From the minds behind the infamous Toe Tag Pictures, comes an attempt to be more serious and less about the snuff factor. Admittedly, I’ve never seen any of the films made and distributed by the group. I’ve heard plenty about the August Underground series as well as a few other films like The Redsin Tower. Ah, the plight of a part-time writer, full- time corporate desk jockey. So little time, so many films.
Anywhos, Sella Turcica centers on a man returning from war. Before I delve any further into the story, if you just so happened to be asleep during anatomy class or first year med school, the sella turcica is the base of the brain and it links up with the pituitary gland. Got it? Good. Moving right along….
So our soldier who’s been wounded in combat returns home, now confined to a wheelchair but welcomed with open and loving arms by his relieved family. But it’s apparent from the get go that something isn’t quite right with him and he didn’t suffer from any ‘normal’ affects brought on by the horrors of war. All he knows is that he saw a strange flash while out on patrol and everyone in his unit mysteriously appeared outside of one of the military bases in the dessert, completely dazed and confused as to their whereabouts.
Despite the hope that he and his family hold onto that he will get over this ‘thing’, we see our lead slowly succumbing to it. Pain in the back of his head, strange black stuff oozing out of his ears, a nasty open sore on the bottom of his foot, all lead us to think that this poor soldier is becoming something else. Damien A. Maruscak, who plays our afflicted sergeant, really carries the film here as we see him in his various stages. We empathize with his situation as anyone who’s ever had any family member or friend serve in the military can relate to the uncertainty of life after they’ve come back. Again, he really carries the film and it wouldn’t be the same without his strong performance.
On the other hand, what drags the film down should have been another one of its strengths. Camille Keaton (I Spit On Your Grave, AKA Day of The Woman) plays the mother of our wounded vet. Her lines are delivered in a very stale, very emotionless and toneless manner. I’m not sure if it’s the dialogue with which to work with here but it really hampers the affair when, for the most part, everything else is pretty solid. As such, her fate doesn’t have the emotional resonance it should but it is no less shocking.
Our film ends with the complete transformation of our soldier and some of the most shocking closing minutes to a film I’ve ever seen. Some jaw dropping practical effects are on display. It’s really brutal and over the top stuff.
Despite some spotty acting, Sella Turcica is a solid film. I look forward to checking out more ‘serious’ efforts from the boys over at Toe Tag. And, hopefully, get around to checking out some of their more notorious offerings.