Reviewed by Patrick Cooper
In the ‘70s and ‘80s, rape-revenge movies generated loads of controversy as they shot up, bit off, and poured acid on the dicks of the male audience. Call it desensitization or evolution, but nowadays these films generate shrugs more than shocks. Such is the case with Austin Chick’s Girls Against Boys, an incredibly dull and unenthusiastic entry into the genre (Austin Chick is the name of the director, I’m not referring to some chick from Austin).
College student Shae is gearing up for a weekend in the Hamptons with her boyfriend, a shifty-eyed Brit with a shaved head (honestly, you can do better than him, Shae). It’s obvious she’s over the moon for this guy. When she tells one of her classmates about him she gets all starry eyed. Those stars quickly explode into a supernova when her boyfriend reveals he has a wife and kid.
Heartbroken and in a bit of shock, Shae still manages to go to work. She bartends at a multi-level warehouse-type deal alongside Lu, a fiery redhead who carries herself like a hard-ass. When Lu catches Shae crying on her break, she instinctively knows it’s guy troubles. She invites Shae out for a night of boozing to forget her woes, but if two good-looking women at a bar ever attracted anything, it’s more woes in the form of douchebags.
Several shots later, the girls are invited back to some dudes’ apartment in Brooklyn. One of them, Simon, is particularly sweet on Shae. She’s blackout drunk though and Simon is a gentleman, so he waits until the next morning when she’s conscious to rape her.
Like most useless cops in rape-revenge movies, the police are disinterested and talk to Shae like she’s the criminal. One sits there, leaning back in his chair and slurping down a soda while she recounts the horrific incident. Pigs, huh? This is usually the point in these movies where Simon would be brought to trial and let go with a smack on the wrist. On his way out of the courtroom, he’d throw Shae a wink and a smirk. Shae would become disillusioned with the U.S. justice system and decide to take matters into her own hands. Instead Lu casually suggests they kill Simon. She steals a gun from a cop she seduced and the girls begin their revenge buddy-movie.
This has got to be the most boring revenge movie of all time. Austin Chick seems too evasive to commit to anything. When the film starts veering into psychological thriller territory (Lu’s fucked in the head), it’s cut short. When they start getting down to some brutal revenge, it’s cut short. I know it’s not about the graphic violence here, but what is the point of this film? Got me.
Vigilante films, regardless of their quality, are either cathartic or shocking or both. The best ones (Rolling Thunder, Vigilante) make an audience meditate on the nature of revenge and the closure it allegedly brings. Even at its worst the very theme of revenge should stir up some kind of emotional response. But it’s gotta have some guts, y’know? Girls Against Boys is too spineless and thematically chickenshit to discern more than a shrug.
A/V & Special Features
The disc I received was a screener and did not contain any special features. There were some compression issues with the disc, but at least the blocky images gave me something to think about besides the shitty movie.