Any good Quentin Tarantino fan knows of Zoe Bell. She was in Django Unchained and Death Proof and she has done stunts for Inglorious Bastards and the Kill Bill films. Take a moment to IMDb her and you will be shocked at the number of times you have seen her and maybe didn’t even known it.
When it comes to action, Zoe Bell is one of the best. Those fight scenes, specifically the Crazy 88 sword fight, in Kill Bill alone should solidify that status.
So, when I was given the chance to see Raze, a film about 50 kidnapped women forced to fight to the death, I did not hesitate. After all, Bell can fight and I expected nothing less than complete and utter brutality.
Upon initial review of the films description, Naked Weapon came to mind. For those that are unfamiliar, as I expect most of you are, Naked Weapon is a Chinese action film about forty teenage girls that are kidnapped, trained to fight and then forced to fight to the death to find the ultimate assassins in the group.
Jamie (Rachel Nichols) wakes up in a strange place and almost immediately is lured to a room with Sabrina (Zoe Bell). The only entrance becomes blocked and Jamie finds herself in a fight against Sabrina. The only way out is through victory or death. In this game, there is no room for compassion.
To make things interesting, to keep from just committing suicide or throwing the fight, each fighter’s loved ones lives are at stake. If the fighter dies, so does their family. Everyone is fighting for the survival of someone innocent. Like Highlander, there can only be one, but who will that one survivor be?
Amongst these 50 women, there are the weak, the amazingly strong, the crazy, the innocent and the disturbingly psychotic. You cannot become attached to any character as you don’t know who will die and when….or how.
The amazing cast includes Bell’s Death Proof co-stars Rosario Dawson and Tracie Thoms as well as Doug Jones (Hellboy) and Sherilyn Fenn (Twin Peaks).
Zoe Bell does not disappoint. Her exquisite brutality really makes the film as addictively entertaining as it is. As I said before, I expected Naked Weapon. What I got was a combination of that and Kill Bill and that is a winning combination in my book.
There wasn’t a moment of Raze that I didn’t enjoy, down to the shocking conclusion. I guess you could say Raze really rises to the occasion.
Bad pun aside, Raze is available on DVD from IFC films this week. Pick yourself up a copy. It’s worth every blood soaked penny.
all photos credit: ifc films