Sawney the flesh of man ( known as lord of darkness in the US) is a 2012 Scottish movie by director Ricky Wood. Sawney takes the urban legend of a the real 'sawney Bean', who apparently ate over 1000 people in 15th or 16th century Scotland and was finally executed. This film is a modern take on that legend , presenting it in modern day with an extremely gruesome twist. If I were to describe this movie, imagine the 'Texas chainsaw massacre' set in Scotland but 100 times more gruesome.
The film starts off with what we presume is a doctor being taken to a remote location cave by a man in a rain jacket. The doctor is taken to the birth of a hooded (we presume woman) giving birth to a baby, once the doctor delivers he is ultimately executed by the man in the rain jacket. It is suggesting that one of the clan members survived throughout history and is keeping the clan alive. The prologue was in 1990, then we jump to 2012; twenty years later in modern day Scotland.
From here we go to the Scottish highlands, where we are introduced to the modern day Sawney bean; played brilliantly by Scottish actor David Hayman in a unbelievable performance. Bean lives in the cave hacking and chopping up body parts all day long, now if you are a gore fiend, this movie will be right up your alley. I'm talking gallons of blood and flesh, being served on a plate for him and his family to eat. His mother (which sounds like a beast) is kept in a locked room, where she is fed human flesh. Rebecca who is tied up and still barely alive is then raped by bean as he licks her blood.
At a funeral of another victim of the Sawney murders, we are introduced to Wendy and Hamish. Wendy is Hamishs boyfriend, Hamish himself is a journalist trying to link and crack these series of murders that have been occurring. His detective friend Charlie keeps telling him to drop the case as there is no linking evidence and keep society from moral panic. He looks back into previous cases of people going missing and finds links between the cases. The Sawney crew continue to rampage in the dark streets at night, heading out in their black taxi kidnapping anyone in the streets. As I mentioned the film is exceptionally violent, with blood spraying in the bucket loads.
If you are a fan of the detective/ thriller genre this will also appeal to you greatly. Seeing Hamish get closer to the truth leaves you on the edge of your seat. The film also has some of the most fascinating creature designs for the inbred family I have seen in a while, very much reminiscent of the original Wrong Turn. The ending involves a massive twist that you will not see coming, overall this is one of the more original ‘backwoods’ horror films in recent years.
Sawney looks strong on blu ray, the black levels are deep and effectively especially in dark night scenes. Presented in an aspect ratio of: 2.35:1 , there is no digital noise to be seen in these dark sequences, something common for digitally shot movies. Colours are well balanced as it is after all quick a dull movie artistically. Day scenes are clear and crisp with the colours displaying well. Overall a wrong effort from accent. Rather interesting note the UK Blu-ray is cropped to a 1.78:1, so this is the best available version on the market, no cropping.
Audio: Dialogue comes across clear with no muffling or peaking in the audio. The teeth clenching sounds of flesh being grinder pops up really well on the soundtrack. Also the dark orchestral score comes across very nicely in Dolby 5.1.
We get a very informative yet short interview with David Hayman discussing the urban legend of the Sawney Bean case, we also get a directors commentary which is very informative in discussing location, production and the cast working in such a gruesome work. The delete scenes are great for completests.
- Director's Commentary
- Interview with David Hayman
- Deleted Scenes
- FF Phone
Direct From Accent Films