Savaged (2014)
By: Devon B. on May 8, 2015 | Comments
Monster Pictures | Region B | 1.78:1, 1080p | English DTS-HD MA 5.1 | 95 minutes (Full Specs)
The Movie
Cover Art
Credits
Director: Michael S. Ojeda
Starring: Amanda Adrienne, Rodney Rowland, Marc Anthony Samuel, Joseph Runningfox
Screenplay: Michael S. Ojeda
Country: USA
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.

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.
The Disc
Savaged is presented at 1.78:1 which caused me some real confusion because the trailer is at 2.35:1 and the feature didn't look open matte…sometimes. I'll clarify a bit further on. Ratio aside, there's some macroblocking and a little edge enhancement, but otherwise this is a clean print with good detail. The movie looks like it's been intentionally drained of colour so it's not eye candy, but this is a strong transfer. The audio track is very clear, however the sound design is not the most dynamic, though the audio does pick up in the action sequences. The Blu-ray includes a making of; animated storyboards; deleted/extended scenes; the trailer; and trailers for Detention of the Dead, Assault on Wall Street, Lightning Bugs, Deadly Virtues, and Among Friends. The making of runs about 10 minutes, with the most interesting titbit covering the movie's unusual funding process, which involved shooting a short version of the film. The deleted and extended scenes also run around the 10 minute mark, and are footage from the short version. The short version footage looked to have a ratio of about 2:1, so if the short was shot at a different aspect than the remainder of the footage that would explain why in some moments in the trailer there was more information on the sides of the image, because those particular scenes had to be cropped for the full length version.
The Verdict
If Johnny Firecloud died and possessed Macho Woman, the end result might've been Savaged. Assuming I'm right about the shifting aspect ratio, this Blu-ray is a high quality release that should appeal to fans of edgy horror actioners.
Movie Score
Disc Score
Overall Score
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