Sunday, February 24, 2013

Austin Chick's GIRLS AGAINST BOYS: It's on Blu-ray, where the blood looks better!

TrustMovies missed this little eye-opener when it hit theaters, briefly, earlier this very month (yes, it's but a 26-day wait time between the theater seat and your living-room couch!), so he wanted see if it was as bad as he had heard. Yes and no: ugly as hell and quite a nasty piece of work, it nonethe-less holds you for awhile because the writing and direction are, respectively, believable and professional, and the initial situation of why, exactly, one of our girls is against the boys -- a lying lover and later a date rape -- seems all too real.

But then, as GIRLS AGAINST BOYS continues, we soon realize that the filmmaker, writer/
director Austin Chick (shown at left), although he has made an exploitation movie, has not made anything near a great one -- like The Paperboy, in which depth of character is all -- but rather has taken a somewhat clever idea and allowed it to grow dumber and more obvious as the movie unfurls into something approaching camp. Not only are all the men we see sleaze-bags of one sort or another, they are generally pretty stupid. And the more we see of our two avenging-angel young women, they seem to be rather stupid, as well.

The problem here, I think, is that we ought not to take this film as in any way realistic. It's a fantasy about empowered women taking their anger out on the male population because of -- what? -- eons of our lording it over them, I suppose. As such, the movie has its delectable moments, despite our complete incredulity at the gals' lack of concern regarding everything from fingerprints left at the scenes of their crimes to bodies removed from thence. And what the hell happened to our heroine's cat? Don't ask.

Along the way there are a number of good performances: from the gals: Nicole LaLiberte (above) is scary and all-too-real, emotionally speaking, as the chief villainess (as Chick makes clear, she even needs no psychological history to account for her anger), while Danielle Panebaker (below) is pretty and pliable as our put-upon, and too-easily-seduced heroine.

The guys manage to hit several notes despite most of them being shown to be typically male creeps. Michael Stahl-David (below), as the rapist, is such as asshole, you really kinda root for his (truly awful) demise...

while Andrew Howard (below), as the lying lover, proves very good at begging for his life. In the end we care only for sweet little Liam Aiken, as the single good boy in the bunch.

Mr. Chick, I must say, has some talent, even a little taste. Note how much gorier and bloodier the film might have been in other hands. The filmmaker uses visual restraint where it counts, and gives his movie a couple of marvelously creepy and bizarre scenes. My favorite is the masked Kabuki dancer (below) with the sword who suddenly appears to wreak havoc quite simply, charmingly and terrifyingly.

Yes, Girls Against Boys ought to have been better. But it sure as hell could have been a lot worse. From Anchor Bay Entertainment, the movie, running 93 minutes, hits the street on DVD and Blu-ray this Tuesday, February 26, for sale, rental, VOD and streaming -- depending on where you go to get your action.

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