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Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Dead Hooker in a Trunk (2009)

Dead Hooker in a Trunk (2009) - Jen and Silvia Soska present this really bad day of violence and death in this home brewed exploitation flick. Starting in a club we follow our lead "Badass" (Sylvia Soska) as she enters and has a drink with her friend "Junkie" (Rikki Gagne) but we are also there for the argument between the "Cowboy Pimp" (John Tench) and his "Hooker" (Tasha Moth) as they go at it in the bar. We get a forward flash where she is taking a baseball bat to the head, thus setting up the title of the film.
A look into the past shows us Badass as a little girl witnessing the death of her mother at the hands of her father. She as a child picks up the gun and shoots him, so we know what her issues are. That is how she got so Badass?, the trauma of having to murder your own father? No that's a starting point but unfortunately the film doesn't fill in the character any more than this. Instead we get to accept that the events of her past have slotted her into her personality. When she comes out of the memories She and Junkie go to pick up her sister Geek (Jen Soska) and head off in Badass's bad ass car to take Geek to her youth group. Geek on the other hand having avoided watching her mother die nor having killed her father has grown to adulthood a good girl. Thus the need to get her sister to drive her to pick up a friend at the church's youth group. There are a couple reasons for this, one is the fourth main character in the adventure that is about to start, Goody Two Shoes (C.J. Wallis) he is a holy roller who longs for the companionship of Geek but doesn't have the balls to do anything about it. The second is to have this really strange interaction with the Priest at the church. Probably because she is pure evil and going to hell inexplicably Badass catches on fire and he puts her out. Then he talks to a hoodie guy about Badass but thinks they should not mess with her. So it is quite obvious though that he is not quite right. This telegraphing makes the movie less fun but as violent romps go it doesn't take too much away. We certainly can sense that the Priest and the hoodie guy will show up again somewhere down the line.
The four head out to get some "shit" for Junkie, but a strange smell gets them to look in the trunk of the bad ass car and find the titular dead hooker. That is all the setup we really need to get because from here this film is a, this happened, and then this happened. It is a bad day that just gets worse while the entire time we wonder why the characters driven by Badass keep making poor decisions that make things worse. The first problem is since Badass and Junkie are a bit fuzzy about the night before they don't want to call the police. So begins the wild romp for the next couple days as they try to solve their problem without getting in trouble. They are being followed by Cowboy Pimp but seem oblivious to his vehicle just feet from them. So not just are they making bad decisions but they are not noticing who is around. Let me tell you last time I had a body in the trunk of my car, I became very hyper aware of my surroundings. You would think the characters in the film would too.
It all gets a bit strange from here which leads one to believe that maybe this is not just a poor low budget action film but instead a stealthy empowerment fantasy. That this is the hard core decisions making fantasized by a little girl who killed her abusive father. Instead of a scared traumatized child she sees herself as "Badass" the super decisive bitch you do not want to fuck with. It doesn't matter how stupid her decisions are, she will make them work with gall and spunk. Every curve thrown her way will be smacked out of the ballpark. Unfortunately I am not sure this is the case, so Badass becomes a one toned character who forces her will on those around her. She lacks a story arch that brings her from her starting point to somewhere new and surprising through the adventures of the day.
Deciding to bury the corpse instead of say, dumping it on the side of the empty road, or leaving it in the hotel room they got, or sitting it on a park bench to be found by a jogger, anything except keeping it with them for a day so they can depose of it. Note that although they have this body in the trunk of the car, they had no part in putting it there. They owe nothing to the hooker nor do they need to risk accessory to murder by touching it. Sure the setup is there that the police might blame them but like I point out above there are lots of things to be done with a dead body. Letting the hotel desk guy molest it in the car as payment for the room was pretty low on my list of things.
Geek has the very strange idea to call the cops on her sister. Really? The make believe that follows can't easily be explained nor can any real rationalization for the decision be made. The cops though do not end up looking very good after the music video encounter with Badass. She struts her sexy self well enough to leave them wishing they never responded to the call. It is much ado about nothing and in the end the foursome is back on the road with the hooker again in the trunk.
They head out get a fix for Junkie at her old boyfriends apartment, I use that term "apartment" as a very flexible way to describe a place to live but most human beings would not consider the pit he has to be livable. Cowboy Pimp is there again as he continues to track his Hooker, did he put the body in the trunk? Could he not ask them for the body? I believe he knows they have seen the hooker so whats the deal? Junkie gets a fix and a fuck with the boyfriend when for no real reason some Asian guys come and are going to kill them both. I am sure it is a money owed thing concerning drugs but again we shift into a long line of events with little organic origins in the film. There is some excellent gory violence while they are killing the boyfriend and cutting her arm with a saw. Lucky for Junkie that she has Badass for a friend. Saving the day with some more cool gory violence they get out of the situation now leaving a trail of bodies in their wake. Now she is a killer but since it is for the right reasons, saving a friend there is no reason to be appalled by it.
Meanwhile Geek is again calling the police, this sister rivalry has to stop! While that call is happening a hooded figure walks up behind her and cracks her in the head with a pipe. Down she goes her eye knocked clean out of her head. You are probably saying "What the fuck!" at this point as was I. Even the fact the Goody Two Shoes was in the car while Geek was being attacked directly outside the door was enough to almost make me turn this film off. They all end up back in the car driving away the whole while the Cowboy Pimp watches from the sidelines. When they stop on the side of the road and a passing truck takes the arm right off Junkie we know we are in a complete fantasy. Badass does punch out the trucker and pulls the severed are from the grill. A bit of duct take and bingo Junkie can make it until the hospital. Which I should mention is not NOW! No instead the film goes off the rails with the explanation of the arm reattachment, the single line "I can't believe this actually worked." I remind you that this was a completely detached arm and I don't care how high Junkie was there is no way that a severed limb is not going to be extremely painful and life threatening. Okay so there is no way we can continue to suspend disbelief, and even though I watched this strange piece of work to the end I was dumbfounded by the irrational twist it takes. Questions still need to be answered and I am sure you will be drained while finding the answers. Will they ever bury that damn hooker? Will the Cowboy Pimp ever make his intentions known? Who is the strange hooded attacker? Will the Junkie ever get that arm looked at by a doctor? Will the Goody two shoes ever get that kiss from Geek he so desires? Will this day and this film ever end? Hey and although I did not mention it we do find out how the Hooker gets in the trunk and who killed her. They why is what is so fucked up in this scenario.
So many more things just happen and the climax is energetic and all the loose ends tied up. No doubt that our sisters will come out of it relatively okay. When the line that sums up the movie is " I can't believe there aren't any repercussions for all the things we have did over the last... " Neither can the audience.
So will I recommend this film? No, but I have to say I have always sort of enjoyed gory violence and did so in this film too. In fact I don't know what it is about exploitation that makes me "want" to watch it. It is not like a Giallo where the violence and nudity is mixed in a mystery of a story. It is probably because the films in this genre are so straight up and in your face. In a time where everything is so packaged it is refreshing to see a blunt instrument used to cause the audience damage. It did not make a lot of sense but it is a ride of sorts. I also appreciated the pretty decent music in the film. When all is said and done you still have to give a lot of credit to the Soska sisters for creating a film that they wanted to create. They wrote , produced, directed, acted in, did stunts for and I am sure had a hand in everything else in this film too. They created an internet presence and have given themselves a start in the business. That is more than can be said for all us film lovers out there that write blogs. So props for the work they have done and who knows, maybe this won't be the last Soska Sisters review I will do.
Rating (4.8) 5.0 and up are recommended, some films just more recommended than others.

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