"How many more do I have to kill?!?” pleads a sweaty, bloody-knuckled Sabrina in the very first of way too many fights scenes in Raze. Ten minutes and 18 seconds into the film, she breaks the arm of an extremely confused medical claims adjuster (with an unfortunate background in kickboxing)—snapping the woman’s humerus bone (not funny!) with an audible CRRRRRAAACK! She then uses both of her fists to transform the other woman’s face into a soft, gooey pile of meat that looks an awful lot like raw steak.
“This is making me physically ill—I’m getting sick to my stomach,” said my movie-watching pal, a normally tough-as-nails lesbian. “Why on earth would anybody watch this?”
On paper, the story line of Raze isn’t the worst. If it were a fleshed-out sci-fi novel, I’d probably read it. In movie form, though, it can be summed up in almost one sentence: “Women get randomly kidnapped by a creepy secret society of weirdo rich fucks who force the women to fight each other to the death with their bare hands, and the final winner gets turned back out into society as a new fangled Super Female.” Or something like that. There’s some bonus hokey pro-feminist mumbo jumbo like “No man could ever survive this!” and “To be a woman, you have to be devious in this world!” But nothing can compete with the sheer brutality of the fight scenes and the nonstop punching sound effects that sound like a hammer hitting a wet cow.
Zoe Bell, a martial artist and frequent stuntwoman in several grindhouse titles, tries to save the film with decent acting (as does the motherly looking secret society ruler, Twin Peaks star Sherilyn Fenn), but saving Raze from its gratuitously violent self just can’t be done.
“I’ve watched horror movies, boxing matches, and even cockfighting before,” said my friend. “None of it was ever as hard to watch as this.”