Two powerful female warriors must journey across a post-apocalyptic land to fight a ritual duel, and fulfill an ancient prophecy.
In the tradition of “Xena, Warrior Princess”, and influenced by seminal fantasy films such as “Excalibur” and “Flesh & Blood”, Warrioress combines a unique, mystically-infused atmosphere with blistering action scenes. The story features a wide array of vibrantly attractive and powerful female characters pitted against each other in mortal combat. In this world of mysticism and philosophy, ruled by dominant highly trained female warriors, the world is held in the grasp of the dark and malevolent Falonex Empire, and two distinctly different villages hold a deeply-held sworn belief in a powerful prophecy that will bring them salvation.
Once in every generation one chosen fighter from each village must travel on a quest across treacherous terrain to a sacred circle formed of ancient stones, to fight a ritual sword duel, each armed with a sacred sword. If the two warriors are of equal skill and wield the sister swords “the Opener” and “Dragon Singer” they will fullfil the Prophecy and lead the fight against the Falonex Empire. The time has come again for the prophecy to be fulfilled and the two fighters will meet at the pre-destined place. But will they meet as friend or foe?
It was last year that I got to have a chat with filmmaker Ross Boyask
, best known for critically acclaimed cult hits such as Left For Dead
(2005) and Ten Dead Men
(2008). Since those films, Boyask
has since grown a fanbase of his own, one that clearly knows his love and fandom of action cinema goes without saying. The same could also be said in light of one of his most recent releases, Warrioress
The film is set in an undetermined period of time where war has diminished every layer of society down to segregated tribes. It’s a time of rampant violence and impending war as the Falonex Emperor (Will Brenton) continues to seek his conquest against those who oppose his might. The threat in question pertains to an old prophecy that involves two warriors as they journey to an ancient ritual battle ground determine their fates.
Here, we meet actress and martial artist Cecily Fay in the role of Boudiccu, a well-rounded pugilist who wins the trials of the sister swords hosted by the village Guru. Much to the chagrin of her highly-skilled and protective love interest, Finnvarah (Christian Howard) who fears for her safety, her victory earns her the right to bare the tribe’s two most sacred swords – The Opener and The Dragon Singer – for the long and arduous journey that awaits. Instantly, Boudiccu’s journey is met with almost certain danger, and while she proves she can handle herself, her sister, Morwenna (Meriless Fay) tags along with Finnvarah, evermore intended to accompany Boudiccu on her quest.
We also meet actress and martial artist Joelle Simpson who plays White Arrow, a rogue member of the nomadic Raganwold tribe, who also on a quest of her own to find her sister, kidnapped and held prisoner by raiders. Both White Arrow and Boudiccu face perils of their own throughout their respective journeys, especially Boudiccu whose trek is sadly met with tragedy, tumult and confusion, forcing her to question, and maybe even doubt the so-called prophecy that she has lived-up to her whole life. However, little does she know that her path will soon cross with White Arrow’s, forging an unforeseen bond that will ultimately play a role in how far her destiny will take her in a time when the people will need someone to lead them.
Warrioress is primarily Fay‘s vision as she had her hands on virtually everything. She produced the film as did Boyask, structured and co-wrote the story and script, performed and choreographed the film’s action scenes, and even performed key vocals for film’s soundtrack. It was also my introduction to Fay as an actress and a martial artist, as well as it was my first step into Boyask‘s cinematic universe. It’s a good place to be if you particularly favor raw, authentic and original storytelling that combines everything you know and love about martial arts cinema, female-centered action and gritty, medieval fantasy storytelling.
The film is full of mystical imagery and beautiful scenic views and shots, a small number of which are courted with breaks of song and poetry, courtesy of Fay, and none of it is overdone. The acting is also pretty good on behalf of Fay and select members of the cast as well, and while just a few of the performances may come off as over-the-top or mildly cringeworthy, it doesn’t really hurt the film much. There were also a few slow spots here and there, and maybe some other moments where the film could have been more subtle.
Fortunately, to the audience’s credit, Fay and Boyask knew what they were doing and kept the engine running on which the film’s fuel relied the most – the action. The fighting is top notch, and the performances are executed and brillantly filmed for viewers to be able to see the actors and actresses clearly in their movements. But above all, Fay, did a terrific job transitioning her vision of Warrioress into a cinematic display of lethal beauty, with a great cast, some great sets and stellar performances by a tremendously talented cast, all done on virtually non-existent budget.
We all have our tastes in movies. Some movies carry more weight for us than others depending on just what kind of movie it is and how big or small the scale of said film may be. Thankfully, a film like Warrioress carries tons of weight for film of its kind and the niche it is meant for. It is a pulpy, grim, medieval, fantastic, cultural, sexy, mature and delightfully entertaining action adventure epic that martial arts and action cinema fans will love when they get to see it for themselves.
As for when, it is not yet known, although the film is currently available in the UK and in Japan, so it is safe to say the film is awaiting further releases for the time being. So by all means, be patient and stay tuned for more info on Warrioress. And, if you like this review and hope to see the film yourself, please feel free to share this review with friends to help spread awareness.
Native New Yorker. Lover of all things pizza, chocolate, pets, and good friends. Karaoke hero. Left of center. Survivor. Fond supporter of cult, obscure and independent cinema - especially fond of Asian movies and global action cinema. Author of the bi-weekly Hit List. Founder and editor of Film Combat Syndicate. Still, very much, only human.
August 20, 2014 @ 2:26 am
Looks like she's doing a great job