Blu-ray Review: The Woman (2011)

June 2, 2020

Written by DanXIII

Daniel XIII; the result of an arcane ritual involving a King Diamond album, a box of Count Chocula, and a copy of Swank magazine, is a screenwriter, director, producer, actor, artist, and reviewer of fright flicks…Who hates ya baby?

Chris Cleek (Sean Bridgers) has the goddamned life what with being a successful lawyer and family man and all… but one bad decision could bring all that to a full fuckin’ stop believe you me!

What sort of decision would that be I can just hear you lot ask with baited breath? Well, let me tell you; taking home a near-feral woman (Pollyanna McIntosh) that you discovered on a hunting trip and imprisoning her in your cellar in an attempt to make her civilized would definitely fit the bill… and that’s exactly what Chris does.

To his credit, he tells his family of his intentions… much to the chagrin of his wife Belle (Angela Bettis)… but his methods to break her will are a tad (read: absolutely fuckin’ off-the-charts) misogynistic and oh-so-very wrong as-all-fuck.

As you can imagine “the woman” doesn’t cotton to this for the long term and soon she begins to fight back against her forced “training”… and Chris and co. will find out what happens when a woman… a cannibal woman no less… begins to have her day!

I won’t mince wicked words here cats n’ creeps, The Woman is one hell of a satirical jab at both what it means to be civilized (think an inflated sense of self-superiority over those that behave in ways that are deemed savage, but are instead just merely surviving… it’s rich vs. poor illustrated through brutality to impose will over being relegated to eat your own to survive… there’s that fuckin’ college degree rearing it’s ugly head again… but don’t worry; I’ll doubtless be talking about boobs n’ blood again come next revoltin’ review), as well as what it takes to rage against the patriarchy… but the way it goes about the latter will definitely raise some eyebrows and cause some bruised jaws from them hittin’ the damn floor so hard.

To wit: women are abused six ways to Sunday here in every manner conceivable; and while being exploitative, it nonetheless illustrates how women are objectified in society in strokes so fuckin’ broad even the cheap seats will get it with full force right to the ol’ hairy beanbag.

It’s that extremely unsubtle sense of pitch black humor and social commentary taken to it’s utmost insane degree that co-writer (along with novelist Jack Ketchum)/director Lucky McKee brings to the material that makes this rather unpalatable subject matter so damn tasty… and impossible to tear your putrid peepers away from!

So yeah; The Woman is equal parts genius socio-political commentary and hard-to-watch grindhouse nasty… but what else does this Blu-ray release from Arrow Video and MVD Entertainment have to offer?  Well, how about the following beastly bonus features?!!

First up we get no fewer than four audio commentaries; three brand-new conversations featuring McKee, editor Zach Passero, sound designer Andrew Smetek and composer Sean Spillane, McIntosh, and critic Scott Weinberg respectively as well as an archival  commentary with McKee… all of which offer massive amounts of info and insight into this powerful fright flick’s creation!

Following that we get; a brand new feature-length behind-the-scenes documentary filmed by the director’s father Mike McKee, an interview with actress Lauren Ashley Carter, an archival making-of featurette, an additional  short featurette on the making of the film, and a selection of deleted scenes.

Bringing up the rear are a short film by the film’s editor Zach Passero, a music video, a panel discussion of the film from 2011, theatrical trailers, and image galleries.

All of that ghoulish goodness comes with a reversible sleeve featuring newly commissioned artwork by Vanessa McKee, and a collectors’ booklet featuring new writing on the film by Ketchum expert Kevin Kovelant, film programmer/author Michael Blyth, and film critic/author Alexandra Heller-Nicholas.

If you want grindhouse thrills mixed with a punk rock aesthetic of in-your-face social commentary, The Woman is the flick for you; it’s both hard to watch, and impossible to look away from… and if that isn’t top-shelf horror biz I don’t know what is!



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