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Run! Bitch Run!: a film review

Great title, right? Though maybe the first exclaimation mark should be after “bitch.” (I digress.) This is THE exploitation film of the 2000s. I dare you to find a crazier film between 2000-2010 of violence, rape, and and twisted sadism than RUN! BITCH RUN! from 2009, directed by Joeseph Guzman and produced by Freakshow Entertainment. You will, indeed, be entertained… and repulsed by this film. You may laugh and cry simultaneously.

WATCH THE TRAILER. CLICK HERE.

IMDB’s plot description:

“Catherine and Rebecca are two Catholic School girls going door-to-door selling Religious paraphernalia in order to pay for their books and education. Things go horribly wrong when they knock on the wrong door in the wrong neighborhood. “Run! Bitch Run!” is a throw back to the classic rape and revenge films like The Last House on the Left and Ms. 45.”

Four minutes into this movie, we have a full frontal nun, black girl breasts, white girl breast, a fat guy gyrating his fat, hairy ass while having sex, pot smoking, and a whore murdering her latest “lay.”

Holy Hell. This is gonna be good.

The aesthetic of the film grain is great. Nothing is totally in focus. Ever. If this is not shot on real film, whatever kind of filter the editor or director is using is incredible. Shot in 2009, it could easily be 1975. The lighting is great. The blacks are nice and dark. And the soundtrack was well thought out. All the songs are like beautiful south western accompaniments that Tarantino never used but should have. Where the musical selections could have been too over the top or “on-the-nose”, this film finds a good homage to its throwback without being a blatant rip-off. I applaud.

By around the seven minute mark there is again a wide shot. Full frontal. A beautiful girl that is clearly shameless. Funny thing is, she is having a normal conversation with her friend in a shady motel room. They are both also from a Catholic School. Hey, sign me up. I’ll take another crack at Christianity if girls who look like a cross between Rose McGowan and Anne Hathaway are thumping the good ol’ bible.

When the first ten pages of your script has more blood and nudity then plot—bing—you gotta exploitation flick on your hands.

So these two girls are “100 miles from St. Mary’s”—the buzz kill girl with her blonde hair in a bun is trying to do everything by the book, including having humility, shame, and a clean path straight to God’s work. The naked one, Rebecca, with her raven hair down around her shoulders is talking about having a little fun and essentially not being a good girl falling in line. The issue I have with this scene: I find it hard to believe that these two girls, presumably having been in a Catholic school all of their lives, could be so different. One would think a lifetime of indoctrination would leave no room for promiscuity in their pretty little heads. But, hey, conflict is what makes a movie go ‘round, so rationality and reality be damned! The script must be written, I guess. I also quickly found it implausible that two girls would be going around in Texas Chainsaw Massacre-land just to sell some religious junk completely on their own. They seem to be in the middle of nowhere and aimless as hell.

On another note—and yes, I suppose I am just a man—the young lady they cast as Rebecca was a lucky find. Her name is Christina Derosa and was in playboy magazines at the time. Her smile is infectious, and even when fully clothed, she is cute and can actually act. When she is crying and bleeding and being forced to suck toes though, prepare to be truly uncomfortable. I cannot imagine shooting this scene. It is truly terrible. You need to have a stomach for this movie the same way you have to for Wes Craven’s The Last House on the Left.

For no other reason than having another “tit shot”—in a montage of the girls driving around from door to door at about 12-minutes in, we have a cut inside of the house they are knocking on to a 40-year old woman rubbing her breasts in the shower. Hearing the knocking, she towels her hair, puts on a robe but doesn’t tie it, and opens the door with her D-Cups just hanging out. One of the girls begins to say what they are selling, and the woman in the robe just scoffs and closes the door. That’s the whole scene. A full minute dedicated to middle age fun bags. Go figure. But what did you expect?

Hopefully the movie will be actually starting soon.

Maybe it will start after the girl pleasures herself on the toilet with the right end of the plunger. No, I am not joking. Ew.

