Broken (2005)

DVD Cover (The Enigma Factory)
Action, Action Thriller, Thriller
Alex Ferrari Alex Ferrari
Samantha Gurewitz Samantha Gurewitz
Paul Gordon Paul Gordon
Amber Crawford Amber Crawford
Derek Evans Derek Evans
Tony Gomez Tony Gomez

4.7 / 10 - Overall Rating

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Review by Chad
Added: August 12, 2005
In this fifteen minute short, we start things out by finding Bonnie Clayton (Samantha Jane Polay) awakening from a nightmare. Real life doesn't seem too much better, however, as she discovers a strange man sitting in her kitchen after she gets up to get a glass of milk. Bonnie attempts to escape down the hall, but she is met with a clubbing blow to the head by a female assailant. When she regains consciousness, she is strapped to a chair... and then, things get weird. Some revelations are made, some bizarre things happen, and you'll have to pick up your own copy to see how it turns out.

The goal of this movie, as explained on the official website, was to make a low-budget fifteen minute short which could seamlessly replace an action scene in a big budget Hollywood film. With a grand total of eight thousand dollars, the guys responsible for this movie have succeeded in their goal - this really looks like something that would come out of Hollywood, not out of a low-budget offering.

The storyline here is admittedly pretty thin. However, this is to be expected - fifteen minutes isn't a lot of time to flesh out your characters, and the main goal of the project was realistic effects. Still, writer Jorge Rodriguez has put together a pretty interesting series of events, and I would definitely be interested in seeing this story and these characters fleshed out into a feature-length film.

Now then, on to the main attraction of the movie - the effects and the general look of things. The effects are absolutely amazing, and one is hard-pressed to believe that this was all put together on a budget smaller than what most Hollywood films spend on a days worth of having their trailer ran on basic cable. Most of the effects are used during a gun battle between the "hero" of the film and the main group of villains, and this scene is excellently done. There's plenty of blood, gore, and brain-splatter to make the die-hard action fans happy, and it's all done with a hearty helping of style. Imagine combining the action sequences of The Matrix (minus the slow-motion and awkward bending) with the look and general feel of Saw and you'd have a pretty good idea of what to expect here. My personal favorite effect of the movie, however, does not involve guns or gore - it's a shot of Bonnie's eyes changing color to show how furious she's getting at the situation. She's strapped down in the chair while the main villain is tormenting her, and her eyes suddenly change from dark brown to a light blue. This effect was excellently done, and was definitely my personal highlight of the film.

If you're a fan of short films or just want to see how much someone can do with so little, this would be a movie to check out. Director Alex Ferrari has shown that low-budget movies do not have to be visually unappealing, and his name is one you should watch for in the future. You can pick up a copy of this movie from the official Broken website (linked above) starting on August 21st, and the DVD features almost three hours of special features. I can't comment on these features as my screener copy of the movie did not have them, but they sound pretty damned interesting. Overall, it's a disc that's worth picking up - it has the MvMMDI stamp of approval. 8/10.
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