Breaking Her Will (2009)
By: Captain Red Eye on February 21, 2010  | 
DVD
MVD (USA). All Regions, NTSC. 4:3. English DD 2.0. 96 minutes
The Movie
Cover Art
Credits
Director: Bill Zebub
Starring: Jackie Stevens, Brian Joseph Glietz, Carl Williamson, Bill Zebub, Kathy Rice
Screenplay: Bill Zebub
Country: USA
External Links
IMDB Purchase YouTube
Prolific sleaze-merchant, radio presenter and metalhead Bill Zebub is nothing if not a consummate self-promoter. His several websites are dotted alternately with self-penned praise for his wildly uneven films and warnings about the supposedly harrowing content of his creative output. Given that a typical sentence of one of Mr Zebub's music reviews reads 'at times grim melody meanders through arpeggiated notes,' one is unlikely to concur with his claim that his music reviews contain either 'brutal humour' or 'the most politically incorrect language ever to be written.' Nice use of the word arpeggiated though.

Anyway, when the opportunity arose to review a copy of his latest self-funded psychodrama Breaking Her Will I jumped at the chance for the following reason: the cover features some rather enticing soft-core S&M shots, and I thought it might be a depraved, exploitative, low-budget titfest.

Well it was low budget, I'll say that much. And this is the last time I listen to my dick.

As is to be expected, the box cover of Breaking Her Will is adorned with all manner of hyperbole. A solemn disclaimer warns that viewer discretion is advised on account of the film's 'graphic and psychotic nature,' and excerpts from several reviews make further reference the wanton cruelty and shocking perversity contained within. The film's kidnapper protagonist is described as 'one of the most twisted villains ever to appear on the screen,' and there is a further paragraph in which Zebub makes glowing reference to his own artistic prowess and ample skill as both screenwriter and lensman.

Well, endlessly describing yourself as an 'auteur' doesn't, of course, automatically make you one, and the sum total of Zebub's condensed talent would fail to sink a thimble. He is however an ambitious fellow, and you have to give him full marks (or thereabouts) for effort. Breaking Her Will is as silly and self-important as anything ever committed to the screen, but in more skilled hands and given a budget greater than Zebub's pocket change it could indeed have stood as the 'unbearably tense exploration' touted on the cover. The premise of a young woman being kidnapped, subjected to various psychosexual indignities and ultimately brainwashed into subservience is a good one; it's simple but effective, rife for all manner of sordid exploration and requires little in the way of location other than a basement and a living room. It's also the perfect storyline for an independent filmmaker of Zebub's ilk; Hollywood wouldn't touch this subject matter with a barge pole, and a film in which a gagged and bound young woman spends the first forty minutes handcuffed to a 2x4 while a psychopath rapes her with a beer bottle is unlikely to receive funding, distribution or accolades from mainstream sources.

That being said, the acting, cinematography, music, editing, screenplay and picture quality are all far from perfect. The portly Brian Gleitz in the lead role is possibly the worst actor of all time, and Jackie Stevens, who was great in the pervy Seduction cinema shonkfest The Insatiable IronBabe, is all but wasted in a role that consists largely of moaning, writhing and feigning discomfort at Gleitz's ham-fisted ministrations. Several scenes of supposedly Dahmer-esque intensity are simply laugh-out-loud funny, and the raunchy cover art is misleading to the point where a false advertising suit could easily and successfully be brought against Zebub. But damn me the man does try, and you have to give him points for that. Which I have; one for effort, and one for his cover art, which incidentally I wasn't the only one dumb, pathetic and horny enough to be sucked in by (see amazon.com).
Video
Shit. Shot on video, and shat out onto DVD with little regard for the end product. Lacks clarity and focus, much like the narrative.
Audio
Also quite crappy, to continue the run of coprophiliac adjectives. Sounds like exactly what it is; a badly shot home movie, and though most of the dialogue is audible it is debatable whether this ultimately counts in the film's favour.
Extra Features
A trailer for Jesus Christ Serial Rapist, previously reviewed on these pages. Neither the review nor the trailer will likely inspire you to track down a copy of the film any time soon.
The Verdict
Movie Score
Disc Score
Overall Score
Despite the strong title and lurid cover art, Breaking Her Will is actually a fairly tame affair. It could have been a terse Secretary-meets-Salo exploration of the outer limits of the human psyche; instead it comes across as the self-indulgent ramblings of a jacked-up dabbler with too much time on his hands. Still, its intentions were good.

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