Sunday, July 24, 2011

DVD Review: SCULPTURE (2009)

Rating: Unrated
Duration: 88 mins
Video: 1.77:1 Widescreen 16x9
Audio: English Dolby Digital Stereo 2.0, 5.1 Surround Sound
Director: Pete Jacelone
Cast: Raine Brown, Misty Mundae, Dustin Kerns, Susan Anderson, MArv Blauvelt
Tagline: Your Worst Nightmare is Her Greatest Work of Art

SCULPTURE centers around a struggling young artists named Ashley Steele (Raine Brown, PSYCHO HOLOCAUST) whom returns to her childhood home following the death of her father. It's a painful homecoming, her childhood is filled with violent memories of abuse, both physical and sexual, at the hands of her vicious bodybuilder father. She had hoped the homecoming would prove to be a fresh start for her but it is instead fraught with traumatic flashbacks and painful memories long buried but now brought to the surface. Her bastard of a father abused not only her but her artist mother Rose as well.

Her overprotective and pervy brother Adam (Dustin Kerns) is now running the family gym and Ashley takes a job there where she is warmly received by the vain and horny bodybuilders who frequent the gym. A local art dealer named William (Alan Rowe Kelly, I'LL BURY YOU TOMORROW) who once showcased her late mother's artwork also extends an invitation to her but Ashley's not quite sure what to create for the exhibit. She takes inspiration from her best friend Emily (Misty Mundae, THE LOST) who jokingly asks Ashley to sculpt her the perfect man, though I'm sure the end result is not quite what she had in mind. Ashley enlists the gym's beefy body-builders and sets about "sculpting" the ideal man for the exhibit. The artistic endeavor further exposes the deep seated psychological turmoil that Ashley has endured which now manifests itself in a bloody downward spiral of murder and dismemberment leading to the reveal of her finished "sculpture".

It was nice to see up and coming horror actress Raine Brown just after watching the brutal backwoods slasher PSYCHO HOLOCAUST, she is definitely one to watch and is making quite a name for herself in the indie-horror community. The supporting role from Misty Mundae as Ashley's trampy friend Emily is fun and brings with it the all important nude factor her throngs of fans have come to expect. A flaw with the film in my opinion is that Ashley's turn from troubled girl to psychotic killer is not well represented or conveyed throughout the film, it just sorta happens and escalates from there. It's not a deal breaker for me but I felt it needed more development. It's also pretty clear what happening from early on, as such the film's final reveal loses much of it's potency. As a psychological-thriller is loses points but the film's horror elements are pretty decent.

The film has quite a few grisly moments as Ashley seduces the bodybuilders one after the other and dismembers them working towards her ultimate goal, which winds up very similar to what we saw with Lucky McKee's MAY. Lots of stabbings, strangling, skin-peeling, eye-gouging and dismemberments. While I thought the psychological elements struggles to find a footing there are no such issue with the outright horror elements, very well done.

DVD: Camp Motion Pictures DVD of SCULPTURE is presented in anamorphic 1.77:1 widescreen with both English Dolby Digital 2.0 stereo and 5.1 surround sound options, no subtitles are included. The image looks very good if a bit soft at times. Colors look good and black levels are adequate. The disc has quite a few special features including the short film ROSE'S FANTASY which is an extension of the main feature of sorts and puts forth a revenge fantasy in which Ashley's mother Rose exacts revenge upon her abusive husband. There's also a selection of deleted scenes including a bizarre and prolonged masturbation fantasy with some panty sniffing hijinx that should not be missed plus an extended kill scene. Rounding out the DVD are featurettes with cast, crew and director interviews, and trailers.

Special Features:
- Theatrical Trailer (2:42)
- The Making of Sculpture (20:19)
- On the Set of Sculpture (6:10)
- Sculpture Premiere NYC (7:15)
- Body Builder's Video (5:01)
- Steele's Gym Promo (1:28)
- ROSE'S FANTASY Short Film (10:09)
- Deleted and Extended Scenes (20:01)
- Camp Motion Pictures Trailer:  ROT, BOOK OF LORE, SHOCK FESTIVAL
Verdict: While I feel the intended psychological elements of the film are underdeveloped the horror elements are well represented. It's a very bloody slasher with satisfying array of kills. That the reveal is telegraphed pretty early on and pulls the rug out from under the finale takes a few points off though and renders this flick a rental. 2 outta 5