DVD Review: Run! Bitch Run!
Run Bitch Run (2009)
Directed by: Joseph Guzman
Cast: Peter Tahoe, Cheryl Lyone, Christiana DeRosa, Ivet Corvea, Johnny Winscher
DVD Release Date: December 8, 2009
Review by: Marc Patterson
I’m writing this review simultaneously as Run! Bitch Run! plays in the background behind me. Don’t worry. This isn’t my first viewing, so I’m not missing anything. This could actually be considered my second viewing. For better or worse, such is a testament to the apparent power of this film that I just HAD to have it run again while I’m throwing my thoughts out there. Folks, it’s simply that unbelievable. So what is this film that calls itself Run! Bitch Run! with such bravado? Honestly, I don’t even know how to begin to describe the film. I knew little of the film before tossing it on the screen. What I did know was that it was being called a throwback film to the grindhouse era of filmmaking, and that it brought a bit of I Spit on Your Grave and Ms. 45 into the new millennium, or so claimed the PR sheet. But you know what? In this so-called business of reviewing that means two things: Jack and Squat.
You can imagine my surprise when the film started rolling, and wouldn’t you know it but it was delivering on what it promised. Just to give you a clue here’s a listing of things you’ll see within the first eight minutes of run time in Run! Bitch Run!: Right off the bat you’ll witness a nunsploitation film being screened on a dirty white sheet tossed onto a wall. A couple of druggy derelicts are tokin’ up off a bong and about to get down and dirty with each other. Then you see some full frontal nun business. The film within a film in question? (Are you ready?) Nude Nuns with Big Guns. (Now there’s a title begging to be made into a feature on its own.) As we continue into the first eight minutes of run time we get four pairs of tits, a blow job sequence, some nasty tighty whities, a brutal stabbing, decapitation, and cut to two Catholic school girls who are selling Bibles (one of which, you’ll see her tits), all before we get to ANY narrative. Holy shit!
The film proper follows the two Catholic school girls as they try to sell some Bibles to the wrong damn house. What they get in return? Well… this is a rape/revenge film so you figure out the score.
So where do I begin? First, I’m not easily shocked, but I’ll be damned if I wasn’t blown away with the sheer unrelenting volley of brutality and sexual excess that dominates the film at every turn. As the film progresses into a more formal story, it doesn’t let up. Every chick in the film – old, young, good looking, bad looking – bares her breasts for the audience. (Wait, there was one who got away, but all things considered… I’ll let that one go.) At the moment, I’m witnessing a lesbian love scene with nuns, intercut with shots of a hooker masturbating on a toilet with the handle to a plunger. In a second I’ll watch the brains get blown out of the back of another hooker’s head. Sexploitation pours into pure exploitation, as violence takes over seamlessly where the climax ends, and then starts its nasty cycle over again.
How’s the acting you ask? It’s fucking horrible. But you know what? It’s meant to be, and is completely excusable all things considered. And wait a tick… is that Daeg Faerch, young Michael Myers from Rob Zombie’s Halloween making a cameo? Oh hell yeah it is!
“If I wasn’t such a righteous man I’d pound them harder than the nails in the cross.” – Random dude regarding Catholic school girls Catherine and Rebecca.
Technically the film retains the grainy 16mm and 35mm look of those old 70’s films, though thankfully doesn’t employ the digitally enhanced scratch effect from Tarantino’s Grindhouse project. Even the stylized wipes between cuts are pure vintage. But, I’ll pause on this for a moment. If the film drops the ball anywhere, then it’s right here.
The nurse outfit (Kill Bill) that comes into play late in the film, the multiple machete kills (Machete), and even the soundtrack (see main theme from Planet Terror), are all highly derivative of the Quentin Tarantino/Robert Rodriguez school of grindhouse, which was a bit bothersome at times. I’d rather have seen the film disregard Tarantino/Rodriguez altogether and pay some pure homage to the older original grindhouse films, versus playing out like it wanted to schmooze its way into the new school of grindhouse.
Nonetheless, this was the kind of in your face, low-down, dirty horror that becomes a guilty pleasure quickly, and the real selling point for me came in the last fifteen minutes. I’ll just say that the ending will have you gripping your seat and clenching your ass cheeks.
All things said I’m going to give Run! Bitch Run! my thumbs up my ass stamp of approval for showing some balls and taking some real chances. This isn’t a film that’s going to play for any wide audience, anywhere, ever. But it will be a cult favorite amongst a very select group of horror fans. And as much as I hesitate to say it… I think I can count myself in that group.