SIEGE (Blu-ray Review)
FROM SEVERIN FILMS
Review by Fluffy the Fearless😽
Sometimes you gotta admire a movie’s can-do spirit, even when the filmmakers obviously lack the budget to fulfill their ambitions.
A Canadian production, Siege is an early film written & co-directed by Paul Donovan, who went on to earn a bit of notoriety outside his native Canada with Def-Con 4 and the sci-fi series, LEXX. Like John Carpenter’s similarly-grassroots Assault of Precinct 13, the film’s protagonists are protecting themselves against an ongoing attack by heavily-armed thugs.
In this case, it’s a hate group calling itself the “New Order,” who decide to establish their own set of fascist rules during a citywide police strike, which includes rousting a gay bar. When they accidentally kill the owner, the leader decides the witnesses should all die. However, one of them, Chester (Daryl Haney), escapes and finds refuge in a nearby apartment building. When the half-dozen tenants - fronted by de facto leader Horatio (Tom Nardini), - refuse to turn him over, the New Order begin their attack, which comprises a majority of the narrative.
It’s a solid premise, perhaps unexpectedly timely in light of recent events. An action film about protecting the rights and safety of a gay man against a hate group is somewhat unique for its time (this was 1982). Additionally, the New Order themselves aren’t too far removed from the mobs of mouth-breathing morons proliferating the news today. Throw a MAGA hat on these ignoramuses and it’s easy to imagine them storming the Capitol building.
|"Hey, I thought it was Ladies Night."
So despite the pedestrian performances, low-wattage action and anemic special effects (including the sound), Siege is an interesting curio. Not entirely successful, the film is nevertheless a result of sheer determination, budget be damned. And though it’s highly doubtful anyone involved was forward-thinking enough to concern themselves with posterity, certain thematic aspects of the film remain surprisingly relevant.
AUDIO COMMENTARY - By director Paul Donovan and filmmaker Jason Eisener (Mr. Hobo with a Shotgun himself).
LIMITED EDITION SLIPCOVER (Actually different from the box art)