Friday, July 24, 2009

Loud and Bobnoxious Cult Movies: Donkey Punch

Posted By on Fri, Jul 24, 2009 at 4:51 AM

8488/1248375178-donkeypunch.jpg In this British thriller, recently released on DVD by Magnet Films, Tammi (Nichola Burley), Lisa (Sian Breckin) and Kim (Jaime Winstone) are three college age girls on holiday in Spain. They get picked up by Marcus (Jay Taylor), Bluey (Tom Burke) and Josh (Julian Morris) who take the girls back to the luxury yacht where they are working as caretakers. Also on board is Josh’s quiet brother Sean (Robert Boulter), who hits it off with Tammi. After a fair amount of drug use and a conversation about bizarre sex acts, everyone but Sean and Tammi heads below deck for group sex. It’s all kinky fun and games until Josh tries to pull off the mean-spirited sex act the movie takes its name from and accidentally kills Lisa. The guys want to cover up the death by dumping Lisa’s body in the ocean and then reporting her as having drowned. Lisa’s friends are understandably less enthused about the idea, not to mention concerned for their own well being. Things soon go from bad to worse, and soon it’s everyone for themselves as the girls try to escape and the guys turn on each other.

The cast of young unknowns give solid performances despite playing characters that are essentially one dimensional types, with Burke standing out somewhat more than the rest as the boorish Bluey. But this is the kind of movie where the director is the real star, and first time helmer Olly Blackburn definitely shines here. The first act of the film is gorgeous, and Blackburn does a good job creating an atmosphere of unease amidst the sun and sex. Then, once the film shifts into thriller mode, he expertly ratchets up the tension and suspense. There are a few moments that stretch the audience’s suspension of disbelief a bit too far, but overall Donkey Punch is a taut, engrossing thriller that portends a bright future for Blackburn. With its extremely graphic sex scene and nasty premise Donkey Punch is definitely not for everyone, but if that sort of thing doesn’t bother you then give it a look. ***

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