This film came to my attention through a worthwhile facebook group dedicated to promoting the sickest films from around the world (link at bottom for those who are interested), and as the Australasian continent seems to be doing some interesting stuff right now I decided to give it a go. Director David Blyth has an interesting history; he made a good number of feature films in the 1980s of various genres, worked on several episodes of the Mighty Morphin Power Rangers (which automatically makes him a legend to anyone of my generation), and now this appears to be a bit of a comeback for him having not directed a feature film since 1997.
It’s interesting to note that the last thing he made was a documentary on the New Zealand BDSM scene, entitled ‘Bound For Pleasure’ where he explored dungeons and fetish clubs across the country and I suspect provided a certain amount of inspiration for The Wound. Such themes here are displayed in a manner which is very much at odds with the usual glamorous, sexualised cliché we see in various forms of media; don’t expect tons of titillation, the physical aspect of the lifestyle is kept to a minimum and the tone remains sombre throughout (and yes there are a couple of erotic scenes thrown in involving clothes pegs, a rope harness and a bit of a spanking for one naughty boy in a fetish club). No doubt this lack of titillation won Blythe a few brownie points with the BBFC as the film managed to slip through with no cuts (or should that be wounds?)
The film really centres around Susan (played by Kate O Rouke), a lifestyle submissive who we quickly see to be in total obedience to the rather creepy Master John (Campbell Cooley). The viewer is drawn in to a heavily psychological Dominant/submissive relationship dynamic for which I personally found myself questioning Susan’s motivations. As the plot unfolds we learn more and more just what a damaged soul this woman is and without wanting to give away anything major I will say that very often history repeats itself and people do tend to be drawn to relationships similar to what we witnessed/experienced as children. We learn that Susan, a victim of child abuse was responsible for the death of her parents via an arson attack…something that her Master most definitely plays on in one quite distressing scene which hints to me that she harbours some seriously deep-rooted guilt about her past-doings. From the start we get glimpses at madness and downright strangeness when Susan clobbers her daddy over the head and holds him hostage in the basement while wearing an oddly human-looking mask and this kind of surrealism increases as the film goes on. We witness her on the phone in conversation with her mother, though in actual fact there is no-one on the other end of the phone (the speech seems cringeworthily wooden though on later reflection it’s perhaps the way this was intended). Daughter appears on the scene and things get more complicated, as when we learn that Susan in fact had a stillbirth we are left unsure of whether the young lady is in fact a ghost or a figment of S’s imagination. It is when Susan collapses at her desk as a mundane telesales person that things get really surreal.
From here we take a ride through Susan’s descent into madness. Psychiatrists seem to regard her as insane for mentioning that her daughter has mysteriously appeared in her life and the answer is to section her. As we delve further into the story it’s like a journey into the mind of a very disturbed person. Susan, at the end of the day, lives a grim life of servitude, and it is no surprise that her head is going to be no picnic. Her (dead) daughter appears to take over with scenes such as her adolescent self sucking at the teat of her mother in a semi-erotic yet innocently infantile manner and slowly things get more and more dream-like as we arrive at a vortex of twisted nursery rhymes, dizzying camera work that accentuates the madness, showing mother and daughter wrapped tightly together in clingfilm by a man in a black mask. Things by now actually seem rather nightmarish as we are inside Susan’s mind, as a tripped out line-up of sinister dolls make up a family within the psyche. I am reminded at this point of Andre Iskanov’s film-making style on Nails and Visions Of Suffering; a kind of substance-enhanced nightmare albeit without the drugs.
This is a film that drew me in; the D/s scenes are really hypnotic partly due to Cooley’s rhythmically monotone voice and O Rouke’s especially convincing performance. Overall there are some nice gore scenes as the film progresses, and it is a well structured plot that keeps my attention from start to end. It isn’t wall to wall gore but there’s enough to keep this jaded gorehound’s attention and it’s clear that Blyth’s heart is in the right place. It is nice short 1 hour and 15 minutes and I find it totally captivating; the artistic camera work combined with decent acting, strangeness and a li’l bit of kink make this hard to take my eyes off. It is a well made and very engaging movie and one that deserves to be seen by fans of extreme cinema.