May 30, 2012

Reader's Choice: Run! Bitch Run! (2009)

Directed by Joseph Guzman. Starring Ivet Corvea ("Marla"), Cheryl Lyone ("Catherine"), John C. Crow ("Clint"), and Peter Tahoe ("Lobo"). Not Rated.

Source: Region 1 DVD (Vicious Circle/Breaking Glass)
Running time: 01:25:59
Country: USA

Picked by Heather Santrous

So, should I just stick to reviewing the movie or should I go on a rant about how much I loathe the exploitation revival that GRINDHOUSE has spawned? I think I'll just stick to reviewing the movie. Having known Heather from the Mermaid Heather blog for as long as I have, it actually didn't surprise me that she recommended such an offensive movie like RUN! BITCH RUN! I'd like to think that she watches and gets enjoyment out of a lot of weird shit, but she more than likely just picked this movie for me to watch because it features a female character murdering a bunch of scumbags. Or she was playing a cruel joke on me. Who knows.

RUN! BITCH RUN! is basically your standard rape-revenge movie. Two young women, Rebecca and Catherine, are on some sort of religious mission, going door-to-door in Catholic schoolgirl uniforms and selling Bibles to raise money. Catherine is apparently a God-fearing gal, whereas Rebecca is sort of a wild child who just wants to party. Similar to Red Riding Hood or any other cautionary tale involving naive young women, Catherine and Rebecca "stray from the path" (take a wrong turn into a dangerous hillbilly town) and meet the Big Bad Wolf (appropriately enough, a pimp named "Lobo" and his drug-addicted cronies). The two young women witness a murder at a whore house and are stopped as they attempt to make a run for it, at which point they're pulled inside and humiliated. A gun accidentally goes off, killing one of the girls, and the other is taken out to the woods where she's raped and left for dead.

In keeping with the formula of the traditional rape-revenge movie, the surviving girl recovers and later returns to scene of the crime to seek bloody vengeance on the rapists. I don't cover them very much, but the rape-revenge sub-genre of film is one of my favorites because I love a good revenge film period, and getting to see a woman overcome something as serious as rape and wasting a bunch of people is always an enjoyable experience. Even if done poorly, you can at least get some good kill scenes and decent nudity out of a rape-revenge film more often than not. While it's far from original (or competently-made for that matter), RUN! BITCH RUN! knows what it is and doesn't aspire to be anything more than a sleazy throwback to the exploitation films of the 70's. As an homage to classic rape-revenge movies, it's perfectly fine.

As the film started, I thought to myself: "This is gonna be a long ninety minutes." Well, it wasn't, but when it was all said and done I didn't feel as if I had watched something worthwhile. I felt that, if they were going for shock value, the people involved in the film at least took the rape as far as they needed to go. Rape in film isn't supposed to be fun or "sexy" (well, I guess that depends on who you ask); it's supposed to be shocking and offensive, so I can't fault the filmmakers or even the cast members for taking things as far as they did in this film, and, to be fair, I've seen much worse in other movies. Besides, the more punishing the first act, the more satisfying the final act. And that's one of the areas where I think this movie dropped the ball. The revenge aspect was well-done, but if they were willing to go as far as they did with the scenes of rape and humiliation, they should have taken the violence even further than they did. Sure, one of the rapists gets a machete up in the ass, but the violence as a whole was somewhat disappointing and not as ironic as it should have been.

The acting in the film ranges from decent to awful. Daeg Faerch of all people (the creepy little kid who played young Michael Myers in Rob Zombie's HALLOWEEN) and his mother both have cameos in the film. Aside from them, none of the actors' names ring a bell and I'm not surprised about that judging by their performances. Actress Christina Derosa turned in a pretty good performance as Rebecca, but she didn't have a lot of screen-time compared to her counterpart Cheryl Lyone, who played the rape victim that lived long enough to see the third act of the movie. Lyone, who looks like a young Karen Black, did a good job of portraying her character's interesting but expected character arc, and she's best in the film when emoting with her body language and not speaking any dialogue. Ironically, my favorite performance came from one of the worst actors in the film: Cuban-born actress Ivet Corvea. I haven't seen any of her other films, so she could be a good actress for all I know, but Corvea chewed the scenery and gave a believably insane performance as a temperamental hooker in Lobo's stable.

If you're into rape-revenge and neo-exploitation movies, RUN! BITCH RUN! is worth checking out because of how sleazy it is, but in order to enjoy it would help to have a tolerance for no-budget indie movies. The budget for the film was 25-thousand according to IMDB, and it shows. Actually, it looks like it was made for less than that. Also, expect lots of montages, and by montages I mean filler scenes of people walking as really amateur-sounding music plays in the background.

Score: 5.5

No comments:

Post a Comment