Turning its low budget into a self-mocking plus, this umpteenth 'Mad Max'-style dystopian actioner delivers trashy fun for genre fans.
Cheerfully gory, derivative and silly, “Bounty Killer” aspires to nothing more or less than trashy fun for genre fans, and this umpteenth “Mad Max”-style dystopian actioner delivers on that modest but admirable score. Henry Saine’s second feature — following the equally tongue-in-cheek horror opus “The Last Lovecraft: Relic of Cthulhu” — turns its low budget into a self-mocking plus, with high energy and the sense that a good time was had by all covering the other bases. Pic had a brief limited theatrical run in September, and should recoup in current DVD/VOD release while possibly paving the way for a sequel or two.
Once Drifter (Matthew Marsden, from the “Rambo” remake) was the big cheese among bounty hunters in a world where they are celebrated for dispensing justice to the fugitive CEOs and other white-collar miscreants whose global Corporate War ultimately decimated civilization. But glam ex-protegee and lover Mary Death (Christian Pitre) has since surpassed him in popularity. Worse, someone has managed to pin a “wanted” bounty on Drifter himself, so now he’s on the lam with comedy sidekick Jack (Barak Hardley) from Mary and everyone else
Their misadventures include capture by a “gypsy” camp (which is like a slightly harder-core Burning Man) and travel through the dread Badlands. Their goal is to plead Drifter’s innocence with the ruling body known as the Council, but upon arrival, the protags discover one more stop is required.
Slumming guest stars include Gary Busey in a lemon pastel suit as a corporate meanie, Beverly D’Angelo as a ghost-town bartender, rapper Eve as the Gypsy Queen, and Kristanna Loken as a fusion of Ayn Rand and Ilsa, She Wolf of the SS. “ER’s” Abraham Benrubi is a slightly underutilized MVP as Jimbo, a hulking moonshiner who joins Drifter and Jack on their quest after a six-pack of Pabst is dangled as bait.
No cliche is left unturned, and the climactic one-two of over-the-top shootout and faux-syrupy flashback montage delivers. Saine, who’s contributed graphics to several long-running TV series, adds some brief animation bits in a package that’s entertainingly resourceful on all design/tech levels.
Film Review: 'Bounty Killer'
Reviewed online, Tokyo, Oct. 17, 2013. (In Toronto After Dark, Fantasia film festivals.) MPAA Rating: R. Running time: 89 MIN.
A KickArc and Raindance Entertainment presentation of a Kickstart production in association with Just Chorizo Prods. Produced by Jason Netter, Colin Ebeling, Henry Saine. Executive producers, Tucker Moore, Des Carey. Co-producer, Samantha Olsson-Shear.
Directed by Henry Saine. Screenplay, Jason Dodson, Saine, Colin Ebeling, from a story by Dodson. Camera (color, HD), David Conley; editor, Martin Bernfeld; music, Greg Edmonson; production designer, Michael Gallenberg; set decorator, Mel Cooper; costume designer, Dan Selon; sound, Seth Cooper; sound designer/supervising sound editor/re-recording mixer, Walter New; stunt coordinator, Randall Archer; assistant director, Roger Melvin; casting, Peter Pappas.
Matthew Marsden, Kristanna Loken, Christian Pitre, Barak Hardley, Abraham Benrubi, Gary Busey, Beverly D'Angelo, Eve Jeffers, Kevin McNally.