3.5 Stars
Year Released: 2005
MPAA Rating: Unrated
Running Time: 80 minutes
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The vicious gang-rape of a woman brings forward a repressed memory in a young medical student. As a teenager, he was forced to watch a group of classmates rape his best friend, resulting in her suicide. Haunted by the rush of images, he leaves his pregnant wife and sets out to find those responsible, now adults and involved in illegal activities and hardcore pornography. But as his plan of revenge takes shape, the question of his righteousness quickly becomes an issue. And when he finds the tables turned on him, the matter of his own innocence is brought to bear.

Andrew Copp doesn’t make easy-to-classify movies. His first, “The Mutilation Man”, is a tormented journey through a Jodorowsky landscape. This time around, “The Atrocity Circle” seems to be honing themes that he originally explored in “Black Sun”, only to a much more satisfying and successful end. Copp’s movies are filled with anger, violence and guilt, and they wear his own adult nightmares on their sleeve. He is definitely one of the most brutally honest and personally indie filmmakers working in the realm of Outsider Cinema today.

Less esoteric than his previous films, “The Atrocity Circle” is a violent morality tale. Many viewers will see the twist ending coming, but not the violence that stems from it—one instance in particular is a gut-punch that may leave some breathless. The acting is very mixed here, with the best performances coming from the villains (played by Gunn and The Wolf from the band FreakShow Deluxe). But Copp makes no apologies for his limited budget and, indeed, the emotions beneath the visuals are what really affect you in the end.

“The Atrocity Circle” doesn’t pull punches and it’s uncompromising. The themes may seem a bit heavy-handed at times, but it’s nice to watch a horror movie that’s actually about something for a change.

Posted on May 5, 2005 in Reviews by

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