I've long maintained that there are not enough horror movies based on American Indian folklore. Indians have awesome stories about all sorts of monsters, and yet these rich tapestries of tales go largely unused in cinema. Savaged is a movie that seems like it could've tied in to Indian legends, but mostly it's about a possession. At least the possessor is a long dead Apache warrior, and hey, maybe I'm being ignorant and the ghosts of warriors possessing the living is a traditional theme for Apaches. The theme of Savaged is probably more rape intensive than most traditional Apache stories, though.
|Director: Michael S. Ojeda
Starring: Amanda Adrienne, Rodney Rowland, Marc Anthony Samuel, Joseph Runningfox
Screenplay: Michael S. Ojeda
In Savaged a deaf woman gets a car and heads out on a road trip to meet her beau. On the way she interrupts some yokels being particularly mean to a pair of Indians. For her Samaritan efforts she ends up abducted, sexually abused, stabbed, and left for dead. An older Indian finds her and tries to save her, but something goes wrong and that aforementioned Apache warrior enters her body. Retribution ensues.
The back cover has a quote that compares Savaged to The Crow, and that's a good connection except for the possession. With the possession element there are also shades of any movie with a possession, like Child's Play, except rather than completely take over the woman the Apache seems to have merged with her in a way that enables the pair to enter into a symbiotic quest for vengeance. He seems to come out more in times of duress, so Savaged is actually sort of like The Incredible Hulk Spits On Your Grave. Savaged's sexual violence is nowhere near as explicit as I Spit On Your Grave's, and the woman doesn't turn big and green, so maybe that's not the most apt comparison, but it is worth noting that the possession angle in Savaged is different from the norm.
Savaged also strays from the pack by being a modestly budgeted film that manages to boast decent production values. Aside from a few silly CG FX everything in this film is well done, featuring many solid performances, a couple of well-done action set pieces, splashes of splatstick, and some of the most wince inducing injuries this side of Mother's Day (1980). Savaged starts very fast paced then slows down for a bit, but it builds to a great climactic battle that's worth the wait. People with short attention spans may struggle here and there, but even they should feel satisfied after witnessing all the awesome moments Savaged has to offer.
Mash ups won't normally be the most unique movies, but Savaged combines its various influences in a fun new way, and by mixing its parts well it even becomes a bit tricky to categorize the film. It's not really a slasher, or at least not one with typical victims, and its horror components stop it from being a straight action/revenge flick. Whatever Savaged is, I really enjoyed it.
Look fast for a Fred Astaire, an unusual inclusion in an Apache possession revenge movie.