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Run! Bitch Run!

DVD review by Todd Doogan of The Digital Bits

Run! Bitch Run!

Buy this DVD now at Amazon!

Run! Bitch Run!
2009 (2009) - Breaking Glass Pictures/Vicious Circle
Released on DVD on December 12th, 2009

Film Rating: D+
Disc Ratings (Video/Audio/Extras): A-/B+/B+

"We're gonna play a little game; Clint and I like to call it find 'em and f**k 'em. It's kinda like hide and seek... but not. It's better, a lot better. You're gonna go run somewhere and pray I don't find you 'cause when I find you, I'm gonna f**k you. I'm gonna spray my whipped cream all over that sunday. All over that cherry."

Oh, I know what you're thinking... "What!?! A straight non-Blu-ray DVD review on the ever-lovin' Digital Bits? Written by Doogan, no less? You have to be effin' with me now, right?" But, nope. This here is an old fashioned DVD review of a movie so DVD it could only be released on DVD. Eff Blu-ray; DVD.

Run! Bitch Run! is a movie that I simply had to see based on title alone. It helped that my buddy Dallas wanted to see it even more than me after the trailer went viral a few weeks back (go to the film's website to take a gander at red-band greatness: I'll wait.) See! It is utter brilliance wrapped in sheets of fantastic. But don't be fooled. Like you, I so wanted to like - nay! - LOVE, this film. It has so much going for it.

First of all, it's a modern day grindhouse film. It's a classic throwback to the raped-woman-gets-her-revenge genre (a la Last House on the Left, I Spit on Your Grave, Ms. .45, Thriller/They Call Her One-Eye et al). And for all intents and purposes it works on that level. Cheryl Lyone should go into the annals of great mousey-girl-turned-badass actresses like Camille Keaton, Christina Lindberg and ZoŽ Tamerlis. She's damn good in this, as limited as the expectations are. Plus, it has the trinity of evil in the perpetrators: The psychopathic leader Lobo (Peter Tahoe), who snarls his debauched lines instead of reading them. There's also the mildly retarded guy (in this case, a simple dude with a stutter) going by the name of Clint (Johnny Winchester) who might not want to do bad, but in the end does. Oh, and who could forget the most important angle of this triad: The depraved woman - a creature more monster than female in the guise of Marla (Ivet Corvea). And making the pot even more appealing, there's even a nunsploitation film-within-a-film that should get its own stand alone film. So to call this movie "good" or "bad" doesn't do it, or the filmmakers, any justice at all. I can't knock any of the above, because that's the reason why so many of us love these movies of old. They filled up the grindhouses, drive-ins and back row shelves at mom and pop video stores for ages. What I CAN point out is how amazingly unwatchable this thing is.

Let's get the story out of the way. Brought to us by the writing team of Joseph Guzman (who also directed) and Robert James Hayes II, it's the story of a town where a couple of young girls, Catherine and Rebecca (Catherine being played by the aforementioned Lyone) selling bibles and church supplies, find themselves. It seems everyone here is corrupt - and in some way, pliant to the whims of Lobo, Clint and Marla, who run a whorehouse and drug depo out of their simple dwelling. When the two girls show up at their door, they witness a murder and they get dragged screaming into the house. One bad game of Russian roulette later, and we find ourselves in the woods, where the quote I singled out above plays out. Of course, Catherine ends up not dead and gunning for the people who did her wrong.

Now, all of that is fine. No complaints. It's solid A to B storytelling. The problem: two things. And these two things are crucial: pacing/editing and music. On the pacing/editing side - damn but does this movie plod along. After the rape, Catherine wanders around naked in the woods in a daze. For a long time. Just wandering. In the woods. With fades to black. That fade up again. On her. Wandering. In the woods. Tie this to some wildly inappropriate super deluxe jam band music from Chris Mosqueda, Ryan Shivdasani and Warren O. William (who are great musicians by the way) that plays OVER the scene and goes on and on - a bit too up front in my book - and you end up with a movie that is only an hour and a half long but plays like its four hours. Seriously. I turned to Dallas at one point and said, "Dude, does this movie seem like it's been going for a couple hours?" He responded, "Yeah. How long has it been on?" The answer: 36 minutes. To be pulled out of the movie is a killer for this type of movie. And here you have two immense fans of the genre, like me and Dallas, watching what should have been the movie of our dreams and we're having a conversation about what's wrong with the movie while the movie is going. Every time the music came up, we'd throw our hands up and go, Damnit!

It's rare that an exploitation film is better than its trailer. But, man that trailer is awesome. I'd rather be sitting here crowing that everyone who bothered opening this review should own it on DVD. Instead, I'm going to warn you that it's not a very watchable "bad" movie. It has its graces - but not enough to have me recommend it to you.

The DVD is presented in anamorphic widescreen (1.77:1) with English Dolby Digital 2.0 - both look and sound better than expected (I honestly wanted to see grain, scratches and dirt, but alas). Special features include the nunsploitation film seen in the movie (Nude Nuns With Big Guns) all by itself, that fan-effin-tastic trailer, the Sluts On Parade magazine spread Marla entertains herself with as a photo gallery, and the screenplay available as a download through DVD-ROM. All serve the film well. There's no commentary, but who needs one with a film like this?

Like I said, oh how I wanted to love this film. But I didn't. It has some fun things in it. Some of the acting is so bad it transcends awful. Others are just bad. The music, as good as it is, doesn't fit the film. And the pacing kills any hope of involvement. I can't recommend it, but if you do check it out, let me know what YOU think.

Until then, keep spinnin' those discs!

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