Top critical review
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"...and I will not have my wayward daughter screwing that up.... [Adonis]
on 22 July 2015
This 2013 dark fantasy/action movie [aka The legend of the Red Reaper] opens well enough, the Teller Witch casting runes-stones, great scenery, decent enough music, good picture quality and a quaint `Norse' type thatched hut on a headland and a basic intro telling the story of how Aella, a [human/demon cross] was handed over to Ganish, her immortal demon father 100 years previously, by her mother -the Teller Witch. After 40 years she is freed by a human /reaper alliance and vows vengeance on the Demons. Into the mix is the backdrop that Lady Indira is betrothed to Eris, heir to the throne, but he's in love with Aella, but who will survive to rule, the Demons [Wraith like clones from `Stargate'], Reapers or Humans.
You're 5 minutes in and the titles are still rolling but this is already beginning to take on the form of a TV matinee and it soon crashes into visions of the future, seeming dream states and flashbacks upon flashbacks as you're thrown into the middle of the story, while it's not until halfway through that the character background and past events become clear, thus it all becomes long-winded [lose a *]. Half of the deleted scenes actually explain the storyline and should have been kept in and the repetitive stock shots [always a bad idea] deleted instead, but no, this tries to be too arty at the start and loses it's way too easily as it fails to make it clear what its aims are [love, romance or vengeance]. Adding to the misery, the sword fights are often too slow and unconvincing, the acting is mainly stage theatre, costume continuity varies from scene to scene and voices are mostly monotone or heavily synthesized [lose another *]. Yet despite this, there is some beautiful scenery and some good fight scenes and acting in there, sadly the overuse of stock shots and repetition of scenes is annoying [lose another *].
The single disc features play, scene selection, set up [5.1 default or 2.0] and deleted scenes [about half a dozen or so] but despite all this, it's still -for the most part, entertaining [in a poor Zena: Warrior Princess way] but could have been much better. Definately gets a ** due to the attempted [and unintentional] humour and the determination of Tara Cardinal who stars in the lead, produced, wrote and directed on a limited $3.8 million budget. At almost 100 minutes it's about 15 minutes too long and would have made *** if the slow first half had been shorter, for once the first half is over, the action starts and things begin to improve. Worth a try if you like Zena, Red Sonja and films of that ilk.