Blu-ray Review: Cherry Bomb (2011)
Review by Marc Patterson
I Spit on Your Grave, Thriller: A Cruel Picture, Ms. 45, The Last House on the Left and even Run! Bitch Run! all share one thing in common: not only are they rape/revenge films, but they’re damn fine ones. Well Go Entertainment, best known for their long standing partnership with Sushi Typhoon (RoboGeisha, Helldriver, Mutant Girls Squad, etc) has quietly released a new rape/revenge film to Blu-ray called Cherry Bomb, a title that elicits the raw and rebellious spirit of exploitation era filmmaking. Strippers and blow? Count me in!
Cherry (Julin Jean – Spirit Camp, The Final) is one blazin’ hot babe working the brass pole at the local topless watering hole. When she makes the choice to play substitute for her friend Ginger (the lovely Denise Williamson) in the VIP room she discovers she’s made the worst decision of her life. She ends up getting battered, beaten and raped by five dickheads who don’t know when they’ve had enough coke. Worse, the bouncer turned his back on the whole damn incident leaving the animals to tear Cherry apart instead of protecting her. She’s hurt, hospitalized, and moreso – she’s pissed and she wants bloody revenge. Cherry’s brother Brandon (John Rodriguez) finds out what happens and together they launch a massive mayhem filled killing spree.
Cherry Bomb has all the makings for a wickedly entertaining evening. If you’re a fan of neo-grindhouse and 80’s throwback cinema then from the outset this would appear to be the perfect choice. Sadly you may need to think that one again. At the risk of sounding overtly like a cliché, this Cherry was a lemon.
Where to start? First, I should address the most obvious items. When presented with a rape/revenge action/exploitation flick called Cherry Bomb viewers want to see two things. Well, three actually. 1 – boobs. 2 – more boobs. 3 – loads of explosive, gore heavy violence. Cherry Bomb promises, but yet fails to deliver any of these things. Sure, technically there was a background pair of titties in the opening striptease scene, and yes there are guns blazing EVERYWHERE. But it was all so very PG. I’ve seen more violent shoot-em-up’s on old re-runs of The A-Team. So immediately this flick loses major points.
Second, there’s absolutely nothing new introduced to the genre in this offering. And further, the tone seemed off-kilter. If the filmmaker didn’t actually intend to make a violent exploitation film then that would insinuate this might be a more serious film, with some sort of pseudo political/social commentary on rape and revenge. But, unless your last name happens to be Noe, you’re going to have a pretty tough time pulling that one off. Not to worry though, there was no hint of below the surface commentary to be had. Puzzling for sure, but not surprising. The cinematography wasn’t dazzling by any means, so the option of presenting a fluffy highly-stylized shoot-em-up was also out. Topped off with fairly downbeat direction we have on our hands a film that sadly doesn’t really know what the hell it is outside of a mess.
No entertainment, no intellectual assertions, no production values, no point. That’s ultimately my assessment of Cherry Bomb. I’m not even sure I’d play this one for background noise because there wasn’t even much to listen to either. While I admire the effort and concept, and really wanted to love this film as a fast-paced action-packed girl-power exploitation flick, it just fell far short of my expectations. However, lest I ramble on with nothing good to say I do want to end this review giving kudos to Julin Jean and the supporting cast. I didn’t expect a whole hell of a lot from the actors, given the quality of the film, but for a B-flick these relative unknowns brought their A-Game and provided the film with the only visible breath of life. It’s too bad the material and production values couldn’t deliver to their level.
Cherry Bomb should have been more like Nude Nuns with Big Guns and less like Bitch Slap. It infinitely teased but didn’t deliver. I have to recommend a pass on this one.
The best part of Cherry Bomb? Julin Jean…