Deanna's life seems to be going good: she has a great job as a nurse and a bright mind for the position, good friends, and looks that have no problem attracting the opposite sex. Unfortunately for her, her looks get her into trouble as what seems like a normal day turns horrific, as she is viscously attacked and raped in an elevator. She takes some time off of work to regain herself and not tell anyone of what happened, and one night a man breaks into her apartment. Believing it's the same man who attacked her in the elevator and not wanting to be a victim again, Deanna captures her would be assailant. Now Deanna finds herself in a position that she would have never been in before as she sadistically punishes the man who victimized her.
As much as I love exploitation movies as the next person, it is hard to find really good ones because there are so many titles that are mediocre, formulaic and lack the punch that their predecessors have. The rape-revenge sub-genre, while not exactly over flowing with titles, is pretty standard fair and you know how the movie is going to unfold before you even hit play. Not to mention, a number of the titles really don't make you cringe over something that is pretty vile considering the reality of the situation (usually). Since I watched "Gutterballs" and "Live Feed" before "Torched", I knew what I was going to get with it being a Ryan Nicholson movie, but at the same time I wasn't sure if I was ready to believe the talk of the brutality of the movie. Which I'm glad to say is very true.
While "Torched" does follow the standard formula of a rape-revenge movie of a girl being raped, the girl loses her grip on reality and goes for revenge, and by the end almost goes completely crazy. It makes itself stand out by being extremely sadistic when it came time for our lead character, Deanna, to torture the person that victimized and raped her. While in a sense the torture that goes on in the movie is over-the-top, to me, it's a lot more realistic than the movies that featured the woman methodically planning out revenge schemes and then disposing of the man or men who raped them, quickly. I'd imagine if any person who had the chance to actually dish out some revenge to a person who did something as heinous as raping them, that they wouldn't quickly kill them, or at all. Rather dish out a very slow and very painful revenge through torture, in the sense to get them to understand and feel the pain that they caused. Which is exactly what Deanna does; taking advantage of her medical knowledge and having the equipment at her disposal, she keeps the man alive so she can vengefully punish him. By using him like a dartboard by dropping and stabbing needles all over his body, taking a blow torch to various parts of his body. She also does what anybody in that situation would do, and mutilates his genitals by sticking needles into his penis and using the blow torch on his balls. These scenes are done well enough to the point that it may even make women cross their legs. The one scenario that I found interesting, and also something that a person in that situation would likely do for revenge, is she hires a junkie, who's a guy, to come in an anally rape her victim. The truest form of revenge for rape if there ever was one.
"Torched" is more than just a rape victim getting revenge on her attacker. There is an actual story to the movie, and it's actually pretty good for its genre. Like I said, the initial rape-revenge plotline is pretty standard but the story of Deanna trying to recover from the attack, lead a normal life, and even trying to have a relationship with someone. We also get to watch her mental state deteriorate from the initial attack of course, but also because she never talks to anybody about it. Then keeping a man tied up in her apartment while she sadistically tortures him; while it may bring her a sense of justice in closure, it also takes its toll. She tries to put on this front of normalcy for the people around her, but she still continues to breakdown until the end when she finally snaps and no longer is able to differ her friends from her enemies. She also begins to believe that she may be torturing the wrong person, and the men who live in her apartment building, and those at her work may have been the real perpetrator, so there for she goes after all of them in a bloodbath finale.
Even though "Torched" may lack the realism that's in a movie like "Irréversible" and is over-the-top with its violence; it is still plenty shocking and brutal enough that I believe it qualifies as one of the more nasty rape-revenge films to be made. It isn't just a shallow exploitation film, there is some genuine character development in the movie, and while the rape scene itself didn't really have the punch that other movies have, the torture and balls-out violence in the end will leave the viewers both disturbed and satisfied. On that note; while I may have watched the original cut of the movie that features plenty of violence and blood, Ryan Nicholson is getting ready to give "Torched" its own release that will include an extended cut of the movie. So for those who may have wished they had seen the movie when it originally came out, you'll actually be lucky and get to see the movie with even more sadism included.