Wednesday, August 22, 2012

THE VICTIM: The Biehn family & friends' home movie opens at NYC's Quad Cinema

Written and directed by and starring Michael Biehn, produced by and co-starring his wife Jennifer Blanc, and making use of a number of family friends -- all of whom (including not just the cast, but most of the crew members, too) are generous-ly shown to us via photographs during the end credits -- THE VICTIM is a run-of-the-mill thriller with some interesting things on its mind, without the film-making skills to bring these to much semblance of life.

Mr. Biehn has shown his acting/
action chops a number of times in the past, from the original Terminator movie to the recent and under-rated apocalyptic thriller, The Divide. Here, saddled with writing, directing and acting chores, the load proves a bit too heavy, and the result seems more of a barely believable (and that's being gener-ous) exploitation flick than anything else. This may be exactly what the Biehns wanted to achieve, but even exploitation movies can be fun and fulfilling on certain levels, so I wish they'd done a better job.

Night scenes, which seem to comprise about half of the film, are muddy and difficult to see. Further, Biehn has a habit of introducing his heavy-handed flashbacks -- there are a lot of these -- with a blinding flash coupled with some camera effects (see above), both at their beginning and their end. We get a little sex  (the star still packs an impressive six-pack in the abs department, while Ms Blanc--also above--sports a very good body, too) and a whole lot of violence, from torture to bloody beatings to murder committed and attempted.

Biehn, above, also allows much of his dialog to be shouted rather than spoken, and a little of this goes a long way. The story has to do with a pair of good-time girls out on a double date with a pair of cops. Rough sex turns into accidental death and one of the girls goes on the run.

There is what might be called a "twist" at film's end, though it seemed to me that this had been telegraphed almost from the beginning. The cast, which includes Ryan Honey (above) and Denny Kirkwood (below) as the dirty cops,

and Danielle Harris (below) as the unfortunate victim, does its best with the material given it -- which occasionally rises to some interesting philosophy but at other times is so unbelievable as to border on camp.

The Victim , from Anchor Bay Entertainment, opens this Friday, August 24, in New York City at the Quad Cinema and will also play the UK Frightfest at the Empire Cinema, Leicester Square, London, on August 24 and 26, as part of the fest's Discovery program.

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