Demons, Ghosts, History, Horror, Supernatural

Morituris (2011)

Comments Off on Morituris (2011) 17 January 2016

morituris

Studio: Synapse

Theatrical Release: June 3, 2011 (film festival) 

Blu Ray Release: September 8, 2015

Director: Raffaele Picchio

Not Rated

Review by James Klein

First time director Raffaele Picchio sure is a fan of horror films. His debut feature Morituris is a mx of The Last House on the Left, Hostel, and Tombs of the Blind Dead all mixed into one batch. While I enjoy those films, Morituris misses the mark due to its indulgence of displaying two women being tortured, raped and beaten repeatedly but by ample amounts of characters screaming while running through woods. Once the gladiator ghosts showed up, I started rooting for the wrong side.

The (very) basic plot consists of three Italian men who pick up two Romanian women looking for a good time. These three men promise them a rave filled with alcohol, drugs, and “a good time”. It was hard to tell if the film’s screenplay was written this poorly or if the subtitles didn’t really match up what they were actually saying. Regardless we literally get close to 40 minutes of these young people laughing, smoking, talking, farting, and flirting in a car. At one point one of the female leads looks out the window looking bored which I could easily identify with.

When the men get to the woods and slyly take away the girls cell phones, they call a mysterious stranger asking where the party is. Is this the ring leader of what’s about to happen? Not sure but regardless the tables are turned and these men brutally attack the women and rape them. While the film is shot rather darkly and takes place almost entirely at night, these attacks are pretty brutal with the men screaming some pretty harsh insults while the women are being forced to take some Italian sausage in the mouth and butt. Mamma Mia!

Going back to the strange and rather cryptic subplot (and I use this term lightly) of the mysterious man these men had called, I wasn’t too sure if he was the ring leader in this ambush or who the hell he was. When he’s not on the phone, he’s walking around his home completely nude, forcing a naked woman to take a mouse in her calzone. While this scene was disturbing and tense, I thought more would have come of this creep and yet, the movie never explains who this guy is or what role he is playing. Basically it was the film maker adding in more shock, a lame tactic to make his boring film even more “extreme”. Probably another young film maker trying too hard once again.

Little do they all know, these women are being attacked at the grave sight of these Roman gladiators who don’t take kindly to the loud ruckus. Not caring who the attacker or victim is, these slow moving ghosts/zombies dispatch everyone they come in to contact with in some extremely gory fashion. Kudos to the special effects team lead by Sergio Stivaletti (Demons) who worked on Morituris, the gore and make up effects remind me of the same splattery effects from the 80’s that have since gone the way of the Do Do Bird. The remaining bit of the film is just everyone running or walking around in the woods until they are caught by the gladiators. The gladiators wipe everyone out and then…the end. Yeah, that’s it. It’s over. Never mind that these poor women don’t make it out alive. They all die. Everyone pays the price. Could we have spent some time on the reason why these gladiators came back from the dead or a little history about them? Did we really need all that padding of young people bantering back and forth in the car?

Even Synapse who is known for their heavy loaded DVD/blu ray extras has provided this release with only the trailer. No commentary, behind the scenes, making of, nothing. The picture looks as good as it’s going to look since it was shot on high def video and both the 2.0 and 5.1 soundtrack is efficient but they are nothing to write home about. I kind of wonder if Synapse knew what they had and didn’t want to go the extra mile in getting the cast and crew together again for a film that wasn’t very good.

While watching Morituris, I kept thinking of Russell Crowe in a better gladiator film screaming, “Are you not entertained?!?” Nope, not really.

Movie and Blu Ray Rating: ★★☆☆☆

 

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