JOHNNY SUNSHINE: MAXIMUM VIOLENCE
Reviewed by: Dave Murray
John Patrick McCauley
What's it about
Three years after the earth is decimated by a zombie plague, reality entertainment has been taken to the extreme. Filmed by ever present cameras, and under the watchful eye of Max and his zombie-snuff-sex film empire, Johnny Sunshine is a beautiful and twisted fetish killer for hire, and a rising star in the underground world of gory Snuff Porn. But in an effort to create the perfect post-apocalyptic masterpiece, Johnny is double crossed, becoming the hunted in a sick game orchestrated by the guy who made her famous. It's time for Johnny to unleash maximum violence, which is of course what she has always done best.
Is it good movie?
It's the perfect recipe for post apocalyptic madness. One part snuff film, one part softcore porn, two parts zombie massacre, a dash of social commentary and stirred with a big ugly violent spoon. Fueled by rage, boobs and not a little amount of blood, the plot of Johnny Sunshine: Maximum Violence is certainly a new spin on the whole zombie meets reality TV fad, offering up a refreshingly futuristic/voyeuristic look into the life of a double crossed snuff film star and executioner/hunter. In less talented hands this could have been a gigantic steaming pile of shit. But director Matt Yeager gives us an entertaining, insightful and unflinchingly bloody ride, packed with style and squeezing more blood out of a low budget than Johnny slices out of her victims.
Front and centre here is actress Shey Bland as the titular Johnny Sunshine, and while she plays her role in an understated and cool way, the sheer amount of bullshit this chick goes through eventually brings out the very worst in her, which is a great thing indeed! I mean, can't a girl just f*ck guys and slice them up without being abandoned for dead in a zombie wasteland for all the world to see? This reality TV star, this porno snuff killer and zombie hunter, really gets put through the wringer, and the resulting carnage really pushes the effects of the film to the limit and then some. But they pull it off. I am seriously into Yeager's style here. From the creepy shots of the ever present cameras, to the death and destruction and washed out, bleak visuals of a decaying world, I was along for the ride and, despite my earlier misgivings about the flick, I had a good time rockin' with Johnny and her mayhem.
Not that I gushed my own arterial blood all over the flick, because it's not perfect. Some of the set pieces were less than stellar, the plot was a little too "been there" in places and some of the action was flat. Also, some of the characters were as annoying as hell (John Patrick McCauley really needed to be shot between the eyes with a rocket launcher, I swear). But by the end, this was a satisfying meal, even if it was at times intense and heavy on the stomach. But for what it is (a balls out, unapologetic mix of porn, horror, Mad Max and Romero-esque commentary) I appreciate what Yeager is handing out. This was an awesome effort, despite the flaws, and I'd call this one a job well done.
But the flick speaks for itself (and with a title like that, how could it not!). If you like babes, boobs, blood and bodycounts, check this gory bastard out already! If you're like me, disappointment won't be on tonight's menu.
Video / Audio
Video: Widescreen - 1.66:1. The movie looked slick and bloody, which is all that was needed. Great quality for a screener, so I'm thinking the DVD release will look killer as well
Audio: English (Dolby Digital 5.1). The sound was spotty in a few places, but mostly it complimented the effects or the violence nicely.
Um, none. This was a screener. Would love to check them out though, and see some of the insanity behind this ultraviolent wasteland.
Original, despite the derivative pile of ideas crammed into it, and gory as hell, this movie walks the fine line between erotic and disturbing, and it does so with talent, wit and some serious visual style. Bland kicks a whole lot of ass (and severs a whole lot of body parts as well), and the effects are pulled off nicely. Mind you, not everyone will enjoy this uber-violent zombie snuff opus, as most of the scenes are extreme to the point of being uncomfortable and over the top in their level of realism and intensity. But it is an original story, and a fresh take on several genres, and for that I applaud Yeager and company. For having the balls to make what may not be an exceptional movie, but a damn good one at least, I'll be watching to see what comes next.