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The Brutality Series Vol. 3: Green Room

Green Room

Year Released: 2015

Writer/ Director: Jeremy Saulnier

Country/ Language Spoken: US / English

IMDb Summary: A punk rock band is forced to fight for survival after witnessing a murder at a neo-Nazi skinhead bar.

Friends and listeners of the show know I speak very highly of films produced by A24, notably their horror and horror-adjacent films. Well, that started somewhere and believe it or not it was with this little number here. I remember when I saw the trailer for this and searched the internet week in and week out for any info or links I could get to see this movie or find ways to see it. Finally I was able to witness it as it became available while streaming services began to flourish. Now, is this the most extreme movie of all time? Not by any means, but there is a reason it is a part of this series. One thing is for certain when it comes to A24 films, the on-screen violence is some of the best in cinema right now in terms of its realistic practical effects. This film in particular sticks out with some of the most grisly and gruesomely realistic bits of on screen violence to come in the last near-decade.

To keep it short and sweet; a punk band down on their luck scores a gig at a rough neo-Nazi hangout and while they are getting paid, walking out the door, about to be on their merry way, they run back into their green room to discover one of the members of the club has fatally stabbed a girl in the side of the head leaving her dead on the floor. While the first thirty or so (if that) minutes focus on their band, music, and all things starving artist, this scene pivots us to where we are looking to be. From here the venue members and owners assess the situation as cops are quickly called by the band and hung up on by the owners. The rest of the film is an edge of your seat nail biting slug fest of "grab what you can as a weapon" violence and it is shown in gloriously in your face fashion.

There are three standout bits of imagery and tension building for me in this one, first off being the initial green room lock in/stand off situation they get themselves into after witnessing the dead girl on the floor. From here we see one of the first bits which is the arm bar/arm break of big Justin, one of the members of the club. Brutally executed after being held on the edge while he is held in this uncomfortable position for what seems like an hour, we get a pay off as tensions come to a head and his arm is snapped and then furthermore he is choked unconscious. This alone lead me to include this film on the series when the friend of the dead girl takes matters into her hands and decides Big Justin's fate for him as she guts him with a box cutter clean as can be, spilling his innards down his sides. An absolute shock of a kill upon first watch due to her casual demeanor and its extremely realistic and graphic portrayal of disembowelment.

At this point as a viewer you are locked in. From here we watch Anton Yelchin's character try to negotiate with the owners of the club by handing over the rounds that were held in a firearm in exchange for a cell phone where his arm is sliced to shreds off screen with a knife. All of this happens so fast and it leaves you wondering how far they are going to continue to push the violence and who is actually safe in this story, if anyone at all.

While this happens we are taken aside to what I feel is one of the more disturbing scenes in the film, showing two twin brothers who are regulars or members of this club staging a stabbing to justify the initial 911 call. They are given cash, they embrace, and the knife is shoved professionally into one of the boys sides above the hip to miss organs and to ensure any bit of safety. The dedication and thought process that goes behind this type of cover up is truly diabolical and downright vicious, but the scene is fucking gnarly and one of my all time favorites in the A24 catalogue.

As the rest of the night turns to early morning and further dawn, the members on both sides are mowed down in various ways, be it gun shot wounds, stabbings, attack dog maulings, the film never lets up any of its intensity and just barrel rolls down its barbed wire hill into the pile of nails that is it's bleak ending. Though bleak it is satisfying as the body count has accumulated through out, taking members of the good guys and the bad guys. What we ultimately have here is one of the best new age fight for survival films since Aja's remake of The Hills Have Eyes. That being said, this film also doesn't shy away from it's very present social commentary and its VERY present notion that these kinds of people really are still around. It is a satisfying movie to watch though extremely harsh in its realistic depictions of violence, but all the more enjoyable watching awful people get brutally destroyed.

This will be one of a specific selection of movies on this series that may not jump out as the most over the top, extreme cinema, but like I said there is for sure a reason they will make it aboard this fucked up ship. Check it out if you haven't yet. It's a doozy.

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