Review: The Brute
Blu-ray: The Brute (1977)
Diane (Sarah Douglas) is a glamorous fashion model who’s unfortunately in an emotionally and physically abusive marriage to her husband Teddy (Julian Glover), and after yet another violent attack, she walks out of the family home to stay with photographer friend Mark (Bruce Robinson) and his girlfriend Carrie (Suzanne Stone).
Diane eventually finds comfort with other beaten and abused wives at a nearby women’s refuge and starts to make plans for a new life. However, Teddy has other plans for her and he aims to see them through to fruition.
The Brute is often a tough watch, as it doesn’t shy away from the physical and verbal abuse given out by more than one male character in the movie, lingering on beatings with a belt, or slowly moving into a branding iron in the fire that Teddy plans to…well, I’m sure you can work that one out for yourself.
Tonally it shifts between being a domestic kitchen sink drama, through to moments of almost software pornography, then to sheer horror as the antagonistic male characters hunt down their female prey. No wonder it was given an “X” certificate upon its original UK cinema release.
Covering a subject that is still unfortunately prevalent across the world, The Brute will linger long in the memory once the end credits have rolled.
Unseen since the early days of VHS, The Brute now returns in a worldwide Blu-ray premiere.
INDICATOR LIMITED EDITION BLU-RAY SPECIAL FEATURES:
- New restoration from a 4K scan of the original negative by Powerhouse Films
- Two presentations of the film: the more explicit export cut (90 mins); and the uncensored UK version, under its pre-release title, The Brute Syndrome (89 mins)
- Original mono audio
- Audio commentary with actor Sarah Douglas and writer and critic Kim Newman (2022)
- Sticks and Stones (2022, 14 mins): director Gerry O’Hara recalls the film’s origins and incurring the wrath of the women’s liberation movement
- UK theatrical prologue (1977): a ‘psychiatrist’ contextualises the film’s themes
- The Sea Can Kill (1976, 27 mins): Royal Navy short, written and directed by Gerry O’Hara, about surviving a disaster at sea
- This Week in Britain: ‘Erin Pizzey’ (1978, 5 mins): interview with the inspirational founder of the world’s first refuge for women, produced by the Central Office of Information
- Original theatrical trailers
- Image gallery: promotional and publicity material
- New and improved English subtitles for the deaf and hard-of-hearing
- Limited edition exclusive 36-page booklet with a new essay by Alexandra Heller-Nicholas and Josh Nelson, a look at the public response to the film’s controversial screenings, an interview with fight arranger Roberta Gibbs, an overview of contemporary critical responses, Anthony Nield on The Sea Can Kill, and film credits
- World premiere on Blu-ray
- Limited edition of 2,000 copies for the UK (4,000 copies for the world)
Released 17th January 2022.
Review by Dave from a disc kindly supplied by Powerhouse Films.