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THE VICTIM [BLU-RAY]
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Reviewed by: Ammon Gilbert

Directed by: Michael Biehn

Starring:
Michael Biehn
Jennifer Blanc
Danielle Harris

Movie:  
star star star star
Extras:  
star star star star
Overall:  
star star star star
What's it about
On the run from a couple of cops that killed her best friend (Danielle Harris), a prostitute (Jennifer Blanc) stumbles across a cabin in the woods where a socially-depraved loner (Michael Biehn) spends most of his time. Said prostitute convinces the mountain man to help her flee from the two killers hot on her tail.
Is it good movie?
I have always been a big fan of actor Michael Biehn and always will be. His roles in THE TERMINATOR and ALIENS alone would seal his destiny as one of my all-time favorite 80s action stars, but even his recent genre efforts have contributed to my respect and admiration for the man (PLANET TERROR, BEREAVEMENT, and THE DIVIDE). So upon hearing about THE VICTIM, I was more than stoked: not only did this film star Biehn, but the man also wrote and directed it. With that in mind, I threw the Blu-ray in and hunkered down for good time. What I got, however, was anything butÖ

Thatís right folks, it pains me to say this but THE VICTIM is one unpleasant movie to sit through. From over-long opening credit sequence to the shoddy performances to the boring plot and unlikable characters, THE VICTIM is a prime example of no-interest low-budget filmmaking and a truly sad sight to be seenÖ though, honestly, no one should have to sit through a film like this, unless torture is their idea of a good time. But it canít be all bad, right? There has to be some good parts to it? YesÖ and no. Letís dive in!

The Good: Genre favorite Danielle Harris plays a stripper / prostitute in the film, so we get to see her in skimpy outfits like a bikini and a few extremely short dresses. We also get to see her doing the nasty doggy style, though sheís more or less fully clothed in that sequence and honestly, itís not a very fun sequence to watch (so her presence is kind of a wash). Jennifer Blanc gets all kinds of naked in the film as well, especially during an extravagantly long sex sequence that dwells a little too much on Biehn than necessary. Her nakedÖ good. The sex scene as a wholeÖ bad. Other than that, a few shots here and there were interesting and showed that some thought went into the filmís overall look and feel. But not much.

Everything else: for being the director, Biehnís performance was laughably bad. So bad, in fact, that Iíd go as far as saying that he was the worst part of the movie, which pains me to say but itís true. Heís either too over the top or he doesnít give enough, leaving the audience wanting more (or rather, better Biehn, not more crappy Biehn). Beyond Biehnís less than awesome performance were the so-so performances by Blanc and Harris, and the sleazy cops Ryan Honey and Denny Kirkwood. For what they were given, they all did a fair job, but most were below average.

Then thereís the storyline, which for as simple as it is, gets a little too convoluted for its own good, and becomes really hard to swallow after awhile. Why would Biehn help this hooker? And why does he all of a sudden hook up with her even though they appear not to like each other? And why should we give a sh*t about anyone? All the answers to these questions are never truly answered. I understand that what Biehn may have been going for is a true throwback to the grindhouse genre, but I think thatís just an excuse for making a bad movie. Nothing else feels grindhousey about the film, and it looks too crisp and clean for its own good. Maybe thatís because of the Blu-ray or whatever, but for this to be true grindhouse, the film should have looked like crap, or at least looked grainy as if it were shot on film. As it is, it looks too clean and too much like it was shot on video, which by definition isnít grindhouse.

Video / Audio
Video: The Blu-ray is presented in 1.78:1 widescreen at a full 1080i HD quality and looks about as clean as new HD can get. Unfortunately, it looked too good for the flick's "grindhouse" style the film was going for. If they would have scratched up the transfer it would have been a much better overall experience.

Audio: The sound comes through all speakers with a Dolby TrueHD 5.1 mix that delivers each and every blow with extreme prejudice. That is to say, it sounded pretty good.

The Extras
Commentary with Michael Biehn and Jennifer Blanc: Michael Biehn and Jennifer Blanc give insight into the filming of each scene and essentially talk about how much they really love this movie. Their passion for THE VICTIM is commendable, unfortunately it was not enough to sway my thoughts on what a train wreck it ended up being.

The Victim: Behind the Scenes: This short featurette has the cast and crew gushing over the making of THE VICTIM while on set during the actual filming. Not as heavy as other BTS features where everyone talks about how epicly amazing the movie is and how awesome everyone was to work with, butÖ itís still laid on pretty thick.

Last Call
There wasnít much to like about THE VICTIM other than some gratuitous nudity, and even that wasnít all that great. Bad acting, lame storyline, and characters you really donít give a sh*t about equals a flick everyone should avoid seeing, otherwise it will make a victim out of you!
ARROW IN THE HEAD'S RATING SYSTEM
star star star star I'D BUTCHER MY FAMILY TO SEE THIS AGAIN
star star star HANG ME BUT I DUG IT A LOT
star star AN OK WAY TO KILL TWO HOURS
star JUST SLING AN ARROW IN MY HEAD AND LET ME DIE IN PEACE

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