Defenceless: A Blood Symphony – DVD Review

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Mark Savage


Susanne Hausschmid The Woman
George Gladstone Developer
Erin Walsh The Lover
Anthony Thorne Developer
Bethany Fisher The Girl
Colin Savage The Husband
Richard Wolstencroft The Stepfather
Nikita Fisher Little Victim
Mitchell Turner Developer

DVD Release Date: May 29, 2007
Rating: Unrated
Running Time: 98 Minutes

The Movie

It is often said that revenge is a dish best served cold, but they don’t say it is done in silence. Yet that is where we travel to in Defenceless. A young woman has everything going for her: a beautiful family, fantastic house, and a great job. But when her business partners want her to sign a contract to build some condos on the beach, her refusal turns her entire life upside down.

First they kill her husband to show that they mean business. When she thinks her life is over, she drops her son off at a friend’s house and goes out in remote field with a bottle of pills and looks to see her husband again soon. That is until a woman finds her, saves her life, and they become lovers.

But even though in a totally different life, it doesn’t mean that her partners haven’t kept tabs on her. The death of her lesbian lover almost pushes the woman over the edge, but she knows she still has her son to live for. Yet by now, she should have realized that nothing in her life was safe. A happy day at the beach turns into her brutal rape and murder before her son is mutilated. But her revenge is strong, and only nine short months later she returns and vows to seek out those who have wronged her.

Confused? You should be.

Oh, and if you think by watching the film that you will understand it more then reading my summary, you’re wrong. First let’s take into account that the film is entirely silent except for music and a few screams during some of the attacks. Yes, no dialogue whatsoever throughout the duration. This really wouldn’t be too bad a concept except for how horribly it was done. If their intention was to purposely not have dialogue in the film, then don’t have some characters having conversations and not at least give us subtitles or something. Secondly, don’t repeat the same three or four music tracks over and over again. Boredom was already settling in; there’s no need to speed it up.

Most of all, the story is just absurd. It goes along just fine (almost) until after the woman is murdered. She is thrown into the ocean by the killers and left for dead. Nine months later she washes up on shore and has become some sort of mermaid. She doesn’t have the tail or anything, but she now makes her bed in a puddle of water nearby and sleeps each night underwater. The nine months also seem to have made her lose all motor skills because she walks and moves like a robot. She has the mentality of a retarded child and doesn’t understand the concept of clothing or much else. Oh yes, and she is now a cannibal. I mean is she a zombie? Is she some freak who miraculously survived nine months in the ocean? Oh yeah, we don’t really know because no-one’s talking.

The story could possibly work even without any dialogue, but like I said, only halfway. But the acting is so horrible that I often found myself wondering how the film won the awards the DVD case claims it did. The actors show virtually no emotion at all. When the woman finds out her husband and lesbian lover are dead, she simply raises a hand to her mouth in shock. That’s it. Later on when her son watches his mother brutalized, he simply stares. And all I have to say is that if I saw a woman in a bra and a skirt holding a huge knife at a party, I would not walk by without at least glancing in her direction.

There’s just so much wrong with Defenceless – including how the title is spelled – that it’s really quite difficult to keep going on. If you do choose to view it still, I warn you to be prepared for some graphic scenes. A lot of blood, some visibly rough rape scenes, and even a few castrations are just some of the things you are going to witness while watching. Along with the vivid accounts of cannibalism, the film goes out of its way to be gory. But it’s pointless really when the rest of it is just so bad.

The Video

The film is seen in 16×9 Anamorphic Widescreen format and the colors look fine and sure some of the backdrops are beautiful, but the film looks as if it was shot in 1984. It just really has a weird feel about it as if the film is really 20-years-old or more probably so just cheaply made.

The Audio

The film is heard in Dolby Digital Sound and is alright. It’s kind of hard to judge when it’s as if you are listening to a CD with some a wave crashing or a crying sob thrown in twice. There is no dialogue, no sound effects, and the music just keeps repeating. It sounds fine, but in this case what exactly is “it?”

Special Features

Audio Commentary – Director Mark Savage and the main star herself Susanne Hausschmid sit down to give their thoughts on the film. While I will admit that this is the better way to watch it the first time overall (and should be the only time), it still doesn’t make it any more enjoyable. They discuss the shooting locations and how things were supposed to be interpreted by the actions shown on screen and the choice of music for each scene, but that’s virtually it. Your generic “this is what we did here” is all you’re going to get in this commentary. Certainly not worth torturing yourself through another showing.

Inside Defenceless – This is the best and only way you should watch the film if for some reason you ever get it. A few clips from the film thrown into mostly interviews from the director and a lot of the cast. They explain their meaning behind making Defenceless and the exact reasoning for having it totally dialogue free and set strictly to music. This is a rather long feature at close to forty-five minutes and is truly the best insight into anything on the DVD.

Cast And Crew Bios – A couple little paragraphs written about any and everyone who could possibly be associated with the film.

Still Gallery – Nineteen still frames from the film. Not worth the time it took to put that little slide-show together.

TrailersDefenceless, Sensitive New Age Killer, Marauders, Wild Blue Yonder, and Dust Devil

The Inside Pulse

On the cover art of the DVD are small emblems showcasing the various awards the film won at the Melbourne Underground Film Festival in 2004. It won four awards which were Best Director, Best Actress, Best Cinematography, and Best Film. My guess is that it had to be the only work in the running for any of those awards. Okay, it possibly could have won Best Cinematography if the other films just were excrement – I mean literally, just shots of feces – but the other awards simply baffle me. It is awful. Just completely awful and there’s no need to watch the special features on a film that totally sucks. Mind you the special features are the only decent part of the DVD. Avoid this film at all costs. If you want blood and music, slice open your own finger and throw on a CD, it’d be more enjoyable I can tell you that.

The DVD Lounge’s Ratings for Defenceless: A Blood Symphony
(OUT OF 10)