Wednesday, February 22, 2012

FILM REVIEW: Dead Hooker In A Trunk (2010)


The Soska Sisters (aka Twisted Twins...because, well, they're twins and they film twisted things) are a fresh breed of filmmakers. In the tradition of Jason Eisner and his Hobo With A Shotgun and Tom Six with his Human Centipede films, Dead Hooker In A Trunk is another great example of filmmaking with the sole intention of letting all the sick and twisted visions out of one's head.

Now, I mentioned the Human Centipede films and Hobo With A Shotgun because that's the kind of thing that Dead Hooker In A Trunk evokes. Films that don't really exist in the scope of a safe society...but, goddamn, they're so much fun to the rest of us. Aren't they? I remember watching Hobo With A Shotgun  in a packed midnight theater and that proved to be my favorite movie-going experience of 2011. Well, I recently sat down with a small group of film lovers to watch my new copy of Dead Hooker.

I think that it's important to point out how much I love these kinds of films. I live for dead hookers in trunks and hobos with shotguns and 12-person human centipedes. That's the kind of stuff that flows through my blood. So, while I will rate this film on a technical scale, my final blood score might seem a little biased.

Having said this...the Soska sisters have created a gory fucking blasty blast of a film.


The basic premise is pretty much as the title states. Four friends go about their normal routine one day, only to come across a hooker that has been left for dead in the trunk of their awesome Pontiac Thunderbird. I mean...what else would you expect them to be driving in? The four friends are known solely as what their personalities would imply. Junkie, played by stuntmaster hottie Rikki Gagne, is...a junkie. Geek is played by the lovely twin Jen Soska...and she's a geek. Badass is played by the other lovely twin, Sylvia Soska...and she's a badass (have you caught on yet?). Goody Two Shoes is played by the extremely talented C.J. Wallis.

A word on C.J. Wallis. The man is gifted beyond measure. He pretty much wears more hats than anyone else in the film. Or the history of filmmaking, for that matter. He not only stars as one of the main characters in the film (his Goody Two Shoes character had us cracking up the entire film) but, he also shot the film as well as edited everything. Wallis also provided a number of original songs for the film and...well...here...let's just list what this man is responsible for in the damn film: actor, cinematographer, original music, film editing, set decoration, adr mixer, foley mixer, production sound mixer, sound designer, sound editor, sound mixer, visual effects, lighting, color correction, credit titles and balloon animal puppeteering. Holy Jesus, man! Pick a goddamn trade already!


Anyway...where was I? Oh...right. So, they find this dead hooker. In a trunk. And they go about trying to figure out just how in the hell a woman of the night ended up in their car. Along the way, they are persued by police, an asian drug gang, a cowboy pimp and a mysterious hooded man with a baseball bat. All the characters are so over-the-top...you almost get a sense that they were all plucked out of an early 90's Gregg Araki film. Except it's all met with an impressive display of gore and bloodshed. You'll have to keep in mind that the film was made for the same price as a midnight special pre-1950's rare coin collection. There's even an extremely rare 1891 Indian head penny in that collection...so, act fast before your chance to own a piece of Americana is gone! The point I'm trying to make here is that Dead Hooker was made on the cheap. But, with inventive minds. Like the kind of inventive minds that make someone's intestines being pulled from his lower abdomen pretty freakin' cool looking.

Even most of the camera work is pretty to look at. The dialogue feels right at home in a Tarantino flick and the Soska twins are extremely nice to look at in their denim. The film does have its share of flaws, tho. While some of the people I watched Dead Hooker with complained about the shakiness of the camera, it didn't really bother me. I kinda liked its stumbling around. My complaints are more with the unpolished look of it all. The entire thing very much feels like the first film from talented filmmakers. While everything is, no doubt, made to look like a gritty exploitation flick, it still feels amatuerish in some spots. But, I'm not kidding when I say that the film makes up for it in alot of the great set-ups and downright hillarious scenes throughout the running time.

I also felt the film was like 10 minutes too long. It takes a little while to actually get going and it does tend to drag in the scenes where Badass is not karate kicking douchebags. It would've served much better with most of its downtime trimmed down so it could feel like a truck just hit you in the face.


Still...Dead Hooker has quite a bit going for it.

The music goes nicely with most of the scenes. Sometimes the songs are just as frenetic as the pace onscreen...sometimes it's just as tranquil. Habanera from the opera Carmen, in particular, was perfect...just wish the scene was a bit shorter and much bloodier. For the most  part, the original songs were really catchy and approprate.

The Soska twins are a presence all their own. Sylvia personifies BADASS. God...I was actually a little scared of her! And Jen is so goddamn adorable...kinda like an anime character or something. In a cinematic world filled with the same old thing remade a dozen times, the sisters bring an original flavor all their own. Dead Hooker In A Trunk feels more like the infancy of a twisted world rather than a straight-forward horror film. A world with rough serrated edges.

The DVD doesn't bring as much as I would've liked for this kind of film. I still haven't gotten through all the extras on my Attack the Block BluRay...so, it was a little disappointing to only have a few scant extras to scroll through. Seriously...a commentary would've been epic! Could you imagine C.J. Wallis going through all the shit he had to do in the film? And I could seriously listen to hours of the Soska sisters joking around about how many four-letter words they drop throughout the film. The disc is a huge disappointment only in the way that you just wanna lose yourself in the world these filmmakers created.

However, that is not to discourage you from watching Dead Hooker In A Trunk. It's a fun film that gives us a peak at what is waiting for us in the minds of the Twisted Twins. And did I mention that they look great in their jeans? Spend some quality time with a dead hooker tonight!



Thanks for reading,

bryan.

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