A Bring Out the GIMP (Girls in Merciless Peril) Movie Review

Ralphus ZFX Review

Shadow Army

Reviewed by Ralphus

It's hard to believe that 5 long years have passed since we've had a live-action release by ZFX, going clear back to 2009. Since that time, there was an ambitious...albeit not entirely successful...computer animated effort, along with lots and lots of waiting. In the meantime, Lisa Kinkaid, Amber Bliss and the rest of the ZFX line of performers have moved on, causing ZFX creator Rick Masters to start over again from scratch.

And it was this very site that helped fuel the Comeback of ZFX, as Rick found out about a bondage model named Candle Boxxx here while reading a review by the GIMP's own MAV. He e-mailed MAV about how to get in touch with her and eventually that led to the two artists getting together. MAV is even credited in the new film as "Special Casting Assistant". Pretty cool, huh?

And with the stunningly beautiful and talented Candle Boxxx at his disposal, Rick has served up his best new release in several years, Shadow Army. Simply put, it's the type of film that could only come from the twisted mind of Rick Masters, and fully worth a purchase. This is one you'll want to watch over and over again.

The film begins with Candle playing a banker who is apparently involved with funneling financial transactions to a mysterious Sheik. Unbeknownst to her, the government is watching her every move and launches an operation through her computer, which involves causing her to hallucinate that she is being attacked by an invisible force. At first the Force just toys with her, tugging on her clothing a bit, before moving on to a full scale sexual attack, pinning her down to a chair and forcing her legs apart, and slowly pulling off her blouse and skirt. Then she's lifted to her feet, with her arms pinned behind her, and her glasses are removed, literally floating off her face and flung away from her. She's then smacked several times in the face, with Candle's head snapping back with each blow, followed by several stomach punches, causing her to double over in pain. Along the way, her bra is removed and she's forced, with her arms still held behind her, into another room and thrown onto a couch, where the real nasty stuff is about to be inflicted upon her.

Her panties are pulled off and she is plundered from behind while at the same time forced to suck the cock of another Invisible Force (I'm not sure how many are there attacking her, but it's at least 2). Halfway through, Candle is flipped over and her pussy is similarly violated. At any rate, at least one of them must have a pretty huge member, since Candle's asshole and then pussy are stretched open to fist-sized proportions during her rape. There's 2 simultaneous Invisible Man cum shots, one exploding over Candle's face while the other shoots his load onto her pussy.

The "invisible man rape" scene is certainly not an unusual concept in movies (think The Entity, Hollow Man and Rick's own Dance Macabre) but this is the most detailed and sustained example I've ever seen, lasting close to 15 minutes onscreen. Although I'm less interested in the science fiction elements in ZFX's work, this is still a very impressive sequence with some excellent special effects, and the acting of Candle really makes it work well.

Candle is somewhat dazed after the rape, thinking she imagined the whole thing. She puts her clothes back and lies down on the couch, allowing 2 masked men to sneak up on her (these guys aren't invisible, so I can say with certainty that there are 2 of them). They cuff her wrists and ankles, ballgag her and lead her out of the building and into a waiting windowless van, which is pretty much the standard vehicle to drive if you're a bad guy who abducts innocent women. I think you're required to have one to get your kidnapping license.

When we see her next, Candle is chained up on her knees in the back of the van, with her cuffed wrists pulled back behind her and hooked to an S hook to hold her tight. The bad guy pulls down Candle's bra, exposing her pert, little nipples, then introduces Candle to his stun gun, zapping her over and over on her tits, pussy and ass. With each jolt of the stun gun, Candle lets out a wonderfully expressive scream through her ballgag, a fantastic performance, and the special digital effects showing the sparking of the stun gun on her skin totally sell the believability of the scene. It's a lot of fun. I laughed my ass off with sadistic pleasure.

Candle is led of out the van and brought to into a warehouse, where one man hold her down while the other wails away at her, slapping her several times in the face and adding several stomach punches along the way. The remainder of her clothing is either torn or pulled off, leaving her wearing only a garter belt and stockings, all the while beating her until she's unconscious.

