Donkey Punch (UK) (Six Shooter)

Probably my most anticipated film of this year’s Sundance was Olly Blackburn’s DONKEY PUNCH, the UK thriller set into action by one helluva a sex act. After being disappointed by nearly everything else I had high hopes for this film, but unfortunately the festival comes to a close for B-D on a bad note.

DONKEY PUNCH centers on the freak death of a partygoer on a luxury yacht in the Mediterranean and the conflict that arises among the surviving passengers.

Although the film is technically superb, its inherent flaw comes in the slow-paced script where the characters are faceless and the exciting events come too little, too late. There’s also nothing original or all that exciting that happens in the film other than a drug induced sex orgy that results in a girl being donkey punched in the back of her neck, resulting in her immediate death. Olly attempts to cerate tension between the young girls and the boys by including a DV tape, which is the only witness to the events that took place. Obviously the assaulter wants it thrown off the boat, while the girls want it saved as evidence. This is supposed to create tension and turmoil, only what comes from it is just a bunch of crying and jibber jabber.

Olly tries to reward our patients with some serious pay-offs, only by the time they happen you’ll already be looking at your watch wondering if the film will ever end. One of the only really golden moments of the film come when the assaulter is trying to get his friend to fess up to where he hid the tape. His friend has a knife wedged deep into his upper right chest and the assaulter flicks, pushes and wiggles the knife causing him extreme amounts of pain. The scene is intense and quite brutal.

I hate to make the comparison, but this really is a different spin on films like MEAN CREEK, which are much more suspenseful and interesting to watch. Olly does show us that he is a competent director with many unique shots and sequences, and the film carries a mean theatrical look that any producer would be proud of. And thank God for the fabulous score, which helps add a little more punch (no pun intended) to the lackluster story.

DONKEY PUNCH is by no means a bad movie; it’s just your typical thriller set in a different setting, which makes it kind of bland. The film is OK at best, making it something you might enjoy on home video… but seeing it in a theater you might wish you saw something else instead. With a situation of this magnitude I expected a bit more kick from this donkey.

 

Official Score