HOME |  CULT MOVIES | COMPETITIONS | ADVERTISE |  CONTACT US |  ABOUT US
 
 
Newest Reviews
Other Lamb, The
Every Time I Die
Lynn + Lucy
Topsy-Turvy
Honest Thief
Blood and Money
Rose: A Love Story
Antrum: The Deadliest Film Ever Made
Om Dar-B-Dar
Silencing, The
J.R. 'Bob' Dobbs and the Church of SubGenius
Dick Johnson is Dead
Two/One
Cognition
Legacy of Lies
I Am Woman
Alien Addiction
Dare, The
South Terminal
Little Monsters
Yield to the Night
My Zoe
Young Playthings
End of Summer
Times of Harvey Milk, The
Buddies
Threshold
Perfectly Normal Family, A
Ravage
Honeymoon Phase, The
One Summer
Bird Island
Variety
Devil to Pay, The
Gypsy
Lost in London
Divorce Italian Style
Becky
Salon Kitty
Misbehaviour
   
 
Newest Articles
Confessions of a Porn Star: Adult Material on DVD
They're Still Not Sure It is a Baby: Eraserhead on Blu-ray
Werewolves are Real: Dog Soldiers on Digital
Rose: A Love Story - Producers April Kelley and Sara Huxley Interview
Phone Phreak: 976-EVIL on Blu-ray
Living the Nightmare: Dementia on Blu-ray
Becky and The Devil to Pay: Ruckus and Lane Skye Interview
Big Top Bloodbath: Circus of Horrors on Blu-ray
A Knock on the Door at 4 O'clock in the Morning: The Strangers on Blu-ray
Wives of the Skies: Honey Lauren Interview
To Catch a Thief: After the Fox on Blu-ray
Tackling the Football Film: The Arsenal Stadium Mystery on Blu-ray
Film Noir's Golden Couple: This Gun for Hire on Blu-ray
The Doctor Who Connection: Invasion on Blu-ray
Hill's Angles: Benny Hill and Who Done It? on Blu-ray
Big Willie Style: Keep It Up Downstairs on Blu-ray
Walt's Vault: 5 Cult Movies on Disney+
Paradise Lost: Walkabout on Blu-ray
Buster Makes Us Feel Good: Buster Keaton - 3 Films (Volume 3) on Blu-ray
Network On Air: Nights In with ABC 3 - Don't Go Away - I Could Do with a Bit of Cheer Now!
What Use is Grief to a Horse? Equus on Blu-ray
For God's Sake Strap Yourselves Down: Flash Gordon on 4K UHD Collector's Edition
Party Hard: Bill & Ted's Excellent Adventure on Blu-ray
Network On Air: Nights In with ABC 2 - Your Faces are All Blurred!
Eve Knew Her Apples: The Lady Eve on Blu-ray
   
 
  Day of Wrath Reign in Spain
Year: 2006
Director: Adrian Rudomin
Stars: Christopher Lambert, Blanca Marsillach, Brian Blessed, Szonja Oroszlán, James Faulkner, Ben O’Brien, Phyllida Law, Lukács Bicskey, Géza Schramek, John Rado, Benjamin Thiel, Joshua Brownwood, Rebeka Kárpáti, Viorel Paunescu
Genre: Drama, Historical, AdventureBuy from Amazon
Rating:  7 (from 1 vote)
Review: Set in fifteenth century Spain, when the nation was at the height of its imperial power and in the grip of the Inquisition, Day of Wrath (not to be confused with the 1943 Carl Dreyer classic) concerns the slaying and mutilation of several noblemen in a provincial town. Downtrodden local sheriff Ruy de Mendoza (Christopher Lambert) attempts to investigate but runs into a wall of silence seemingly orchestrated by Friar Anselmo (James Faulkner), chief inquisitor and part of a mysterious cabal of masked men out to blackmail the new governor, Lord Francisco del Ruiz (Brian Blessed). As the killings and cover-ups grow increasingly widespread, Mendoza probes the past of the first victim, who was married to the woman he first loved: Carmen de Jaramillo (Blanca Marsillach). He discovers the dead nobleman’s ancestral line does not appear on any official genealogical history. But in attempting to uncover a vast conspiracy, Mendoza is entangled in a web of deceit that threatens the lives of his wife (Szonja Oroszlán) and children.

One of those ambitious European efforts sadly lost in the slipstream of international distribution, Day of Wrath is a British-Hungarian co-production exploring a secret aspect of Spanish history. It could easily have been another muddled Euro-pudding if the screenplay by writer-director Adrian Rudomin - whose only other credit to date is the Mexican revolution drama Land of Darkness (2005) - were not so intriguing and laden with fascinating historical detail. This fits into the European tradition of period detective tales, somewhat akin to Umberto Eco’s The Name of the Rose (1986). Although not as multilayered in terms of its subtext, the film still weaves a compellingly dense and ambitious mystery touching on anti-Semitism, political corruption, hypocrisy amongst the ruling classes and the question of whether there is room for rationality in a world where the church defines history, knowledge and truth.

Rudomin’s awkward direction fumbles a few dramatic points and does a poor job staging the action scenes, but he crafts a winningly twisty plot and paints a vivid portrait of a Spain wracked by religious persecution, public executions in the name of Christ and cruelly manipulative power brokers. He wrongfoots viewers by seemingly presenting the conspirators from the offset then steadily subverts our expectations in several instances, notably having the killer himself prove Mendoza’s greatest asset. An ironic twist unveils a fine line between the persecuted and their persecutors, along with the hero’s own link to the crimes. Just desserts are dealt to the villains but, the film hints, at the cost of Mendoza’s soul. To a degree this comes from the blood and breasts school of historical drama, but proves more thought-provoking than your average ribald romp, despite the rampant gore.

Having latterly shed his image as a DTV action hero with an acclaimed turn art-house auteur Claire Denis’ colonial drama White Material (2009), Christopher Lambert is fine as the brooding and vulnerable hero, married to a woman who recoils from sexual intimacy and still in love with the one he lost. Lambert was often cruelly criticised for what was perceived as his vacant stare though this was more the result of his severe myopia than any shortcomings in the acting department. It is nice to see him tackling more ambitious fare. He and Marsillach - whom cult film fans may recognise from Lucio Fulci’s twisted erotic thriller The Devil’s Honey (1986) - spark well in their scenes together and both evidently had a hand in ensuring this film got made. Phyllida Law gives a commanding turn as Mendoza’s mother who, naturally, knows more about the mystery than she lets on while Brian Blessed is on fine shouty form as the seemingly oafish lord governor.

Reviewer: Andrew Pragasam

 

This review has been viewed 3389 time(s).

As a member you could Rate this film

 
Review Comments (0)


Untitled 1

Login
  Username:
 
  Password:
 
   
 
Forgotten your details? Enter email address in Username box and click Reminder. Your details will be emailed to you.
   

Latest Poll
Which star is the best at shouting?
Arnold Schwarzenegger
Brian Blessed
Tiffany Haddish
Steve Carell
Olivia Colman
Captain Caveman
Sylvester Stallone
Gerard Butler
Samuel L. Jackson
Bipasha Basu
   
 
   

Recent Visitors
Graeme Clark
Paul Smith
Darren Jones
Andrew Pragasam
  Lee Fiveash
  Mick Stewart
Enoch Sneed
  Dsfgsdfg Dsgdsgsdg
   

 

Last Updated: