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Early Review on Bulletface: "Honey I am their karma."
Bulletface is interesting and entertaining for lots of different reasons, and knowing in advance this was a movie shot in 5 1/2 days and for around100,000 dollars I found that it exceeded every expectation I had while loading the disc up in my player. And, as many films directed by Albert Pyun do, it subverts those same expectations and delivers a well told hard boiled tale of vengeance and spinal fluid. Now, with a title like BULLETFACE, one of the catchiest titles I've ever heard, one might expect action and violence galore. Not so much, though there is plenty of emotional violence, sexual violence and one wicked spinal tap splat scene-the action quota is low, though they are well staged a drive characters along in their 60 hour sled ride to hell. This is a good thing. Bulletface is a film that relies heavily on the mood and ambiance to move the film where a seventeen minute gunfight would in a classic late 80s action film. Luckily, Pyun is great at exactly this kind of film. Overall, this movie is a solid low budget noir with some very strange elements tossed in to set a weird tone that is unique to the best films of Albert Pyun.
It is hard not to be aware of the budget on a project like Bulletface, but I found it one of the films strengths. While it relies on character and mood, the director and filmmakers do not appear to be limited by financial constraints by going for more than they can achieve. Albert Pyun has shown a great reach with his rather unique imagination over the years, and it is nice to watch him work seemingly within his grasp at all times. While it is always nice to be able to do whatever you would like, this film doesn't feel like there are scenes that are hyper- extended past the means at the creators disposal. Good planning? Probably, but there is actually not one sequence where I found myself rolling my eyes thinking how much better something probably looked on paper than what I just watched. The only major splatter effect is excellent-and there is one particular optical (the OD on Red Eye) that I thought was interesting because it was so simple.
With the characters of Bulletface being the quirky batch they are, it was essential to the films success, and that five day schedule, that everyone be spot on straight away. The entire film could have failed without a strong performance from Victoria Maurette, but the right gamble was taken and she knocks the bad girl on the right side of the law gone to the wrong side of the law to beating down all sides of the law woman with an amazing ease and sure handedness I'm actually shocked. She gets cool as ice, wild as fire and then shows just enough vulnerability when it is called for that she probably not only interpreted the script, but made it much better. Pyun should be in love with her face, because it is great to both look at in pictures and watch in action. Eddie Velez as the main villain is also excellent, from tough guy to giggling maniac as he watches one of his girls get a spinal fluid injection rejection.
The Ever Roving Pyunondrome... Some love him, some hate him. I think the more unique he goes, the better the films become. Bulletface splits screens. Also, the freeze frames...ah, I love them. Seriously, the way he uses both the freezes and the caption updates is why I watch Bulletface and not Remains of the Day. Many don't, I get it...but for me, the less flourishes, the less PyunAtronic the movie is.
And finally...SEX. Self distribution opens the door to upping the ante, and Bulletface goes right for the sleaze gusto. Extremely graphic rape scenes but also extremely effective as character motivation. Vile and a bit shocking it places the viewer right in the head of the protagonist in the worst possible way. Don't think these are your typical R- Rated shenanigans. Dara's bisexuality plays a big role in the script-as women and men both promise to screw her (or screw her over) at different points and for different reasons. While that may be somewhat overplayed in my opinion, the equal opportunity debasement of the rapes-and her subsequent reactions to sex are done really well.
So, there you have it...lots of little pieces in a film that I really enjoyed. The only other thing that needs mentioning is the way you will find this film. I've mentioned all the extras, and you are getting a stunning amount of material for very little money, but you are also working with the filmmakers in a sense. Like another cinematic mayhem maker, Jess Franco, Albert Pyun is trying to work with a little, make the movies he wants to as best as he is able to, and then get them to the audience that wants them, or may want to try something really different. For me, this is going to be fascinating to watch. So much media is now at our fingertips that our hands will have to evolve in to size 78 oven mitts to hold it all-the chance to actually support someone that I've enjoyed watching for so long and see what they can do...very cool and exciting.
For me, Bulletface, The Special Edition Five Disk Set is far from over, 3 disks down and 2 more discs to go!
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