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Case Number 19427: Small Claims Court

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Defiled

Alternative Cinema // 2010 // 79 Minutes // Not Rated
Reviewed by Appellate Judge Daryl Loomis // August 6th, 2010

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All Rise...

Judge Daryl Loomis is ashamed of his online obsession, but those LOLcats are just too darn funny.

The Charge

Anonymous internet sex addiction.

The Case

Cassidy (Amanda Myers) has always been the perfect daughter and the perfect friend, but she's sick of it. No matter how lovely everyone thinks she is, Cassidy has a secret. She goes online at night and posts ads for men who break into her room and have their way with her. It makes her feel alive. She doesn't see the potential harm in it until one man decides to take her rape fantasy farther than she ever wanted. When the safe word doesn't work, all Cassidy is left with is her wits to try to stop this monster.

Defiled is truly one of the most deeply unpleasant films I've ever seen. There are movie-goers out there who take offense at the very implication of rape, let alone showing the act in detail. I'm certainly not one of those people. I try to keep myself from making moral judgments about film content, but when rape is the sole subject of a horror from, it comes dangerously close to a place with no redeeming value whatsoever. Defiled makes light of something very dark and turns a rightfully sensitive situation into exploitation fodder. It's far from the first time sexual assault has been used for horror cheapies and I wish this was the last time, but I know better than that.

Claiming on the box that the story was ripped from the headlines doesn't help. All that tells me is that director Zachary Paul saw a report about a woman having been assaulted in her home and thought, "Y'know, what a great opportunity to film some protracted rape scenes. Oh, boy!"

Plot-wise, Defiled is a basic single-location horror scenario that is efficiently told over a short running time. If the subject matter was less disgusting, I could even have a little respect for that aspect of the film, but it only took about twenty minutes for me to start praying for it to end. Those prayers went unanswered for far too long, leaving me to gag on the distasteful plot and amateurish performances. Amanda Myers has a certain charm about her, and certainly has no problem with her body, but she has a very hard time delivering her lines. There are too many places where it appears that she's about to crack up, especially during some of the nastier parts. Maybe that's her terrified face but, if so, that makes it worse. Jeffrey Hallman isn't much better as the rapist/murderer. He's always under a mask, so we can't see his facial expressions, but I doubt he's got much more going on than Myers and he's generally difficult to understand under the cheesy-looking plastic. The mask makes one think there'll be a payoff in the end, but the reveal shows that he's just some scuz.

The only positive thing I can mention is the special effects, which for the budget, are very well done. There are only two murders, but plenty of torture, and the red stuff flows freely the whole time. Gorey and goopy, these are the kinds of effects low-budget horror fans look for. If only the talent of effects artist Jesse Lee were going to something more constructive.

Defiled comes to us in a suitably cheap package from Independent Entertainment. The transfer is anamorphic, so that's something, but it looks dreadful. The image is constantly murky, black levels waver, and there are more digital artifacts than I've seen on a disc in some time. The sound is slightly better, emphasis on slightly. There is little background noise, but the dialog often sounds like it's been spoken through a homemade telephone. The only extra is a commentary with Zachary Paul and effects designer Jesse Lee, in which they speak generally about the shoot, but nothing revelatory. They're quite proud of their work; I wouldn't be, but good for them I guess.

On at least a certain level, a horror movie should be fun. Without anything to enjoy, Defiled is a total failure. This is exploitation at its prurient, joyless worst.

The Verdict

Guilty.

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Scales of Justice

Judgment: 20

Perp Profile

Studio: Alternative Cinema
Video Formats:
• 1.78:1 Anamorphic
Audio Formats:
• Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo (English)
Subtitles:
• None
Running Time: 79 Minutes
Release Year: 2010
MPAA Rating: Not Rated
Genres:
• Bad
• Exploitation
• Horror
• Independent

Distinguishing Marks

• Commentary

Accomplices

• Video: Trailer








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