Directed by: Ivan Zuccon
Written by: Gerardo Di Filippo
Featuring: Debbie Rochon, Tiffany Shepis, Tara Cardinal, Domiziano Arcangeli, Suzi Lorraine
From the trailers, I expected Wrath of the Crows to be in the vein of the classic Italian exploitation films, and in a way it is, with a generous amount of extreme gore and a scream queen in fetish gear throughout the film. But what I wasn't expecting to see was a very personal, metaphysical exploration of life after death told through heavy symbolism.
The plot of Wrath of the Crows is simple. As a group of people await their fate in an otherworldly prison, they talk among themselves, recall the evil they did during their lives, argue and fight, wonder about the nature of the prison, and endure gruesome tortures. Yes, the plot takes some twists and turns toward the end, but really that's about it.
The characters, on the other hand, are complex, with rich, fleshed-out backstories. They develop in ways that I didn't expect them to, and a few do surprisingly good things given how evil they are. It helps that scream queens Debbie Rochon, Tiffany Shepis and Tara Cardinal are all at the top of their game here, giving the kind of performances that made them so popular with the horror crowd in the first place.
The symbolism in the film is quite complex. Crows show up throughout the movie, and Shepis wears a coat made out of crow feathers, but I still don't know what the metaphor of the crows means, or what role the crows play in the story. The prison itself, while being the film's setting, is also a kind of a metaphor. Again, I couldn't exactly tell you what it means.
At the end of the day, there is no point in analyzing a film like Wrath of the Crows. It's all too obscure. The important thing is that I really enjoyed watching it. The film is visually stylish, atmospheric and has a dark, nightmarish quality to it and features over-the-top gore. A black sense of humor occasionally rises to the surface, but overall it feels like a deeply personal work, exploring themes such as guilt, punishment and the afterlife with a maturity that you don't often see in contemporary genre films. I wouldn't recommend Wrath of the Crows to everybody. It's not for everybody. Wrath of the Crows is an art film, not a crowd pleaser.
If you like horror, and often find yourself searching for odd cinematic gems, see Wrath of the Crows. I watch a lot of horror movies and I cannot think of a single film I could compare it to.