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‘Scavenger’ review: Nasty female revenge movie is unwelcome throwback

Sets back an entire genre.

Scavenger is a post apocalyptic film about an organ dealer and assassin named Tisha (Nayla Churruarin). With a character and setting like that, things are primed to be action packed and bloody. But does that mean it will be good? The film owes much to the exploitation cinema of yesteryear. The most obvious is Ozploitation classic Mad Max. Scavenger does not just lean on the one movie, however. It is filled with the over the top sex and violence that the entire genre was known for. This is its downfall.

There are multiple scenes that are difficult to watch. Scavenger is unapologetically violent. Within moments of starting, a person is stabbed through the throat and then graphically gutted. This is par for the course for grindhouse, but much has changed much since its heyday of the 1970s. Even extreme cinema should serve some sort of grander purpose. Aside from presenting the most degrading shocks, there seems to be no point to the film.

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Scavenger is the most vile of rape revenge stories. The one saving grace these types of stories have is seeing the assailants receive their comeuppance. Even then, it is a difficult proposition. The filmmakers have to somehow include the vile act without making it titillating or the main focus. The repeated sexual violence is used to humiliate and not glamorize, but they are clearly the driving force behind the plot. The revenge becomes secondary.

The female revenge sub genre has come a long way from the unwatchable filth that was released decades ago. Scavenger seems to have gleefully refused to learn these lessons. It is filled with sexual assaults that take precedence over any sort of resolution. The low budge indie seems to take pleasure in how disgusting things gets. It is the worst type of throwback.

Scavenger releases on VOD and digital May 11

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