“The lucky ones die first.”
Director: Powell Robinson, Patrick R. Young / Writer: Patrick R. Young / Cast: Rebekah Kennedy, Ellis Greer, Dan Creed, Tonya Kay, Will Tranfo, Burt Culver.
Body Count: 9
Laughter Lines: “Logic dictates you shut your whore-mongering mouth!”
This strange indie production has a whole lot more going on than your average teens-in-the-woods slasher film, distinguishing itself with complex characters, oddball situations, and lots of grue. Imagine Mountaintop Motel Massacre (with better production values) by way of some cult 70s grindhouse killer-couple flick… if you can?
Unavoidable spoilers must follow to paint this picture with any degree of accuracy.
So, West and Hannah are newlyweds in their own band who have no qualms about killing people to furnish themselves with better cars, free things, and say ‘cunt’ a lot.
Jake and Betty are teenage runaways from an apparently abusive parental situation, trying to make it somewhere on their own. He’s all optimistic, she wants to go home.
Michael is a suicidal transvestite policeman with a drink problem and confronting in-car tapes that tell him to stop being a pussy.
Fresh from killing some schmuck and appropriating his convertible, West and Hannah pick up Jake and Betty and the four of them end up in a small town with just the one B&B – owned by the happy and welcoming Rachel. Elsewhere, a horny couple engaged in some serious S&M play have been murdered by the lake near the hotel.
Hannah is in a very bad mood which only worsens when West doesn’t return from burying the body of their car’s former owner. He’s bumped into a baby-masked loon who swishes a lethal cleaver.
In the morning, Rachel leads her guests (and Michael) on a forest hike. Hannah goes off to find West but instead bumps into the killer and fights back with a giant dildo she finds in the sand (belonging to our dead couple from the previous day). In a truly never-been-done-before moment of genius, the dildo flies in slow motion to strike the killer across the chops while Ave Maria plays, but Hannah receives a hook in the thigh for her trouble.
The alarm is soon raised, more bodies quickly drop before it’s revealed Rachel is the killer (guessed it right – yeah!!) Only Hannah and Betty remain, and it’s revealed that not only is the latter is pregnant with Jake’s baby, but he’s also her brother! Bastard loves to toss these curveballs.
Now, the final act sees Betty tied to a bed and forced to watch a video montage of Rachel’s miserable life in a pseudo-explanation of her crimes. She wants the baby for herself is the simple answer – alas I watched very late at night and had to have the volume down so I missed a few whispy parts of dialogue. Still, Hannah comes bursting to the rescue, affording Betty the chance to escape. But will she?
Bastard has a strong feminist vibe to it: The three crucial parts are all played by women – killer, final girl, and (would-be) saviour. Also, we only see male’s killed on screen, pretty much stomping most of the “this is sexist!” critique the genre puts up with to dust.
I’ve seen so many slasher films now that it’s nice to see one that doesn’t quite follow the rules and goes off on little mad tangents rather than sticking rigidly to Teen have sex > Teens die like many of its contemporaries.