HOME |  CULT MOVIES | COMPETITIONS | ADVERTISE |  CONTACT US |  ABOUT US
 
 
 
Newest Reviews
Morfalous, Les
Dreambuilders
Everything Went Fine
Lux AEterna
Rum Runners
Fairy and the Devil, The
Mad God
Outside the Law
I Remember Mama
Superman Unbound
Lawrence of Belgravia
House Across the Lake, The
Wonder Park
Hornsby e Rodriguez
Operation Mincemeat
5 Kung Fu Daredevil Heroes
Scoob!
Earwig
Offseason
Peau Douce, La
Double Indemnity
Na Cha and the Seven Devils
Deep Murder
Superman vs. the Elite
Adam Project, The
Osamu Tezuka's Last Mystery of the 20th Century
Horse, La
Buffaloed
Train Robbers, The
Let Sleeping Cops Lie
Abominable
Funeral, The
Burning Sea, The
Godzilla Singular Point
Ace of Aces
Innocents, The
Beast and the Magic Sword, The
Last Hard Men, The
Found Footage Phenomenon, The
Night Trap
   
 
Newest Articles
3 From Arrow Player: Sweet Sugar, Girls Nite Out and Manhattan Baby
Little Cat Feat: Stephen King's Cat's Eye on 4K UHD
La Violence: Dobermann at 25
Serious Comedy: The Wrong Arm of the Law on Blu-ray
DC Showcase: Constantine - The House of Mystery and More on Blu-ray
Monster Fun: Three Monster Tales of Sci-Fi Terror on Blu-ray
State of the 70s: Play for Today Volume 3 on Blu-ray
The Movie Damned: Cursed Films II on Shudder
The Dead of Night: In Cold Blood on Blu-ray
Suave and Sophisticated: The Persuaders! Take 50 on Blu-ray
Your Rules are Really Beginning to Annoy Me: Escape from L.A. on 4K UHD
A Woman's Viewfinder: The Camera is Ours on DVD
Chaplin's Silent Pursuit: Modern Times on Blu-ray
The Ecstasy of Cosmic Boredom: Dark Star on Arrow
A Frosty Reception: South and The Great White Silence on Blu-ray
You'll Never Guess Which is Sammo: Skinny Tiger and Fatty Dragon on Blu-ray
Two Christopher Miles Shorts: The Six-Sided Triangle/Rhythm 'n' Greens on Blu-ray
Not So Permissive: The Lovers! on Blu-ray
Uncomfortable Truths: Three Shorts by Andrea Arnold on MUBI
The Call of Nostalgia: Ghostbusters Afterlife on Blu-ray
Moon Night - Space 1999: Super Space Theater on Blu-ray
Super Sammo: Warriors Two and The Prodigal Son on Blu-ray
Sex vs Violence: In the Realm of the Senses on Blu-ray
What's So Funny About Brit Horror? Vampira and Bloodbath at the House of Death on Arrow
Keeping the Beatles Alive: Get Back
   
 
  Savage The Wellington Way
Year: 2019
Director: Sam Kelly
Stars: Jake Ryan, John Tui, Chelsie Preston Crayford, Seth Flynn, Haanz Fa'avae Jackson, James Matamua, Jack William Parker, Alex Raivaru, Olly Presling, Lotima Pome'e, Italiyah Wilson, Eden Flynn, Poroaki Merritt McDonald, Richard Falkner, Dominic Ona-Ariki
Genre: Drama, ActionBuy from Amazon
Rating:  7 (from 1 vote)
Review: 1989, and in Wellington, New Zealand, influential gang member Damage (Jake Ryan) is faced with a dilemma at his clubhouse when one of their number has been accused of stealing, so he had to mete out justice in the form of a claw hammer - his weapon of choice - planted into the hand of the culprit, something that doesn't make him any more friends in the circle of the gang. They are named The Savages, and under the leadership of Moses (John Tui) they have grown from a ragtag bunch of kids to one of the most feared groups around, but Damage is not entirely happy. He starts to feel the draw of a different way of life, one which would satisfy him far more than the cycle of violence, and an encounter with a higher-class woman (Chelsie Preston Crayford) sets him reflecting...

Savage was the feature debut of Sam Kelly, who had earned his experience making short films, but here was set on presenting a side of New Zealand that would be less to do with the picturesque scenery that much of the cinema out of the nation liked to include, and more about confronting its ugly side. He did so by concentrating on a wild bunch of none-more-macho men who define themselves not by success in love, or parenting, or careers, but how adept they were at beating other men up. While Kelly obviously made this to depict that kind of brutality, he was under few illusions about how much "damage" the lifestyle does to them psychologically, never mind physically, as everything we witnessed play out here screamed a hollow existence for stunted souls.

None of these men are in touch with their emotions, and to even attempt that would be to undercut their status as manly blokes, which even more than shagging women (which we significantly don't see much of, if anything) finds that violence is the most fulfilling expression, which as Damage eventually recognises, is no fulfilment at all. This was in the tradition of tough pictures from this part of the world like Smash Palace or Once Were Warriors, which showed aggressive, relentless masculinity as a kind of mental disease from which the sufferer had to want to be cured of, or else they will simply stew away until they get too old to participate, a wasted life, or meet a sticky end as they succumb to the kind of bloodshed that Damage is beginning to question is doing him any benefit, never mind his fellow gang members. Kelly based his screenplay on real social problems, and though this was fictional, it did feel authentic.

Had this been made in Hollywood, it would be bikers that it focused on, had it been made in Britain, they would be football hooligans; you know the type of thing, the violent drama, verging on the exploitation movie (and not always verging, a lot of the time diving straight in), where there's a lot of heads kicked in and a bit of a lesson at the end to have the protagonist wonder if this was all worth it. Savage at least had a brain in its head, albeit one in danger of getting the business end of that claw hammer embedded in it, and served up flashbacks to Damage's early years when he was called Danny, by way of explanation of how he wound up the way he did. His loveless father was violently abusive, his mother cowed into silence, and Danny went into care for stealing where he was beaten and sexually abused in turns by the staff, so he really didn't stand a chance, he was always going to be holding in some serious issues - this also called into question to what degree stern discipline can possibly help a child who needs guidance and a decent role model instead. You get the idea, and the impression was that the finer points would be ignored in favour of the action, but you could appreciate both. Music by Arli Liberman.
Reviewer: Graeme Clark

 

This review has been viewed 919 time(s).

As a member you could Rate this film

 
Review Comments (0)


Untitled 1

Login
  Username:
 
  Password:
 
   
 
Forgotten your details? Enter email address in Username box and click Reminder. Your details will be emailed to you.
   

Latest Poll
Which star probably has psychic powers?
Laurence Fishburne
Nicolas Cage
Anya Taylor-Joy
Patrick Stewart
Sissy Spacek
Michelle Yeoh
Aubrey Plaza
Tom Cruise
Beatrice Dalle
Michael Ironside
   
 
   

Recent Visitors
Darren Jones
Andrew Pragasam
Graeme Clark
Enoch Sneed
Mary Sibley
  Desbris M
  Sheila Reeves
Paul Smith
   

 

Last Updated: