Carroña is Spanish for “carrion,” a word that defines the decaying flesh of dead animals. In Spanish cultures the word is also used as a slang to describe others as a “scum” or “low life.” And this stellar — but gratuitously graphic — Argentina-shot feature film debut by co-directors and writers Eric Fleitas and Luciana Garraza — along with writer Sheila Fentana — for only $10,000 (?!), is filled with scumbags. And meat . . . lots of meat. And the meat in this world — that the film’s marketing materials describe as Mad Max meets Natural Born Killers — is human.
While that tagline is accurate, one can also describe Carroña, retitled as Scavenger for the English speaking markets, as an ’80s-styled slasher antagonist set loose in a post apocalyptic world.
We witness the beginning of the world’s downfall as a family enjoys a chicken dinner birthday celebration for their youngest daughter, Laura. On a television, her father grows concerned over reports of the collapse of their country’s government as their city falls under the control of rioters and vandals (sounds all-too current and 2020 familiar). Then a bandit violently bursts into the home and slaughters the family.
Years later, the lone survivor of the attack, Laura’s older sister, Tisha, now lives a leather-clad, Max Rockatansky existence in the wastelands — complete with a super-charged black car. To make her way in the new world, Tisha works as an assassin for hire and sidelines as “gut hunter” for an organs merchant (writer-director Eric Fleitas). And she has no reservations in slicing up the pigs (i.e, men) in this new world that views women as a “cunt or a corpse.” After a harvesting, Tisha then sell the leftovers to a market kiosk serving up “100% meat” to its customers who, themselves, will probably become the next serving. The endgame to her post-apoc extracurricular activities: Tisha’s financing her hunt of the brutal cartel that murdered her family.
When Tisha is offered a new contract by a dying, mutilated victim — and realizes the target is the animal that slaughtered her family all those years ago — she hits the road to “fuck up” her latest sanction. When she confronts her target inside the brothel Paradise, the tables turn as she comes a bondage-sex victim at the hands of Luna, the bar’s seductive and deadly lead dancer, and Roger, the club’s owner.
Do the tables turn. Oh, you’re damn right they do. And violently so.
While inspired by The Road Warrior, this Argentinian import was independently shot without studio interference, so this isn’t your pop’s Mad Max or Jason Voorhees. Scavenger — although rife with amazingly slick-cum-grungy production values on its $10,000 budget (?!), it’s a rough film; a very graphic film overflowing with organ extractions, cannibalism, sex trafficking, and a society perpetually victimized by abuse at the hands of perverts and rapists — very, very violent rapists that are only implied in Hollywood’s A-List Mad Max-verse, but shown in full color (in a shot that seems to go on forever and rivals the “forever” rape scene in The Redeemer). If you thought you cringed at the tasteless, homosexual rape scene of Scorpion by “The One” in Enzo G. Castellari’s post-apoc’er Warriors of the Wasteland, then watching a rapist attach various dildos to vaginally, then anally, rape Tisha, your stomach will turn. You’ve been warned.
But aside from the ’70s-styled violence that takes us back to Wes Craven’s Last House on the Left, what Eric Fleitas and Luciana Garraza accomplished on their micro-budget — from set design, to costuming, and to securing the services of finely-skill actors, is amazing — and I look forward to their next film.
Released in its native Argentina and other overseas markets in 2019, Scavenger will be released in an English-language dub by 1091 Pictures and Cleopatra Entertainment in the U.S. on May 4, 2021. You can view the trailer and watch the film direct at its page on the 1091.tv website and scroll through additional production and film stills at the film’s official Facebook page. You can view more of 1091 Pictures’ roster of films at their trailer hosting page on You Tube. We previously reviewed the Cleopatra Entertainment releases Mean Mean: The Story of Chris Holmes, Street Survivors: The True Story of the Lynyrd Skynyrd Plane Crash, and Glenn Danzig’s Verotika, as well as the 1091 Pictures releases Alice Fades Away and Space.
Disclaimer: We didn’t received a screener from the studio’s P.R. firm. We purchased the film on our own. That has no bearing on our review.