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John’s Horror Corner: Boys Against Girls (2012), a female empowerment film written and directed by a man…hmmmm

May 19, 2013

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MY CALL:  A female empowerment revenge film made by a man?  Hmmmm… I don’t think a female director would have made her shorts so short.  It was decent but hard to describe in a few sentences.  I recommend it to fans of the extreme (e.g., Hostel or Sawmovies).  IF YOU LIKE THIS WATCH:  I Spit on Your Grave (1978, 2010),The Descent (2005), A Perfect Getaway (2009) and Thelma and Louse (1991) all do better jobs of showing us strong female roles in which the actresses are completely credibly tough.

Our male writer/director (Austin Chick) piles the female oppression on pretty hard.  We first find Shae(Scream Queen Danielle Panabaker; Piranha 3DD, The Ward) in some sort of feminist women’s studies class talking to her classmate about her married boyfriend who’s about 15+ years her senior.  After he breaks things off she feels lost without her unhealthy relationship as she fends off unwelcome advances at work (as a night club bartender) and sneaks off to cry about the loss of this loser.  As if she didn’t already have a big enough deficit of self worth, Shae is always dressed in very short shorts or snug tiny skirts.

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Lu (Nicole LaLiberte) works at the same bar, but she handles her shallow clientele with more assertiveness; she won’t be bullied or taken advantage of by men.  She wants to help Shae feel better so they go out for a night of drinks and dancing.  But when one thing leads to another, Shae finds herself alone with a man in a situation where “no” has little weight.  As if that wasn’t bad enough–and ALL of this has happened in just one day so far–Shae’s day gets much worse with!  After  that which would undeniably be considered the worst day of her life, she can’t even report the multiple assailants without being called “sweetheart” by a dismissively skeptical cop who says “you look fine to me.”

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Yeah, laying it on a little thick, huh?

Nicole LaLiberte does a solid job as the vengeful, sociopathic and sultry Lu.  She kills a man in a cringingly brutal manner and just looks him in the eye, watching as he dies.  She plans murders with the same calm deadpan demeanor one would have while reading the nutrition information off of a Captain Crunch cereal box.  The yin to Lu’s yang, Shae is clearly the shy one, but she’s along  for the ride willingly and finds her murderous footing quickly.  The two of them embrace their vengeful actions–not as righteous, but simply “right” as if they had no other cares or sense of consequence in the world.

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They have some funny moments.  The delivery of their homicidal discussions provides a great dark comedy appeal in a few scenes.  The gore element is present and there’s even a brief dash of torture, but it’s not celebrated as it is in the Hostel movies. We still get gummy detoothed mouths, some dismemberment, and exit wound splatters, though.

I’m having a hard time swallowing the pro-feminism while she’s in those short shorts.

The female empowerment is often credible, but at times, a bit over the top.  For example, Lu physically handles herself way too well for someone who’s probably never lifted anything heavier than a 6-pack and is a crackshot with a handgun and we have no reason to find that credible.  However, anyone who watches this movie wants to see brutal and clever death scenes and likely wouldn’t be too troubled with this shortcoming.

On the topics of female empowerment and death scenes, that’s all we see.  Unlike crime thrillers, this movie does not alternate between the killers’ agenda and the police detectives tasked with the investigation of their bloody wake, there are no chase scenes and our “protagonist” murderesses make no effort to evade their pursuers (which we have no knowledge of, if they exist) or to cover their tracks or wipe their fingerprints from the crime scene.  No.  This movie is about two girls avenging how they’ve been wronged.

This was a female empowerment revenge film made by a man.  It wasn’t bad.  But…hmmmm…I don’t think a female director would have made Panabaker’s shorts so short or LaLiberte’s lesbian-driven nudity soooooo, well–naked.  LOL.

It’s still a fun romp, though.

 

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