Bane starts out with four women being drugged and waking up inside a testing facility. Their memories have been erased, and if it wasn’t for a bracelet they wouldn’t even know their names. Shortly after waking up the women are introduced to Dr. Murdoch, who begins to question the women one on one about anything they might remember. Shortly afterwards they are subjected to brain wave tests as they are forced to watch horrible scenes flash across a movie screen (similar to A Clockwork Orange). That night, one of the women wakes up with a number carved into her flesh. No coincidence, a mad butcher type doctor shows up at exactly that time to kill her. Night by night the mad butcher continues to show up, until it’s time to try and escape.
Bane started out very promising. I enjoy a good mystery as much as the next guy, and waking up in a testing facility hit all the right marks for me. I’ve also always liked the mad doctor type characters, and Daniel Jordan as Dr. Murdock was fantastic! The four women prisoners were also all wonderfully acted, and each with a different personality which really helped to relate to them. Kudos to Sophia Dawnay as Katherine, Tina Barnes as Natasha, Lisa Devlin as Jane, and Sylvia Robson as Elaine. They all did a fantastic job carrying the first two-thirds of the movie.
Now for the last third. After finally escaping, the movie flips from a slasher type horror movie to a science fiction movie, and it completely lost me. I understand director James Eaves was trying to think outside the box and not have a regular paint by numbers horror movie, but sometimes simpler is better. Also on the downside is the horrendous set pieces. Obviously when watching low budget movies (which I do quite a bit) you have to account for budget restraints, but locking the women in what looks like the metal gates used in shopping malls when the stores are closing, and tossing a piece of plastic over everything just doesn’t cut it. The special effects were also well done, save for the laugh out loud electrocution scenes when anyone touched the metal bars. That idea should have just been scraped from the get go. Finally, at nearly two hours in length, Bane is a bit on the long winded side. I wish it would’ve been about twenty minutes shorter (and not just because I wish the ending wasn’t there).
All in all Bane is an uneven work. Things start off strong and promising, but are ruined in the final act when everything is flipped on it’s head. There are definitely worse low budget movies out there, but I cannot recommend Bane wholehearted. The movie shows some real promise from director James Eaves, and I hope to see what he does in the future. Bane is being released on April 10th from Chemical Burn Entertainment.