FRACTURED Aka: Schism. *** USA 2013 Dir: Adam Gierasch. 91 mins.

Another interesting genre effort from husband-wife writing / directing team Adam Gierasch and Jace Anderson, this is a hybrid of hard-edged amnesia-fuelled modern noir with ANGEL HEART / JACOB’S LADDER-inspired hallucinatory hell-bound imagery. As with Gierasch’s other work, it has a Euro horror influence,
alongside franker sexuality than most mainstream U.S. movies: stars Callum Blue and Ashlynn Yennie both go full-frontal, and Blue is fingered by a stripper at one notable point. The plot has former coma patient Blue, now working as a diner chef, finding his nightly routine of watching TV and fucking Yennie spoiled by violent visions of a forgotten past life that has a direct connection to human-trafficking thug Vinnie Jones. Jones phones it in, but Blue is a charismatic lead, and the film has a strong first hour, highlighted by flashes of startling horror that include a graphically bloody scalping sequence a la MANIAC. The gore FX by August Underground’s Fred Vogel are harrowing and authentic, as you might expect. A shame then, that Gierasch falls back on very distracting CG for bullet hits and fire, softening the edge of an otherwise impressively nihilistic genre-blender.

Review by Steven West

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