With a simplistic title like Bounty Killer, I wasn’t really sure what to expect from this indie action flick, but the film quickly asserted itself as a heavy hitting, big-gun-toting action extravaganza unlike anything I could have predicted. Henry Saine’s dystopian universe is created with a very eccentric eye for detail and a gutsiness comparable to a swinging pair of brass balls, as the bullets quickly started flying and blood started splattering against the walls like a freakin’ Jackson Pollock painting. Ignore the “independent” classification this film might have, because Saine has created a film that stacks up against the year’s biggest blockbuster productions – and kicks some of their asses in the process.
In a not-so-distant future, where corporations left Earth in ruins and humanity in shambles after waging violent wars against one another, most CEOs and big-wigs went into hiding with their remaining riches, leaving the rest of us to our own devices. In the wake of this greed-fueled apocalypse emerges “Bounty Killers,” men and woman who track down these cowardly business tycoons and kill them for fame, fortune, and to inspire hope. With killers like Mary Death (Christian Pitre) and Drifter (Matthew Marsden) on the loose, their targets have nowhere to hide, but when a hit goes out on Drifter one day, the plot thickens. Having to clear his name while fighting off the attacks of other Bounty Killers, Drifter and his partner Jack LeMans (Barak Hardley) sure have their hands full. Can Drifter save his own life, or will the likes of Mary Death cash in at his expense?
Bounty Killer succeeds at being a gleeful B-Movie exploitation of a genre that has so much potential, and strives to be something with a crisp, stylistic bite. In a world full of Bounty Killers and sleazy, rich CEOs, there’s a unique universe established that not only comments on the societal issues that surround these multi-million dollar, world controlling companies, but also blows a worst case scenario completely out of proportion – setting up a perfectly ridiculous grindhouse vibe. The idea that companies can militarize themselves and cause mass destruction exists out of the realm of reality (hopefully?), but it creates a 99%-er fantasy world that ripe for total annihilation. Introduced are these superhero-like hunters, accompanied by their “gun caddies,” who inspire hope for people ravaged by big business, providing a deliciously fresh take on typical high-flying action.
Variety is the spice of life, but it’s also essential for action films, as shoot out after shoot out can become increasingly boring. Henchmen run into battle, heroes emerge victorious – does it ever change? Bounty Killer really isn’t much different, piling up countless faceless corpses, but does so through numerous means and locations, including atop a moving RV-turned-wasteland stagecoach (using motorcycles for horses). Flying battle axes, acrobatic stunts, RPGs, beautiful scenery-aided finishing moves, an arsenal of death-dealing artillery – Saine’s film relishes in the fact that absolutely nothing is held back.
Say what you want about creativity, because without proper production values all that originality is typically wasted, but Bounty Killer‘s heavily effects-driven action is just as good as some of the most popular Hollywood releases this year. Considering the amount of flashy digital and practical visual work that Saine called for, not once were my eyes offended by computer animated blood or flat, distracting explosions. Bad guys weren’t just dying, either. Heads were exploding in red mists of vulgarity. Limbs were removed. Violence was gleefully graphic. Nothing about Bounty Killer can be considered watered down, and it never apologized for shoving adrenaline-pumping action in the audience’s face.
Bounty Killer is shamelessly fun, monstrously exploitative, and wonderfully demented, making for an action movie that plays by its own fanatical rules. From the very first opening assassination scene, Drifter and Mary Death kick off a movie full of thrills and kills, keeping the pedal to the floor like there’s a freakin’ cinder block holding it permanently down. Not only that, but it’s also ably acted, consistently enticing, and addictingly watchable. Trust me, every testosterone-driven male is going to want a Mary Death poster hanging in his room, because actress Christian Pitre makes the world of bounty killing look so damn sexy – what isn’t there to love about a sultry vixen in a short skirt carrying heavy weaponry?
Bounty Killer is an exceptionally action-packed film that's an addictive celebration of all that is bloody, violent and explosive.