Sunday, May 20, 2012

Dead Hooker in a Trunk (2009)

The first time I heard about "Dead Hooker in a Trunk" was on a website (I don't remember which one) talking about how it was an exploitation throwback made on a micro-budget. My initial reaction to that was "Yawn, been done before." Then I found out that it was made by twin sisters from Canada, and that it got a rave review from none other than Eli Roth. Needless to say, my interest went from zilch to "Sure, why not?" So, how does the end result play out?

Four friends-Geek (Jen Soska), Badass, (Sylvia Soska) Junkie (Rikki Gagne) and Goody Two Shoes (C.J. Wallis) have a bit of a problem-there's well, a dead hooker in a trunk (You know it's a hooker because she's dead-a dead call girl is a hooker. Come on, "Archer" taught me that), with drugs to boot. Well, it turns out that disposing of said body, and finding out who killed her and left her there will be a bit difficult, as a triad, a serial killer, a pimp and police are all on their tail.

I will give the Soska sisters credit for some things. Mostly for the fact that they took an almost nonexistent budget (this cost about $2,500) and making it look like it cost about $100,000 dollars more. It really is an independent production-the cast did there own stunts, edited, did effects work, wrote and directed-you name it, they did it. The movie also forgoes CG blood for real latex, innards and fake blood, which is always welcome, and looks quite good.

Unfortunately, the end result is something of a mixed bag. There's a few funny moments, but most of the humor is more miss than hit, with the character of Goody Two Shoes (Seriously, you couldn't give anyone names?) in particular got on my nerves. Then there's the characters. Sure, the cast is mostly good, but there's nobody here to root for, as they are all either bland stereotypes with little in the way of development or back story. Oh, and if you are looking for an exploitation throwback, then you'll be disappointed. If anything, this is more of a to the likes of Tarantino and Rodriguez, but only offers what they do so well sporadically. It's a lot of hero worship and love for things like the whole Neo-Grindhouse thing, but that's about it.

At the end of the day, this isn't a total waste of time. You can tell that it's a labor of love for everyone involved, and the Soska sisters show some promise, so I'm interested in what a few more years of experience will do for them. Still, it's a hit and miss affair, and is nothing to rush out for.

Rating: 5/10

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