On the dark streets of Draiga, a mining colony occupied by the Visray Empire, lives Azura, the last of a fearsome warrior race known as the Sarnians. After witnessing her once beautiful home world turn into a lifeless husk, Azura must fight to the death in the gladiatorial ring to stay alive. Meanwhile, a group of human freedom fighters form a resistance, seeking to try and protect their families from the oppressive and cruel rule of the Visray Section Commander Sorrentine. Unbeknownst to Azura, the fate of all humans on Draiga is about to rest in her hands. Can she survive long enough to save her colony?
Babes with Blades: Flower of Sarnia is a mash-up of a multitude of genres and cliches. There are elements from numerous films and novels; from Dune to Riddick, Gladiator to Mad Max — bits and pieces of each, but not quite like anything that's come before. The costumes and characters look like something dreamed up by Luis Royo or Frank Frazetta (which is a good thing) molded with a steampunk aesthetic, and while the acting is generally pretty flat (subjectively), the action sequences and cheesy story make the film enjoyable for what it is: B-movie gold.
The main character, Azura (Cecily Fay), is a Sarnian and the last of her kind, the same way Riddick is a Furion and last of his. Then there are the arena fights, shock collars, battle montages, the rebel forces, an oppressive ruler — It's every sci-fi trope all rolled into one, but with better costumes.
Jon Robb (Sef) is easily the most outrageous and memorable character aside from our lovely leading lady, Azura. He growls every line through his constant snarl, giving an almost comedic performance, but entertains nonetheless. He seemed to absolutely love every minute that he was on set and it really showed in his work. If overacting was an art form, he’d have taken home the Oscar.
Lauren Okadigbo (Justice League, Wonder Woman, Ready Player One) as Dahlia, Yennis Cheung as Amber (Skyfall, Death Race 4), and Cheryl Burniston as Viridion add another three very powerful female leads that make for a cast that is very easy on the eyes. Commenting on looks alone wouldn't be fair though as all the leading ladies are obviously incredibly talented; their martial abilities are something that has no doubt taken years of dedication and hard work…I'd almost pity anyone that tried to cop a feel at a bar…almost.
Technically, there is a lot to be desired. The camera work is shaky at times and some of the shots were poorly chosen or far too close up. The script was better than one would have expected from a film that's mainly focused on its action sequences, which was a plus. The score is little more than unmemorable background noise with occasional instrumentals, but it wasn't distracting or out of place.
The film is clearly a labour of love; a project that took a long time to come to fruition on a budget that was paid out of pocket. All parties involved were there because they believed in the vision and wanted to be part of something fun and endearing, yet still entertaining and enjoyable. Having worked in theater in my youth, I can still clearly see the dramatic influences of the stage playing heavily on the acting and the direction.
Definitely not a film for the masses, Babes with Blades: Flower of Sarnia is worth the watch if you are one of those that can enjoy fun fantasy, gorgeous fight choreography, and campy Sci-Fi. In all honesty, I went in with the lowest of expectations and walked away happy. The film, if nothing else, is absolutely entertaining in every definition of the word.
Catch the trailer below and if this sounds like your cup of tea, give it a purchase. As always, stay sordid.
Site founder. Horror enthusiast. Metalhead.