Film review by Thomas M. Sipos




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Bane (2008, aka Bane: An Experiment in Human Suffering, dir: James Eaves; script: James Eaves; cast: Sophia Dawnay, Lisa Devlin, Tina Barnes, Sylvia Robson, Daniel Jordan, Jonathan Sidgwick)





Do you enjoy seeing half-naked women carved up?

Yes, Bane is torture porn.

Despite this, Bane has been marketed as "science fiction." I first saw it on a DVD film festival screener. Years later I saw it on the schedule of a sci-fi cable channel. I didn't watch its TV edit, so I don't know how much of Bane they censored, but it's a pretty bloody film. They must have censored some of it.

It has since been re-released on DVD under the title Bane: An Experiment in Human Suffering.

Catchy title, no? The emphasis is not on fear or terror, but on suffering. Think of Bane as a snuff film, but without anyone actually dying.

One reviewer praised Bane for not relying on nudity. Well, no. While Bane is not quite hardcore porn, there's much softcore porn, including shower scenes.

Bane is torture porn. Four women wake up in a futuristic prison, and are periodically taken off to be tortured and/or killed. There's also a "surprise twist" ending, where we learn the details of this post-apocalyptic world, and why the women are in prison. This revelation is not especially interesting, and certainly not "satisfying" as another reviewer claimed.

Bane tries to compensate for its misogyny by making the surviving Last Girl into a tough, Lara Croft type super-heroine. She turns on her captors and kills with gusto.

Bane is essentially about a bunch of women who are mercilessly tortured and killed for no good reason, balanced by one of the women getting in her own blood-thirsty jabs.


Science fiction, like horror, benefits from a "sense of wonder." The Ring, The Grudge, Jeepers Creepers -- even Halloween -- all had a "sense of wonder," in that the protagonists were confronted with dark powers greater than themselves. (People forget that Michael Myers's indestructibility was shocking and surprising in 1978, before indestructible slashers became a cliché.)

Bane has no "sense of wonder." Nor does its "suspense" rely on mysterious, intriguing characters (e.g. Psycho). Instead, Bane is sordid torture porn, with a (sorta) sordid torture revenge ending.

Brain-dead trash -- and not in a good sense.


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