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Christopher Webster [Film Festival 11.04.10] movie review comedy cult thriller



Year: 2010
Directors: Jen Soska, Sylvia Soska
Writers: Jen Soska, Sylvia Soska
IMDB: link
Trailer: link
Review by: projectcyclops
Rating: 8 out of 10

Completely off-the-wall comedy in uniquely dead-pan, black as pitch style, Dead Hooker in a Trunk almost defies description but I’ll give it a go. Two identical twin sisters who happen to be exact opposites – one a Badass chick, the other a Geek – have crazy adventures with their respective best friends, a heroin addicted feminist punk rock singer Junkie, and a starch shirt wearing fundamentalist Christian Goody Two-Shoes. After a night out clubbing in Vancouver, Badass and Junkie have major hangovers, but agree to drive Geek sister to church to meet her Jesus-freak boyfriend. After some bluster during which someone is set on fire, the gang discover the titular Dead Hooker in their trunk, and panic. What follows is one of the craziest, funniest and most inventive films I have ever seen.


Directed by star sisters Jen and Sylvia Soska, real life identical twins and stunt trained actors, it’s a low budget, anything goes, balls to the wall comedy of extremes, like a live action Adult Swim cartoon, or a strange dream that lingers in the mind for days. I can’t stress enough just how much of an oddity this film is, my notepad is covered in scrawled messages that read “makes no sense” and, “what’s happening?” but I eventually stopped taking notes and just basked in the all out madness that is Dead Hooker. It started life a short trailer made for a film school course, and the Soska sisters expanded it into an entire road movie, which I suppose goes some way to explain why it plays like an episodic sketch show of ideas and locations. Our four heroes basically swerve from one insane scenario to the next, including a Yakuza blood bath, a revenge seeking cowboy and a mysterious serial murderer, all out to get them. Meanwhile they also have to deal with the corpse of a local prostitute whom none of them recalls ever having seen before, in a kind of ‘Weekend at Bernie’s’ type madcap escapade. Badass sister wants to bury her, just in case she’s somehow responsible, but Geek sister puts forward the sensible argument that they really should call the cops. To try and explain what happens would be like trying to fight the ocean with a hammer - impossible. But believe me it’s a wild ride and anyone open minded enough to buy the ticket will get their money’s worth.

The style of direction brings to mind the early films of Robert Rodriguez and even the nuts and bolts inventiveness of old 70’s Grindhouse flicks. It’s basic but not shabby, and some of the fight scenes (for there are many!) are very slickly done, with high kicks, plenty of gore and at least one reference to Driller Killer. There is a comic book sense of absurdity to almost every situation with characters all but winking at the camera as they have limbs torn off or single handily take on entire gangs of biker goons and win. At one point when a character who has been through sheer hell sits down and simply lights a cigarette the Goody Two-Shoes yelps in indignation and states, “but smoking is BAD for you!”

The humour lies not just in the action, but countless one-liners delivered with a Ghost World type bad attitude and all knowing sense of cool. When confronting a group of bad guys, Geek sister calmly approaches them with the opening line, “Hey, who wants a piece of me? Or are you too busy sucking cock? Or thinking about cock you’re going to suck in the future?” It’s a film that is not above (or indeed below) popping a quick cameo of God Himself. So self aware are the characters that things threaten to buckle under the weight of their own post-modern approach, but each actor stays true to their character and never falters or breaks the fourth wall, keeping things semi-serious but letting the audience have fun with it.

Wrapped in amongst the violence and bizarre plotting is a strangely touching coming together of these unlikely characters, who eventually, even grudgingly become closer for all the madness they encounter. The two sisters begin their journey distant and weary of each other, but by the films closing titles have bonded and reached an understanding. The film ends with the question of a sequel, and I say bring it on. Rarely is going to the cinema this much fun and the audience I saw it with were literally howling with laugher and stamping their feet. Granted it’s a horror festival crowd but honestly, the film aims to please and does so with panache and wit. Not wanting to get too gushy here but this is the kind of project all film students secretly want to make. Home grown, inventive, genuinely funny and completely insane

Soska sisters, I may be a gay alcoholic with mounting debt, but please, marry me?

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TwistedTwins (6 years ago) Reply

Thank you so much for the gore~geous review! We'll marry you. Is it okay if I continue my relationship with Jack Daniels on the side? I hear he goes both ways ;)

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projectcyclops (6 years ago) Reply

You bet Twins, sounds like a fair compromise! Thank you for the awesome movie, can't wait to see what you get up to next :)


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