feature: Savage (2010)


Savage Quad Poster Darren HealyOn Monday night I had the good fortune to attend an advance screening of Savage courtesy of an Irish Film Board competition (thanks folks!) I’d heard very little about it… but I’d seen a trailer before some random movie I went to in the last couple of weeks and a friend said he’d heard it should be good so when I saw the competition I thought Ah yeah, I’ll enter that, why not? I’m glad I did.

Savage is the first feature film from Irish writer / director Brendan Muldowney, an accomplished short film director. His last short, The Ten Steps (2004), won a whole host of awards, including Best Short at the Sitges Film Festival 2004 and the New York Film Fleadh 2005.

The original plan had been to get Savage made as part of the Catalyst Project – a joint scheme from the IFB, BCI, TV3 and Arts Council to fund three low budget films. When it wasn’t chosen as a one of the final projects, Muldowney and producer Conor Barry decided to push forward on their own. With backing from the Irish Film Board, Barry and Muldowney managed to achieve the funding they needed and last year all their hard work, and undoubtedly of many others, finally came to fruition.

But all this doesn’t tell you anything about the film. The trailer will, this one’s different from the one highlighted as “trailer of the week”. btw this is an 18 cert film so umm… look away if you’re not 18?

The film’s been doing the festival circuit for a while now (and still is) but it’s getting a general release in Ireland next week… I’m planning on posting a proper review before then but suffice it to say, I think it’s definitely worth a watch. Keep an eye out for it.

In the mean time you can read my interview with the director, Brendan Muldowney, here.

At the moment it’s scheduled to be releasing in the following cinemas.

Cineworld, Parnell Street, IMC Dun Laoghaire, Light House, Movies@Dundrum, Omiplex Santry, Screen, D’Olier Street, Swan Cinemas, Rathmines, UCI Blanchardstown
UCI Coolock
and Vue Liffey Valley

Savage is releasing in Irish cinemas on Friday 17th September 2010.


  1. comment-avatar
    Sean BrodySeptember 10, 2010 - 11:36 am

    I’m really looking forward to this.
    I saw Darren Healy in Eamon at the Jdiff last year. It was a simple movie but he had great range in it.
    I think I see Karl Shiels in the trailer too.

    Very promising.


  2. comment-avatar
    DanSeptember 10, 2010 - 1:47 pm

    Looks good. I may try to catch this at the nearby Cineworld.

  3. comment-avatar
    Nicola-tSeptember 16, 2010 - 10:56 am

    Hi James,

    I know I didn’t summarise the plot but that’s not what Savage is about at all.

    It’s set in Dublin yes – and, if those are the stats should we really be hiding from it? – but it’s more an exploration of how a horrific situation can change a person’s outlook on life. Does violence beget violence etc.

    I didn’t see it as a particularly Dublin story and it really isn’t your standard scumbag gangster flick.


  4. comment-avatar
    James MasonSeptember 16, 2010 - 11:45 am

    Thanks Nicola.

    Just tired of the nasty lazy labels being put on Dublin city these days.

    OK, we know it’s a crime-ridden hard city, sometimes, but so what. Why show the world all its ugliness?


  5. comment-avatar
    Nicola-tSeptember 16, 2010 - 12:02 pm

    Hi James,

    I probably should have put a bit more about what it’s about in the article – I’ll be doing the review soon anyway and I interviewed the director yesterday (which I’ll hopefully be posting up tomorrow evening) so you’ll get to see a bit more about his take on it.

    I’m not gonna lie, Dublin doesn’t exactly look at it’s sun-is-shining best in Savage but it’s definitely a film about the character and how his perception of the world has changed, rather than being specifically Dublin or Irish even. I’d have much more of a problem with the way a film like Perrier’s Bounty portrays Dublin.

    Thanks for the comment!


  6. comment-avatar
    Sean BrodySeptember 16, 2010 - 12:19 pm

    This probably doesn’t help the conversation, but I kinda like movies with Dublin criminals shooting each other. The Brendan-Gleeson-and-a-gun genre, as it were.
    Not that this looks like one of those though. Comes across more as a study on masculinity, violence and revenge.

    In the Hollywood remake, Darren Healy will hire Gleeson (and his gun) and talk quirkily about battered sausages (or batch bread) as they hunt the attackers. Either Healy or Gleeson will be somehow forced to do this while only wearing underpants. Hilarity will no doubt ensue.
    Opening night, Jdiff, 2012.

  7. comment-avatar
    Sean BrodySeptember 19, 2010 - 8:11 pm

    I saw this tonight. Powerful stuff and mostly believable.
    Overall a great job by Muldowney. Healy is also strong.

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