Bounty Killer

Bounty Killer

Just Chorizo Productions/Kickstart Productions, USA, 2013
Director: Henry Saine
Writer: Jason Dodson, Colin Ebeling, Henry Saine
Cast: Matthew Marsden, Kristanna Loken, Christian Pitre, Barak Hardley, Abraham Benrubi, Gary Busey, Beverly D’Angelo, Eve, Kevin McNally, Alexa PenaVega, Jolene Andersen, Chasty Ballesteros, Ivar Brogger, Cham, Tyra Colar, Will Collyer, Robbie Davis, Vince Dyer, Chris Graue, Alex Huynh, Ryan Hanna King, Everton Lawrence, Jeff Meacham, Jessica Meraz, Soon Hee Newbold, Mindy Robinson, Alex Scolari, Andre Drekno Simmons, Robert Tarpinian, Calvin Tenner, Melvin Tenner, Matthew Willig, Cathy Zukimoto, Lacey Joy

“I’m stealing a stagecoach from a bunch of savages with a wanted criminal moonlighting as a bounty killer, who has the hots for a murderous deranged gypsy. I’ve never stopped believing.”

– Gun Caddie Jack LeMans

The big corporations got more and more powerful until they took over the world’s governments. Their hunger for profit made them wage war on competition with their own armies. This led to what has been known as the Corporate Wars, which became the end of the civilized world as we know it. Out of the ashes rose The Council of Nine trying to bring back law and order to the world. They issue death warrants on white collar criminals and bounty killers are hunting these criminals down for the reward. The survivors of the apocalypse sees these bounty killers as avengers. Twenty years after the war bounty killers are the new heroes, the new rock stars, the new celebrities.

Two competing bounty killers, Drifter and Mary Death, hits a corporate party at a penthouse together. Before going in guns blazing Drifter tells Mary Death he only wants one of the people inside, and she can have all the rest. Next day Drifter turn up in San Dalloosa City with a body to collect the reward. There is a cheering crowd and he is approached by a reporter wanting an interview and Jack LeMans who want’s to be his new gun caddie. Drifter tells the reporter off. He never do interviews. Then Mary Death turns up in her Mustang with her own logo on it and a trailer stacked with dead bodys, the crowd looses all interest in Drifter. Mary Death is selling t-shirts, signing autographs and posing for pictures. Drifter finds out there is a death warrant issued for his old friend Harry. As he and his new gun caddie leaves to try to find Frank and find out what’s happened there is a new warrant coming through on the faxmachine. This warrant is for Drifter.

When Mary Death finds out about the death warrant issued for Drifter she goes after him and catches up at Harry’s bar in Drip Rock. Mary confronts him and he admits that before he was Drifter he was Francis Goreman, CEO of a weapons manufacturing corporation. He sais he has to go see the Council of Nine and talk to the judges. No one has ever appealed a death warrant before and Mary sais this would be suicide since the council guards will kill him on sight. Harry was already dead when Drifter arrived and he suspects luring him there was a trap. Before they have a chance to finish their conversation, and Mary to decide wether to help Drifter or to kill him, they are attacked by “yellow ties”.

Drifter and LeMans get away and head for the Council. To get there they have to cross the dangerous Badlands, but as they are getting close to the border they are captured by gypsys. Those are fierce facepainted savages rumourded to be cannibals. The gypsy queen interogates them of the whereabouts of a gypsy girl named Nuri. She ran away some years ago after killing the gypsy king, and she had talked about trying to find Drifter. Despite being tortured Drifter denies all knowledge of this Nuri girl. We, on the other hand, learns that Nuri is Mary Death. Drifter created her. He trained her, taught her everything he knew and for some time they hade a love affair but eventually things got sour between them. Drifter and LeMans escapes from the gypsys but not before a big bloody fight. Jimbo, a coyote, which is a person who smuggles white collars out of bounty killers territory, but also Drifter’s snitch, has crossed the Badlands before so they go see him to persuade him to take them.

Meanwhile, Mary Death is lost in the Badlands. When trying to find her way out she finds a gypsy scout dying from radiation. He tells her the gypsys are in the Badlands because they are coming for her. She has to find her way out of the Badlands before the radiation kills her or the gypsys find her, and she has to decide if she is to speak to the judges on Drifter’s behalf or if she is going to kill him and collect the reward.

I didn’t really know much about this film as I sat down to watch it. I had seen some bad reviews and most of these compared it to Mad Max, but claimed it was a bleak copy. I loved Mad Max (and The Road Warrior) when I saw it on rental VHS as a kid and I’ve seen my share of clones good and bad through the years. I didn’t expect much from Bounty Killer but boy was I in for a surprise. I see why so many compare it to Mad Max, but I don’t see the “copy” thing. Mad Max was obviously one inspiration, but it’s no clone. Bounty Killer is a tongue in cheek action film in a dystopian post apocalypse setting. It’s styled to death shootouts in designer outfits. Mary Death is as rock’nroll as it gets. I for one, would buy the t-shirt!

My verdict: 9 out of 10.

Happy Birthday

Happy Birthday

Darko Entertainment, USA, 2016
Director: Casey Tebo
Writer: Casey Tebo
Cast: Tristin Mays, Vanessa Lengies, Erik Palladino, Matthew Willig, Inanna Sarkis, Jeff Daniel Phillips, Matt Bush, Steven Tyler, Britne Oldford, Robert Miano, David A. Garcia, Carlos Ayala, Juan Jose Dubon, Rey Borge, Michael Anthony Perez, Riley Litman, Bernardo Verdugo, Diahann Elise, Stevie Salas, Geno Monteiro, Cassandra Bautista, Gene Minero, Dominic Quarto, Edward Cadena

On his birthday Brady finds out his girlfriend has cheated on him. His friend Tommy talks him into taking a trip to Mexicali, to drink, take drugs and maybe find some mexican girls to make Brady forget about his sorrows.

They meet Katie and Lucia who warns them of El Gato Enfermo, the mean leader of the local cartel. He is known for kidnapping young americans for ransom. Brady is an orphan who grew up in an orphanage so he jokes about being safe since he has no relatives to pay his ransom. The girls have to leave but Katie sugests they should meet up later that night to party.

Next the boys run into Texican and his big cousin El Caballo. They offer to guide the boys and keep them safe for a small fee of course. They to warns them for the cartel and for El Gato. They take the boys to a cockfight where they meet this aztek shaman (Steven Tyler from Aerosmith) who gives them some very powerful drugs. They end up in a stripclub and things start to get very weird.

They lose Texican and El Caballo but runs into Katie and Lucia again and they decides to go with the girls to their hotel room. When they get there, they end up in a bed each with a girl each but then things turn ugly. Brady and Tommy gets tied up and beaten. The girls work for El Gato and was planning on kidnapping the boys all along. They drug them and when Brady wakes up Tommy is gone.

The girls tell him Tommy died and his body has been dumped in a container. This wasn’t supposed to happen and they are afraid it will piss their boss off. They will let Brady go as soon as his family has paid his ransom. Brady realises his in deep shit since Tommy was the one width loaded parents and he hasn’t got anyone.

Happy Birthday is like a rollercoaster ride. There are twists and turns to the story all the time and You can’t really trust anyone since noone seems to be who they pretend to be.

It’s a wild and entertaining story. The only problem I had with it was that some of the twists were a little bit predictable.

My verdict: 5 out of 10.