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The Strange Things Boutique




DVD. Chemical Burn.

BaneA badly named (tht title makes no sense that I could see) British horror from 2008 that has wallowed in obscurity, Bane is a film with a lot of problems, but one that really deserves to be better known than it is. While a long way from a classic, it’s a lot more interesting than a lot of the low budget Brit Horror films of recent years that have somehow managed to get highly publicised releases (Zombie Women of Satan? Kill Keith?).

Four young women awaken to find themselves locked in an electrified cage, unable to remember anything about the past, including their identities. It becomes clear that they are the subjects of a bizarre experiment, with psychological torture high on the agenda. Worse, a demented surgeon keeps appearing in the cage, carving a time into their back that they will be killed at – and then returning to slaughter them, unseen by the rest. As paranoia grows and the bodies start to pile up, the survivors have to try to escape. But they are not the only people being experimented on here – there is also the strange, tentacled monster we see early on, and in the final act, the film descends into chaotic madness as the truth behind the experiments is revealed.

There are a lot of reasons to criticise Bane. The film’s pacing is too slow – it could easily lose thirty minutes – and the story development is too unfocused, until the final revelations that are so ludicrous that they feel like a bit of a slap in the face. It’s like writer/director James Eaves couldn’t decide between making a Saw-like torture shocker and a science fiction monsters movie, and so decided to do both. Worse still, the final revelations suffer from shoddy sound, making it a struggle to follow what is being explained.

And yet… I didn’t hate Bane. It’s well crafted – not something you can say about a lot of zero budget Brit films – and the performances are fairly solid. It sounds a little insulting to say it feels like ‘a real film’, but if you’ve seen the likes of Men In Black – The Dark Watchers, you’ll know what I mean. I’m assuming this was shot with little money and a lot of love, but the look of the film belies that to a large extent. Eaves could, on the basis of this, make a good movie given a decent script.

While I can’t say that Bane is a lost classic, it’s far from the worst film of its type out there. With some judicious editing (directors shouldn’t really edit their own films) and a more coherent finale, it could be something special; as it is, it’s worth a look, though hardly essential viewing.





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