REVIEWED BY-STEVE GENIER DIRECTED BY-SHANNON YOUNG CAST-PAUL MODER, RICHARD CAWTHORNE. FLETCHER HUMPHRYS, TEAGUE ROOK, CAMPBELL USHER and JULIE ECKERSLEY. SOURCE-HYBRID FILM NTSC DVD SCREENER
Ultra violent film loosely based on a string of crimes that ravaged Melbourne by a gang of youthís called the Hedge-Burners gang. RAZOR EATERS is the filmís and gangís adopted name, a gang hell bent on bringing justice to drug dealers, dirty politicians and other people they felt were degenerates. Those intended to meet their path of justice are left with only one option, to stare death right in the eye. Each crime was treated as a documentary or better yet and somewhat self biography of the justice they thought they were bringing to society, swinging their ideology in a slogan form of "Organize, Traumatize, Immortalize" . By this, they would videotape every incident, murder, bombing, beating and everything in between. Holding a community steep in fear, they managed to get right through to the top. Though through our eyes, they were on a bloody rampage, but the statistics donít lie, the drug trade had taken a severe hit and began to decline during their rain. Of course never gone unnoticed and closely watched and being hunted down by a corrupt cop. Their laid path to inevitable destruction comes to a crashing halt, but leaves one unopened truth alive and closed.
This is truly a piece of cinematic terror that projects a raw and real protrayal of youth on a brutal rampage. Carrying a statement loud enough to shake up the police into investigating and trying to shutdown the production of RAZOR EATERS. Of course failing in doing so, I seen it! Everything clicks to an almost perfection here, the acting especially gives the full impression of something worthy of greatness. I was certainly stunned with the incredible surge of pure energy conveyed in pretty much every scene of this film. The intensity each actor bounced off one another like that of a baseball team on itís way to winning the World Series. Teamwork showed and the viewer, in this case me, sees it right from the start. One scene in particular, where one of the gang members gives an on camera background about himself. During this, the member displays such passion for his actions and reveals that itís simply because of the profound affect it personally had on him with his younger brother. That is not it, his range as an actor is also displayed with the sudden change of intensity to pure anger and then breaking down into tears. This type of range is present in the whole cast, each in their own respective ways.
The acting is only but one reason way RAZOR EATERS works, the raw and very much graphic methods used in the scenes of trauma. Nothing is held back here, when people are inflicted with pain, there is blood, there is violent reactions and there is eventually many deaths. All of which are very real, for those with weak stomachs will squirm and eventually turn their heads or leave the room. There is no mercy given here, you being the viewer are given the same treatment as many of the victims at hand here. Mentally you are scarred, psychically your are safe. Plenty of gun play, tons of explosions and buckets of gorilla tactics like action will surely have you coming back for more pain. Their methods of madness include some of the most insane acts of pure craziness.
Their idea of the element of surprise on one victim is to visit him at his home, but instead of crashing through the front door, they decide the hell with it and drive the car right into the house. Now, howís that for surprises? Or, going to the political epicenter of Melbourne, and mock being a television reporter, grab a major politician for a quick interview and kidnap him. These are only examples that skim the top of their crazy assed world order. These all contribute to an emotional build up that gathers as the film grows nearer and nearer to the eventual end, and what a twist of an end as well. Just when you though the madness had ended, there is a new one beginning. I have seen many twists in my time, but this one will have you seriously rethinking the whole film, if not popping it back in for another viewing. No, itís not over your head, by highly entertaining.
Director Shannon Youngís first feature is often compared to the likes of other classic that have made their way out of the land down under. Films like Geoffrey Wrightís 1992 skinhead saga ROMPER STOMPER and in my mind is reminiscent of the raw in nature of Andrew Dominikís CHOPPER. More in comparison with CHOPPER also for itís historical background. Still, Youngís overall direction is seamless and is surely the roadmap for many things to come. So far, RAZOR EATERS has like in the film itself, has left an impression of reaching star status. Itís momentum has only just started with itís winning of Special Jury Prize at the 2003 Melbourne Underground Film Festival, but is also about to invade the US in mid May during the FEARLESS TALES FILM FESTIVAL in San Francisco. There is surely tons of hard work put both into this film itself and promoting as well. My hat is off to all those involved with this project!
4.5 BITCH SLAPS
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