"HOW MANY MORE do I have to kill?!?" pleads a sweaty, bloody-knuckled Sabrina in the very first of way too many fight scenes in Raze. Ten minutes and 18 seconds into the film, Sabrina 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 a loud CRRRRRAAACK! She then uses both of her fists to transform the 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," says my movie-watching pal, a normally tough-as-nails lesbian. "Why on earth would anybody watch this?"
On paper, the storyline 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 as: "Women get randomly kidnapped by a creepy, elitist, secret society of weirdo rich fucks who force them to fight each other to the death with their bare hands, and then the one final winner gets turned back out into society as a newfangled 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 or the nonstop punching sound effects that sound like a hammer hitting a wet cow.
Sabrina, played by Zoë Bell—martial artist, star of Death Proof, and a stuntwoman in Kill Bill and several grindhouse titles—tries to save the film with decent acting (as does the motherly-looking secret society ruler, Sherilyn Fenn, the former star of Twin Peaks). But saving Raze from its gratuitously violent self just can't be done. "I've watched horror movies, boxing matches, and even cockfighting before," says my friend. "None of it was ever as hard to watch as this."