Right after that, my favorite part is the dead black girl who is still breathing. Good job, director. It’s called a re-take. Use it when basic biology makes no sense, like a girl still breathing after a bullet to the throat. Then again, they made this for $25,000 — and that’s for all the effects and renting locations and paying the crew. So, Kudos, I guess.

In  their defense; I’m sure they knew what they were making. This is grindhouse. I’m actually not criticizing too hard. I know the title of the freakin’ movie is Run! Bitch Run!  for god’s sake!

I do agree: Tarantino and Rob Zombie would be proud of this one. Here’s a sample or a sickly funny scene that quickly turns to rotten disease:

LOBO:  “We’re gonna play a little game. Clint and I like to call it Find ‘Em and Fuck ‘Em. It’s kinda like Hide ‘n Seek, but not. It’s better. It’s a lot better. You’re gonna go run somewhere and pray I don’t find you. Cause when I find you, I’m gonna fuck you. I’m gonna spray my whipped cream all over that sundae.”

Here, the female takes off but doesn’t get too far. This quote has the audience laughing for about a minute until there is a long, single take, no-cut aways rape scene that was directly inspired by Wes Craven’s The Last House on the Left. The rape scenes in Run Bitch! and Last House are the only two rape scenes I have ever seen in films which are not tasteful and are hard-to-watch; successful in the sense that they are so disgustingly real. I can’t imagine taking multiple takes. It’s something you’ll only ever want to see once if you can fight turning away for a brief second of relief. I bet you can’t watch the screen the whole time. Like two girls one cup. The movie, at these parts anyway, stops being a funny, dark comedy and becomes a terrible exploitation film at a disturbing level. Maybe that was the intention; to show how disgusting rape really is and how most films soften it for their audiences. This film refuses to do that. You’re gonna watch like you were really there, so hold on tight… but, hey, you’ve been warned.

This rated R flick is almost NC-17, in my opinion. Probably why it was only released in theaters in Japan but came direct to DVD in the States!

There are tons of low-angle shots at about butt height. Wonder why. The cheesy shtick and sleazy residue will build up on your soul in this one. It is sex, revenge, and 2-dimensional characters you can’t help but love with. The good and the evil characters make you think “I wonder what lunch break was like on the set. Yikes.” It’s pure entertainment. If you like to laugh as much as be shocked, this one is for you. If you are easily offended or are made uncomfortable by rape scenes, even light ones, skip it. You can’t really put a rating system to this one with any “across-the-board” clarity, but I think most people would give this a 2-star out of 5: while that’s probably the proper rating giving the faults in pacing, editing, and some acting, the fun factor and ridiculousness feel like more than two-stars. It could have been an hour long film. It drags after 40-minutes.

Here’s a reason why you should watch this movie, but this is a huge SPOLIER ALERT: The man guy gets stabbed in the anus with a two foot machete. Repeatedly. That’s the ending. Blood is everywhere. I was laughing and clapping when I saw that because I have never seen anything like that. Good god!

I could go on and on telling you every scene and why it’s over-the-top, but if you just see this one for yourself with some friends, you’ll be finding you own favorite one-liners in no time flat.

“Lord, if I wasn’t such a righteous man, I’d pound them harder than the nails in the cross.”

RENT IT $2.99 — BUY IT for $9.99 — watch immediately on AMAZON’s INSTANT VIDEO service. Also on NETFLIX instant stream!

MH

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“Lolita” by Vladmir Nabokov: an Essay

Intellectual, erogenous, controversial, and poetic: all inarguable descriptions of Nabokov’s Lolita. But a love story unlike any before or since? If anything, it can be conceded that this book “offers a depiction of love that is as patently original as it is brutally shocking” (NPR). It is not love in the American sense of equal reciprocation we have come to value and understand and expect in our society. This book is a single “depiction” of love. The idea of love as the majority of civilized cultures display it is not shared by Humbert. His idea of love and is highly reprehensible.

