SELLA TURCICA is an odd duck, especially
considering its source.
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Folks familiar with Fred Vogel expect nonstop gore, vicious characters, and an unblinking look into the minds of the depraved. SELLA TURCICA eventually delivers what gorehounds crave, but at its core, the film is actually a contemplative piece about the aftermath of war – not in the trenches, but in the friendly confines of our own homes.
When Sgt. Bradley Roback returns after serving time fighting in the Middle East, he’s confined to a wheelchair, unable to move his legs. It doesn’t take long for his family to realize, however, that Brad’s problems go way beyond paralysis. As his loved ones struggle to reacquaint themselves with the estranged soldier, Brad is forced to confront the demons of war, as well as a mysterious pain that stems from the back of his head and continues to intensify at a terrifying pace.
“Oh shit…he’s right behind me, isn’t he?”
As opposed to the chaotic, visceral madness of AUGUST UNDERGROUND, SELLA TURCICA paints a convincing picture of flawed everyday people trying to connect under extraordinarily strained circumstances. Though there are elements of the supernatural interspersed throughout the film – eventually coming to a head in the finale (pun intended, fuck you) – Vogel focuses on creating believable characters, dialogue, and scenarios most can identify with. I’m talking about the rest of you Bastards. Personally, I only identify with Krankor from PRINCE OF SPACE.
Touchy-feely shit aside, make no mistake: SELLA TURCICA is still a horror film. A sense of dread permeates through every frame, and when the shit finally hits the fan, the payoff kicks you in the sack and reminds you that this is, in fact, a ToeTag flick.
With a lot of horror films, especially those with a modest budget, the acting is usually – how do I put this nicely? – fucking awful. I’m happy to report that the cast in SELLA TURCICA is top notch, with genre veteran Camille Keaton (I SPIT ON YOUR GRAVE) leading the way. Damien Maruscak is another standout, and if breakdancing ever makes a comeback, I’m convinced his robot will be unparalleled.
Put this flick on your shortlist, Bastards. SELLA TURCICA is not only tough, but it’s also a well-orchestrated character piece which, in turn, makes the inevitable horror pack even more of a punch. Like with THE REDSIN TOWER, Fred Vogel proves once again that he’s not a one-trick pony, who can only churn out buckets of blood and intestines. With so many tools at their disposal, I’m curious to see which direction ToeTag takes in the future.
I spit on your choice of drapes.
Highlights include Bruce’s hair, a dog named Fulci, the biggest yawn ever, interpretive dance, a douchebag DJ (redundant, I know), hot punk rock girls (yeah, so sue me), dead dog mourning and dead DJ disregard, and the very last shot of the film.
“Do I have something in my teeth?”
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