×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Banshee

"Banshee," the first original action movie from Oxygen, the network owned and operated by women, is so off the mark it makes you want to beat your head against the glass ceiling. Rife with more references to oral sex than a Howard Stern show, the film is ridiculous, exploitative and downright creepy.</B>

With:
Sage Rion - Taryn Manning Fitz Fitzgerald - Mike Lombardi Eddie Rindall - Romano Orzari Brenna - Genelle Williams John Larch - Christian Campbell Jack - Nicholas Wright Tony Romano - Morgan Kelly Mitch Murray - Tony Calabretta Dallas - Mike Tsar

Banshee,” the first original action movie from Oxygen, the network owned and operated by women, is so off the mark it makes you want to beat your head against the glass ceiling. Rife with more references to oral sex than a Howard Stern show, the film is ridiculous, exploitative and downright creepy.

A confounding amalgam of car-chase action and serial-killer mystery with a little opposites-attract romance thrown in, “Banshee” purportedly delves into the mindset of a female car “tagger” with a heart of gold (think a grungier Angelina Jolie in “Gone in 60 Seconds”).

Film stars “Hustle & Flow’s” Taryn Manning as the streetwise Sage, a car thief who can throw a mean left hook and will only bedguys who cook dinner first. Her philosophy on life, particularly men, is that the world is an enormous barnyard. The minute you give it up for a guy, “you’re a hog, wallowing and snorting in your own revolting slop.” And that’s the warm and fuzzy part of the movie.

After stealing a mint-condition ’66 Dodge Charger, Sage drops her ID at the scene of the crime. Director Kari Skogland makes viewers eminently aware of this grievous error twice, perhaps on the assumption you’ve got to be pretty dim to be watching this film.

As it turns out, the Charger’s owner really is a badass, just as it says on the license plate. Sage comes home to find her boyfriend’s ear in an ashtray with a note demanding the car by midnight or else lover-boy turns to lunchmeat. But Mr. Badass (Christian Campbell) isn’t your run-of-the-mill psycho. He’s an uberpsycho and a hip DJ, who captures and tortures women, records their screams along with his accelerated heartbeat and then morphs them into techno rock tunes to play at local clubs.

The imaginative effort writer Kirsten Elms put into creating such a highly disturbing serial killer would have served the movie more had it been funneled into creating a realistic story with better dialogue. Never mind the gaping plot holes vis-a-vis law enforcement procedure. Elms’ script is filled with axioms such as such as, “You had me at hand job,” and “I’m going kick your ass if you don’t kick my ass.”

Not that explicit language is off limits for women (this is the network with “Talk Sex With Sue Johanson” after all), it just takes a certain panache that’s missing here. The humor is off the mark, as are the perfs, so not much rings true.

Which makes the promise of thrilling car-chase scenes its last hope and biggest disappointment. Skogland’s camerawork is erratic and confusing, with special effects used to little benefit far too late in the film. Similarly, the chameleon-like quality that makes Canada so attractive budget-wise robs the movie of any real atmosphere. The mean streets of Montreal don’t elicit a gritty enough vibe here.

Mike Lombardi, who plays the rookie fireman on “Rescue Me,” plays a rookie cop who’s been tailing Sage on her recent crime spree. Despite her negative attitude and hostile behavior, he becomes enamored with her and forgoes all normal police procedure in doing so — most egregiously in the final sequences.

Performing with the same scowl from scene to scene does not a tough chick make, although Manning does invoke what could easily be the evil twin of Susan Bradford from “Eight Is Enough.” On the plus side, her makeup and scars are appropriately frightening.

Banshee

Oxygen; Sat., June 24; 8 p.m.

Production: Filmed on location in Montreal, Canada, by Wishmaker Film Production in association with Brainstorm Media. Executive producers, Meyer Shwarzstein, Caldecot Chubb; producer, Kimberly Berlin; director, Kari Skogland; writer, Kirsten Elms.

Crew: Camera, David Franco; editor, Benjamin Duffield. Running time: 2 HOURS.

Cast: Sage Rion - Taryn Manning Fitz Fitzgerald - Mike Lombardi Eddie Rindall - Romano Orzari Brenna - Genelle Williams John Larch - Christian Campbell Jack - Nicholas Wright Tony Romano - Morgan Kelly Mitch Murray - Tony Calabretta Dallas - Mike Tsar

More TV

  • Editorial use only. No book cover

    China's Huanxi Media Picks Up 'Snowpiercer' TV Show From ITV Studios

    China’s Huanxi Media Group Limited has bought the exclusive broadcasting right in the mainland for the forthcoming sci-fi TV series “Snowpiercer” from ITV Studios Global Entertainment. The show is based on South Korean director Bong Joon-Ho’s film of the same name and is set to debut on TBS in the U.S. in the spring of [...]

  • James Marsden attends the 2019 MOCA

    New Abortion Ban Laws Take Center Stage at MOCA Gala

    Forty years ago in Los Angeles, the decision to invest millions in a museum dedicated exclusively to contemporary art — not to mention its formerly desolate downtown location, where the vibe was more apocalyptic than artsy — was a risky proposition. But now that the city’s cultural heart has shifted south of Hollywood, it seems [...]

  • WGA Agents Contract Tug of War

    Writers Guild Expands Suit Against Agencies With New Fraud Allegations

    The Writers Guild of America has bulked up its lawsuit with additional fraud allegations against Hollywood’s four biggest talent agencies. The WGA amended its suit Monday in Los Angeles Superior Court with the claim that CAA, WME, UTA and ICM partners have engaged “constructive fraud” by allegedly placing their own interests ahead of their clients [...]

  • Jason Mitchell

    Jason Mitchell Dropped From 'The Chi' Season 3, Netflix Film

    Jason Mitchell is being dropped from a number of his current and upcoming projects. Variety has confirmed that the up and coming actor will not return for “The Chi’s” already announced third season, with Season 2 of the show currently airing on Showtime. In addition, Mitchell will no longer be starring in the Netflix film “Desperados,” in [...]

  • Maisie Williams

    TV News Roundup: Maisie Williams to Guest Judge 'RuPaul's Drag Race UK'

    In today’s roundup, Maisie Williams will guest judge on “RuPaul’s Drag Race UK” and “Drunk History” will return with eight new episodes to Comedy Central.  DATES Comedy Central‘s “Drunk History” will return with eight new episodes beginning with “Derek Waters’ Believe It or Not” Tuesday, June 18 at 10 p.m. The series premiere of “Alternatino [...]

  • Lisa Kudrow

    Lisa Kudrow Joins Lee Daniels-Whitney Cummings Comedy Pilot 'Good People' at Amazon

    Lisa Kudrow has signed on to star in and executive produce the comedy pilot “Good People” currently in the works at Amazon, Variety has learned. The half-hour project hails from writers and executive producers Whitney Cummings and Lee Daniels, with Cummings also set to star. It centers on three generations of women working in the [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content