BBFC Classification: 18
Director: Henry Saine
Starring: Kristanna Loken, Christian Pitre, Matthew Marsden, Gary Busey, Barak Hardley, Beverly D’Angelo, Eve, Kevin McNally
In the not-too-distant future society has broken down after battling corporations brought the world to its knees. The Council of Nine was born out of this destruction and has vowed to avenge this catastrophe by sending out bounty killers to kill the white-collar criminals for a fat wad of cash whilst competing with each other for how many kills they can rack up. Mary Death (Christian Pitre – Crazy, Stupid, Love.) and Drifter (Matthew Marsden – Rambo) are two of the most celebrated bounty killers and after Drifter has a bounty put on his head, the two of them – plus Drifter’s gun caddy Jack (Barak Hardley – Blue Like Jazz) – must travel across ‘the badlands’ to get to the Council, fighting tribes of cannibalistic killers and the odd corporate scumbag along the way.
As a short summing up, Bounty Killer is what what happens when you throw the best bits of Machete, Mad Max 2: The Road Warrior, Shoot ‘Em Up, Desperado, Death Race 2000 and a touch of Sin City together into a blender and mix thoroughly. You’ll notice that three of those films are directed by Robert Rodriguez and his influence is felt throughout Bounty Killer, especially during the shoot-out scenes, of which there are many.
Despite some above average performances, appearances by Gary Busey and Beverley D’Angelo give it a bit of a lift and Christian Pitre looks set to have something of a career as an action star after giving an impressively vibrant performance, although Matthew Marsden isn’t as endearing as he was in Rambo and things just don’t seem as exciting when he is doing anything without Pitre. The script also has some great lines, with Barak Hardley and Kevin McNally (Pirates of the Caribbean series) providing most of the comic relief (“Well, pickle my todger” and “Hhmm! Tastes like boobies” being two particularly amusing highlights).
Bounty Killer is a film that you’re either going to love or hate with a passion, depending on your tolerance for graphic novel adaptations or low-budget faux grindhouse movies. At 88 minutes long it’s exactly the right length for this type of film and it keeps the energy levels up for most of that running time, and, quite frankly, seeing a scantily-clad Christian Pitre straddling a tricycle never loses its appeal. The effects are suitably silly, with CGI and practical blood spurting everywhere during some inventively gruesome kills, although some of the deliberately cheap-looking effects don’t always tie in with Marsden’s dour line delivery, and on the whole it gives you everything the striking cover art and inviting title promise, which is nice.
Special Features: Behind the Scenes featurette, trailer
UK Release Date: 27th January 2014