But this is already known to anyone who has read the book or the glowing reviews for Lolita. The issue brought up here is why so many claim it to be “one of the most beautiful love stories you’ll ever read” or go as far to say “it may be one of the only love stories you’ll ever read” (NPR). Through artful prose and detailed descriptions the reader is swayed to empathize with Humbert; it is not hard to do given the small amount of love (better described as “attention”) Lolita gives to him. But no reader walks away from having read this book honestly believing this is a true love story. True love is reciprocated. True love is understood by the parties involved. Not that true love always has a happy ending, but these emotions described by Humbert throughout the text are manipulative, complex accounts given to us by a man with an obsession who had been to mental institutions—nothing more; regardless of his aptitude, cleverness, and scholastic conquests.

True love is reciprocated equally and in the same manner. Let’s suppose that these two characters love each other equally quantitatively, and Lolita simply never wanted to show it or knew how to show it. Though loving each other deeply, these two characters, hypothetically, showed their love in two very different ways. Lolita saw a father and a source of cash; Humbert saw a body after which he lusted, and that was it until near the very end. He never liked how she treated him for the majority of the story, but thought he loved her anyway. Lolita did not have the capacity or interest to reciprocate qualitatively in the same way. Does Lolita have a physical attraction to Humbert like Humbert has an attraction to Lolita? No. Humbert certainly thinks this is love, but true love this is not. This is obsession and infatuation; an unfortunate consequence of unremitted love.

Humbert says “I would hold her against me three times a day, every day” talking about why he would pretend to love and possibly marry a poor woman he finds not attractive at all to be able to touch her daughter (pp 70). He continues: “All my troubles would be expelled, I would be a healthy man.” Most would disagree. There will always be troubles for everyone, even people with lives not as wild as Humbert’s.

The tragedy of the novel is that Humbert, while perhaps really loving Lolita, will never be able to stay with just her. Even if he stayed with her and she was the first nymphet he stayed with even though she grew up and Humbert did not go after another young one, one day Lolita will be old and die. Again, with the provocative language Humbert uses when writing his incredible story to us, it’s not hard to read passages like this and be fooled into having a heart swell of empathy and notions of true love:

“… she was with her ruined looks and her adult, rope-veined narrow hands and her goose-flesh white arms, and her shallow ears, and her unkempt arm-pits… hopelessly warns at seventeen… and I looked at her and knew as clearly as I know I am to die, that I loved her more than anything I had ever seen or imagined on earth, or hoped for anywhere else (pp 277).”

This passage certainly supports this idea that Humbert must really love her. After all, the majority of the book must have had the forward thinking reader presuming that once Lolita grows out of her current body, Humbert will surely be moving along to the next little girl. But despite all of the pieces to the contrary, and despite her tired, unkempt, worn body, Humbert is willing to give up his life-long infatuation with the body type he was most obsessed with to stay with Lolita who will never look like a 12-year old again.

And there lies the problem with the whole notion of true love given to this text by critics and fans! Do not forget that she never showed him any real sweetness. She only had her hand out for sixty five cents and eventually thousands of dollars throughout the text. This is not true love. Especially considering Humbert said numerous times how difficult it was dealing with her moodiness and attitudes. How can this be anything but physical and psychological attraction? Humbert does not breakdown at the end of the story begging for Lolita to come with him out of lust for her body. That young body is clearly gone. So some would say it was for love. True love. But that is too idealistic and cliché and simple. Humbert—poor, permanently disturbed Humbert—cannot change that quickly. Even though he realizes the error of his ways, the truth is that Lolita is simply that last person that spent a large chunk of time with him and made memories with him. He is in love with the memories of having a sex buddy on a road trip, though he tries to tell us directly that “it was not that echo alone I worshipped” (pp. 278). He is trying to convince both himself and the reader this is the truth, but this is simply lip service by Humbert to appeal to our hearts so we see him as less of a monster and less of a fool. He cries and writes the passage on page 277 because he is lonely, lonely, lonely.

There is no happily ever after here.

Works Cited: 

NPR – National Public Radio. Ellen Silva, producer. “Why ‘Lolita’ Remains Shocking, and a Favorite.” July 7, 2006 http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=5536855

Nabokov, Vladmir. Lolita. 1955. 50th Anniversary Edition. Random House, New York.

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