She awakes bound in a standing position with her arms tied over her head. The main interrogator takes off his mask and reveals his face to his captor. He's played by veteran ZFX bad guy Jon O'Brien. O'Brien removes Candle's ballgag and peppers her with questions, trying to find out information about the Sheik. Candle's not talking, so he straps a black penis gag into her mouth and attacks her with an electric prod this time. "Oh man, look at her jump!" he says with a laugh, watching Candle being writhe furiously in her bonds.

After a few more minutes of torture, the two men wire up Candle for a night she'll never forget. Jumper cables are clamped onto her of her nipples and on both of her pussy lips, and connected to a timer. Her legs are spread apart and tied to a wooden plank. O'Brien tells her she'll be left alone and every 15 seconds, she'll receive a shock. What follows is a long and very entertaining segment as we Candle endure hours of continuous torment, getting weaker and weaker as the shocks continue unabated. By the time the men return, she's completely limp in her bonds.

But a torturer's work is seemingly never done, and Candle still has a lot of suffering to do. Her next torment involves being hung upside-down, ballgagged and completely naked this time, and viscously whipped by O'Brien. He really lays into her with the whip, paying special attention to her tits, and Candle's painful reactions to each blow are quite stimulating indeed. By the time she passes out from the abuse, her body is criss-crossed with several angry red marks.

If that wasn't enough, this is followed up by another brutal whipping session, this time with Candle tied spread out on a makeshift wooden rack. Even though her mouth is filled with a penis gag strapped over her mouth, Candle still makes lots of painful screams and guttural noises after each crack of the whip, at one point crying and moaning, "oh god!" through her gag. I totally believed she was suffering. If this girl was truly acting, she should win the Academy Award for her performance. Maybe she'll settle for a Ralphus Award at the end of the year. By the time O'Brien is finished with her, her body is again a mass of red slash marks. The ropes are then further tightened, leaving her stretched out on the rack.

Even after all that, there are still plenty of tortures left for poor Candle. First, she is tied AOH while standing precariously balanced on the tiptoes of one leg, while her other leg is raised off the ground and tied to the ceiling above her. Wooden clothespins are painfully clamped onto her pink nipples and pussy lips. At this point, O'Brien's silent partner, who up until now had been relegated to being his assistant, gets his crack at torturing Candle. He doesn't have much to say, but he proves he can handle a cattle prod, shocking her over and over until she once again hangs unconscious.

This is followed by a scene where Candle is handcuffed inside a locker that has been adapted into a makeshift "hot box", which produces high-intensity heat. O'Brien tells her she'll spend the night in here, and Candle screams in panic as the door is closed, locking her inside. Using a reddish tint and simulated steam effects, Rick pulls off the illusion of Candle suffering in the heat very nicely. I like this scene a lot; I only wish it lasted longer. At only around 3 minutes, it's the shortest segment in the movie.

As her final torture, Candle is forced to sit on a chair that is outfitted with an electrical probe, which is forced inside of her by the mere act of sitting. Then a hose is inserted into her mouth and the water is turned on, so she's forced to drink water against her will. This is the one illusion I really didn't buy, as you see almost no water coming out the hose for the first couple of minutes, until the very end of the scene.

O'Brien then tapes Candle's mouth closed with clear tape and then switches on a battery charger, which causes the metal probe to spark up inside her ass. Candle does her best to writhe as her backside is shocked, although honestly, the bondage isn't very effective here and she could easily just stand up to alleviate the electricity. So overall, not a real impressive final segment.

The DVD, which I would recommend over the online download, is loaded with extras, featuring over an hour's worth of features, including 47 minutes of outtakes and deleted shots. If you're a fanatic about seeing how one of these productions is filmed and put together (like I am), you'll be in hog heaven.

All in all, this is the best ZFX new release since Ballista 2 and South of the Border 4 were simultaneously released clear back in the year 2000...we're going back 14 years to the VHS days...to find one that worked this well from beginning to end. And with today's modern video advances, the movie looks better than any ZFX movie I've ever seen, shot in high definition for the first time. I've been a fan of the beautiful Candle Boxxx as a bondage model for a long time, but this is the first time I've seen her act. She immediately jumps onto the short list of ZFX's best performers. Just as important is Jon O'Brien, who's played the villain countless times and always delivers the goods. And even after the long absence, Rick proves he's still as inventive as ever. For anyone who's a fan of ZFX, this one really is a must-have.

My Grade: A-

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