Blu-ray. Anchor Bay.
got to hand it to Michael Biehn. He might have starred in some
big budget blockbusters for James Cameron, but his directorial
debut is an unashamedly grubby grindhouse throwback that, although
nothing special, should appeal to anyone who appreciates the sleazier
end of the horror genre.
Biehn plays Kyle, an ex-con loner living in a cabin in the woods,
who’s solitary life is interrupted when a hysterical young
woman, Annie (Jennifer Blanc) shows up at his door, claiming that
her friend Mary (Danielle Harris) has been killed by her cop boyfriend
(Ryan Honey), who is now tracking her down to silence her. Not
knowing whether to believe her story, Kyle soon finds himself
forced to take action when the killer cop shows up at the cabin.
As I watched The Victim, I was aware of the potential
for an interesting story with plenty of twists and turns, as conflicting
he said/she said stories make you unsure of the actual truth until
the end. Sadly, that’s not what we get here. It’s
not exactly a spoiler to reveal that the initial story we here
is the true story. It seems a wasted opportunity, as all the characters
could easily be ambiguous and manipulative – certainly,
Blanc, as a coked-up slutty stripperis hardly your standard Final
Girl and I would not have been surprised if she’d turned
out to be playing Biehn.
Once you accept that the plot is going to be simple and straightforward,
this is entertaining enough, if hardly a future classic. Biehn
does his usual bang-up job of acting, but Blanc is unconvincing
– her hysteria early on is unintentionally hilarious, and
it’s equally funny to see that within a couple of hours
of seeing her friend killed and being chased by the killers, she’s
seducing her rescuer because she has a thing for older men! You
have to admire the fact that Biehn the writer gave Biehn the actor
a raunchy nude sex scene, and that Biehn the director cast a buxom
twenty-something as his partner (in fact, Blanc is also a producer
on the film, which adds a whole ‘nother level to the scene!).
There are other moments of silliness – a head is pulped
in the finale, only to be notably intact in the next scene, and
Honey’s moustache might raise a few titters. But I can’t
knock The Victim too much. It does what it sets
out to, with plenty of gratuitous nudity, gore and action, it
doesn’t waste any time and it’s unashamedly trashy.
It also has a nice final twist that will have you forgiving any
shortcomings. Exploitation fans should have a lot of fun with
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