Donkey Punch – 4

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Director – Oliver Blackburn

Cast – Robert Boulter, Tom Burke, Sian Breckin, Nichola Burley, Julian Morris, Jay Taylor, Jaime Winstone

Release Year – 2008

Reviewed by John of the Dead

Donkey Punch is a film I have known about for quite some time due to it’s hilarious title, but I was never truly interested in giving this one a watch.  Well, it sat on my queue for long enough, and in an attempt to lower the number of films I have on my queue I gave this one a watch and regret it dearly.  What started off as a positive film with some good potential thanks to several elements eventually turned into a pathetic mess that I cringe even writing about.

We follow a group of three young British women on vacation at a Mediterranean resort.  Looking for some fun on their last weekend of the trip, they accept an invitation from three young men to join them on their friend’s yacht for some boozing out at sea.  After large amounts of alcohol and drugs an orgy erupts, and what was supposed to be a fun night out at sea turns awry when one of the girls is killed via…you guessed it…a donkey punch.  With the men wanting to cover up the crime because of how bad it looks, and the women balking at such an idea, heavy conflict ensues and the body count rises.

I really did not have high hopes going into this flick, but I did expect it to be a borderline-positive 6-rating, and those expectations were far from where this film wound up on my scale of enjoyment.  The film takes off giving us reasonable elements of what should have been an OK watch due to the fact that these women are not only in a foreign country, but are on a boat that does not belong to them, AND is several hours from land, which means they are in a true nowhere-to-run situation.  With such a situation you would expect the conflict to be easily produced, and it is, but writing and execution completely ruined whatever positives this film had to offer.

Writer/director Oliver Blackburn did a fine job with the film’s first act, which developed a bit slow but left me with the feeling that something awful was going to erupt out of what was going on…and it did.  The title “Donkey Punch” should be taken literally, not merely because someone is killed by this infamous act, but the level of sexual gratification in the film is possibly the highest I have seen for a modern day non DTV horror release.  The nudity is only during on segment of the film, but it is full frontal, hardcore, and extremely well executed.  I am not saying that I necessarily enjoyed all of what went on, but it definitely hit the spot that Mr. Blackburn aimed to hit.  Sadly, from then on out the film begins its descent from the positive realm to the mediocre realm, and further more into the “this sucks” realm.  The tension rises to high levels as the film progresses, but I was not pleased with the execution of the characters in the film, especially the female characters.  I found none of them whatsoever likable, which played into my un-enjoyment because it is obvious we are supposed to root for them, but I found myself wishing they were dead due to my displeasure over how they were used.  This falls into both writing and direction, but as far as direction goes the execution was just not right.

The writing suffers the same mistakes the direction made, with the first act being well written and the rest of the film falling into utter despair.  Due to the limited environment of being stuck in a yacht miles from the mainland, the film is forced to rely on it’s characters to move the film and sell what it has to offer.  Well, unfortunately for the film, it’s screenplay turns these characters into unlikable masses of useless matter and naturally the story and everything with it falls apart.  Blackburn’s direction gave us bad execution of our protagonist characters, and his writing, co-written with David Bloom, made them even more unlikable with their useless dialogue and annoying antics.  Aside from the characters there really is not much more to speak of regarding this film, we get a few short scenes of downtime when some new ideas are thrown into the mix, but by the time they came in the film had already been shot to hell.

Overall, this is a film that had some potential to be an OK watch but in the end fell to both poor direction and weak writing and wound up an unworthy and annoying watch in the end.  Stay away from this one.

Rating: 4/10

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