'Penance: Limited Edition'
(Tony Todd, Marieh Delfino, Graham McTavish, Michael Rooker, James Duval, et al / DVD / NR / (2009) 2020 / Mill Creek Entertainment)
Overview: A young mother decides to become a stripper to earn some fast cash only to find her worst nightmares are about to begin when she falls into the hands of a religious fanatic intent on changing her evil ways.
DVD Verdict: In truth, this film lures its viewers down into an extremely graphic abyss around the role of being a stripper, and attempts to terrify strippers and pre-strippers away from the lifestyle.
Shot in documentary style, we are taken into a dark world that crosses between stripper life, trickery, and dark religion.
A redeeming quality of the movie is how it gave the impression that certain risks aren't worth the reward and that desperation can bring us to threatful situations.
Certainly not an original plot, but the movie was decent enough for viewership with the acting mostly alright by a mostly anonymous cast.
For sure, this movie is also not for the weak at heart and gets very graphic, the film is loosely inspired by the notorious Graeme Stephen Reeves also known as "The Butcher of Bega".
He is a former gynecologist and obstetrician charged in relation to alleged sexual and indecent assaults and genital mutilation of all of his female patients.
The film stars Marieh Delfino (from 'Jeepers Creepers 2') as Amelia. Amelia is a single mother who is trying her best to care for her sick child by taking on a few side jobs of being a exotic dancer.
Thanks to her friend Eve played by Alice Amter (Big Bang Theory's Mrs. Koothrappali) she learns the ins and outs of being a stripper and reluctantly follows in her friend's footsteps.
We then follow our lead actress as she falls into a dancing gig. This gig leads her and us into a debauched and visceral hellhole, into the arms of a deranged madman (played effortlessly by Graham McTavish -- from The Hobbit trilogy).
Trust me when I say that Graham brings Graeme Reeves to life in a most disturbing way!
Most of the scenes in the film take place in a what is believed to be a asylum hospital of sorts. This is where the film gets to the meat of it.
The claustrophobia that is created alongside the brutality and gritty realism that is seen in the Hospital scenes are ones to make any man or woman cringe!
Delfino does an AMAZING job at making the viewer feel she truly is in danger of her life and fighting to survive. Indeed, it's quite unsettling in some places to watch.
Michael Rooker's character (as is Tony Todd's), a lot of times in the press for this film, is given the nod as the lead character, but shouldn't be, as his character isn't seen in most of the film.
That said, whenever he is on screen, his role of a psychological disturbed man who twists morality, righteousness, and penance to teach a lesson to the women that chose to sell their body is spot on!
In closing, it's a film that after watching it you definitely wanna see something else to cleanse your palate! It's a film that makes the audience feel uncomfortable and dirty so if you enjoy the grittiness of torture-inspired movies such as 'Hostel,' well, this is the film for you! This is a Widescreen Presentation (1.78:1) enhanced for 16x9 TVs.
'Penance: Limited Edition' [DVD] is out March 17th, 2020 via Mill Creek Entertainment.