Crime Screen: Red White And Blue (2010)

November 4, 2011 at 10:47 am by  

It was pointed out to me that I have been real slack on movie suggestions lately, leading the two people who actually take my movie advice to believe that I have not watched any films worth a crap. This is not true. In fact, I have watched a number of good movies this year worthy of a D’D reader’s time.

So while I wait for someone to do something stupid enough for me to write about, I figure I would tell you about one I watched earlier this year — a revenge film titled RED WHITE & BLUE. This slow burner is so bleak and unpleasant that I absolutely love it to pieces. Here is the plot, taken from their Facebook Page.

Set in Austin, Texas, this “slacker revenge movie” follows the disaffected and promiscuous Erica (Amanda Fuller – Buffy The Vampire Slayer) as she sleeps with a series of nameless men, until she is befriended by Nate (Noah Taylor – Submarine, The Proposition), an ex-Iraq war veteran with a sociopathic streak. 

Nate, unusually, seems interested in Erica for more than just sex – but when one of her previous partners, hard-rocking mamma’s boy Franki (Marc Senter) resurfaces, Erica’s actions come back to haunt her, leading to a terrifying climax which has shocked audiences worldwide.

Brutal and uncompromising, Red, White & Blue will stun, horrify and surprise in equal measure.

And they aren’t kidding with that last line. We’re not talking about A SERBIAN FILM level of depravity, so for anyone going into this looking for some baby rape, put away your erection. RED WHITE AND BLUE works on a much more simplistic, visceral level whose slightly shocking character study during the first 3/4 of the film helps put more weight into the gut punches in the film’s finale.

Personally, I love movies that take their time setting up the pins you know are going to eventually be knocked down, especially when the person bowling uses a stick of dynamite for a bowling ball. This creates a level of anticipation and tension that I truly dig, and this coming from someone who involuntarily resists having their emotions blatantly manipulated. Watching this was like knowing the specific time and place three buses full of kids will connect in a fiery collision but being powerless to do anything but watch.

If I had to offer any caveats before watching, it would be the same as Tim Anderson noted in his review over at Bloody-Disgusting. These kinds of slow burns often turn off people who reside in two camps I do not belong to. Those just looking for the bloodshed will be turned off on the time spent getting to know the main players, while the squeamish who get absorbed in the character study will be in for a nasty shock once the film shifts into bloody revenge mode.

I have to admit that I am surprised that it is sitting at 78% on RottenTomatoes. Not because I feel it doesn’t deserve the rating, but because I thought mainstream critics would hate a dark, depressing film containing this level of violence no matter how good it looked. Check it out for yourself and let me know what you think. You can either watch it instantly over at Netflix, or pick up the DVD.

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