Mad Max Meets Texas Chainsaw Massacre
Scavenger is a gritty dystopian thriller with grisly horror overtones from Argentina. Known as Carroña in its native land, the extremely low-budget grindhouse indie stars a cast unknown to American audiences – Sofia Lanaro, Nayla Churruarin, Eric Fleitas, and Rosa Cuenya Macedo. The graphic movie is rough around the edges but delivers everything hardcore grindhouse fans typically want.
Set in a post-apocalyptic wasteland paying homage to Mad Max and Road Warrior, a hired gun seeks retribution for a terrible crime deep in her family’s past. Picked up by music label Cleopatra Entertainment for distribution in North America, Scavenger’s new English dub has been outfitted with a heavy rock soundtrack filled up by such acts as the Meteors, Rosetta Stone, and the 69 Cats. The soundtrack is one of the movie’s strongest aspects.
Scavenger is direct, brutal, and takes no prisoners.
Scavenger is direct, brutal, and takes no prisoners.
Society has fallen apart in Scavenger’s post-apocalyptic future. Tisha (Sofia Lanaro) survives by trafficking human organs, living by the skin of her teeth in this dangerous and brutal landscape. It’s a dog-eat-dog world where any moment could be your last. This is a bloodier and far nastier take on Mad Max with a female protagonist clawing tooth and nail for revenge. Tisha shows the resolve and determination of an iconic character like Sigourney Weaver’s Ripley.
Co-directors Eric Fleitas and Luciana Garraza create a raw fever dream filled with rock ‘n roll swagger. Scavenger is direct, brutal, and takes no prisoners. While the low-budget production isn’t polished and goes overboard with its erratic direction, there’s no doubting it’s intense from start to finish.
The loose narrative barely drags in the relatively slim 75-minute running time. The dialogue isn’t masterpiece theater with its functional but fairly abrupt English dub. What you get is visceral action, heavy blood, graphic torture and over-the-top sexual violence. The action drags you through the mud in a familiar revenge formula filled with the usual tropes.
Built on starkly memorable visuals and a thumping soundtrack, Scavenger is grindhouse terror on adrenaline. Scavenger doesn’t redefine the genre, but the fine cast and interesting production touches however make for an oddly watchable thriller.
Cleopatra Entertainment still hasn’t gotten the hang of authoring Blu-rays – their home video practices remain stuck in the 2000s. Scavenger receives a barely adequate 1080i presentation encoded in MPEG-2. Running only 75 minutes, the movie’s stored on a BD-25 with poor parameters. The 2019 movie from Argentina isn’t a blockbuster production and its gritty ethos manifests in the so-so picture quality. The film’s graphic visuals are aided by the 2.39:1 aspect ratio.
Scavenger’s video has acceptable definition and clarity, primarily shot with newer digital cameras. The interlaced video presentation has issues. Poor shadow delineation arises from the dark and washed out cinematography. Searing exteriors in the desert are overly bright with blown-out highlights. The contrast is fairly steady without major problems.
Scavenger has just good enough picture quality to warrant Blu-ray. Lapses in focus and loss of detail are minor missteps.
Cleopatra Entertainment continues limiting their movies to lossy audio, which is a shame in 2021. Half of Scavenger’s marketing campaign is tied to its extensive soundtrack, filled with a bevy of hot and heavy tunes. Names like Rosetta Stone, The Meteors, The 69 Cats, Damon Edge, Coffin Daggers and Shiny Toy Guns all contribute to the included soundtrack CD.
The Blu-ray has the movie’s original Spanish audio and a new English dub, both presented in 5.1 Dolby Digital. The surround mixes are plump with solid dynamics and an emphasis placed on the musical soundtrack’s wider dispersion. It’s a decent recording highlighting a prominent midrange and clean sound effects.
The big problem here is the complete lack of subtitles on the Spanish audio, which means you need to be fluent in Spanish to hear the original soundtrack. The English dub is fine but many international movie lovers always prefer hearing the original language if possible. Secondary 2.0 Dolby Digital tracks for both Spanish and English audio are included.
Scavenger is a Blu-ray which comes with a 15-song soundtrack CD. If you enjoy music, it’s a neat feature I wish was more common on home video. The Blu-ray itself is coded for all regions.
Image Slideshow (01:29 in HD)
Scavenger Theatrical Trailer (01:29 in HD)
Cleopatra Entertainment Trailers (Six in HD) – Previews of other movies from the music and movie label, including Daddy’s Girl, The Hex and Verotika.
Soundtrack CD track listing:
Rosetta Stone – Adrenaline
The Meteors – Queen of Zorch
The 69 Cats – Good Time To Die
Decibel – Algol
Philippe Besombes – La Page
Philippe Besombes – Theme Grave
Pascal Languirand – Passage
Damon Edge – Rhapsody In Maroon
Philippe Besombes – Les Diapos
Decibel – La Charamusca
Coffin Daggers – Chidori No Kyoku
Witch of the Vale – Crash
Brainticket – Black Sand
Shiny Toy Guns – Stripped
616 – Black Diamond
Full disclosure: This Blu-ray was provided to us for review. This has not affected the editorial process. For information on how we handle review material, please visit our about us page to learn more.
Rough around the edges, the dystopian Mad Max-inspired grindhouse thriller succeeds with brutal visuals and a nasty tone.
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