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February 23, 2013

One Minute Review - The Victim

(2011, Directed by Michael Biehn.)

Kind-of genre icon Michael Biehn (it's hard to argue against the Terminator/Aliens/Abyss trifecta) stars in his own directorial debut as a reclusive gruff guy who becomes the center of a survival picture.  A bad girl (Jennifer Blanc, Biehn's real world wife) evades the men who just killed her friend (horror fave Danielle Harris) and holes up with the resourceful character in an attempt to fend off the killers.

Biehn keeps the whole thing moving at a quick pace, with well-placed flashbacks to show Blanc and Harris' plight. The goal was obviously to remind us of grindhouse thrillers of the past, and The Victim does a pretty good job of getting the tone right as it focuses on sex and violence.  Biehn is excellent in the lead, and the acting is sufficient across the board.

There are a lot of positives, but the picture never really has a spectacular moment and the villains are one-note and dull. An abrupt conclusion implies a neat twist but doesn't close anything, leaving the small film feeling like a good attempt, but not a total success toward its psychosexual goals.

Items of Note: Two sex-related deaths. One extended sex scene between real-life couple. Plenty of flashbacks of Harris strutting her bad girl stuff.  Three deaths. Bizarre picture credits that include most of the crew.  Biehn starring as Kyle, which just makes me think of Kyle Reese from Terminator. Se7en mimicking. One impressive mustache.

The Score: 3 Angry Biehns out of 5.

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