she not take this proof to the police immediately, or act out the explosive emotions a person would feel at such a horrible discovery, she instead acts like she might of left a bag of groceries at the check out line. I am not lying here, when you see this moment you can literally hear what the director was telling her to do inside your head.
"Now act sad...Sadder...Sadder...Great! now bring your hand up to your face...Grab your temple...Rub it...Rub it...Great now act like you have a migraine...Great...That's great...Its a wrap...Print it!"
Suffice to say that this moment does not impress the viewer with its realism.
Next she meets a woman and they instantly become lovers, because its better to have two naked chicks in an exploitation film then just one. Then she is sent a video tape ( more proof ) of her newly aquired lover being gang raped and murdered with further warnings to sale or else. Our herione brakes down by doing a prolonged artsy scene to heart felt music while of course being fully naked in the shower. Instead of coming as beautiful, or grieful, or artsy, or erotic, this moment feels as uncomfortably embarrassing as watching one of the Brady Bunch boys trying to ask a girl out on a date. Next to get killed is her child, who's sole reason for being in the film is to futher the justification of the mutilations that will be perpetrated on the villans durring the final act. It is then that she herself is captured, then raped, and then beaten, and then murdered. The villans thus toss her dead body into the ocean and steal her land. She is later discovered by a young girl who's innocent fascination in her magically brings her back to life. But the evil land developers are some naughty folks who enjoy tourmenting her after death so they even kill the little girl off too ( I guess this part of Australia must have the worst police force on the planet ). It is then that her ghost rises out of the water and goes on its blood thirsty rampage. I do not know who's idea it was to have Susanne Hausschmid's character act out the mannerisms of a bird to simulate a raised from the dead remorseless killing machine, but it warrents most laughable acting of the year rather then best acting. Yes folks, our heroine walks around with hatchets, knives and other implaments of distruction, covered in blood, and cutting off mens privates while cocking her head side to side like Tweety Bird. While bird lady is doing this, she has an expression on her face that looks as if she is doing all she can not to laugh, and why not? It's just as hard for anyone to keep a straight face while watching this vapid curiosity.
I would like to lastly state that I did not write this review because I enjoy bashing things. Quite the contrary, this review serves as a warning that many old cliche's are indeed true. In this case, you can not tell a book by its cover. If you still think that I am full of malarky and buy this feature anyway, then I suggest that you call in sick the day after watching it so that you have ample of time to ice up your washer womans elbow. For you are going to spend most of your viewing time of Defenceless pressing down the fast forward button looking for any moment that doesn't stink."
Doesn't deserve only one star.
Otis B. Driftwood | 12/04/2009
(4 out of 5 stars)
"i enjoyed it and it is far from being a movie that is not good enough for at least 2.5 stars."