Donkey Punch

Donkey Punch

2.5 out of 5 2.5 out of 5 2.5 out of 5 2.5 out of 5 2.5

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Alongside All the Boys Love Mandy Lane, Donkey Punch belongs to a new strain of indie horror cinema so aware of genre conventions, manipulations, and symbolism that it functions more like an intellectualized primer than an actual terrifying experience. British director Oliver Blackburn’s debut intertwines sex and violence in its very title, which refers to the act of walloping a coital partner in the back of the neck in order to produce a pleasurably constricting muscle spasm for the moment of climax. The film operates likewise, spending its first third luxuriating in the sensual sights of Mallorca, three ready-to-party bikini’d girls, and their booze-and-drugs fiesta with four male strangers aboard an extravagant yacht. While Lisa (Sian Breckin) and Kim (Jaime Winstone) are the types to enjoy a crack-fueled orgy with random studs, Tammi (Nichola Burley) knows better, seeing as how she’s still reeling from a breakup with a boyfriend who, one can glean from her friends’ advice to maintain distance, poses some sort of threat. Men are certainly focal points of danger in Donkey Punch, which soon spirals into something messy and nasty after one of the guys performs the titular deed and it results in death, instigating a what-do-we-do? scenario in which the combination of rash decision-making and ruthless self-interest leads to dire consequences for all involved. Blackburn, whose cinematography is first erotically sun-flared and later menacingly dank and murky, stages this chaotic scenario with efficient aplomb, almost to a fault, as the action is economical but rarely rises to the level of surprising. The same holds true for his gore, which is rooted in brutal penetration-release imagery to the point that it begins to feel as if the purpose of a knife being twisted in a man’s chest, and then pulled out to allow for a fatal flow of blood, is more thematic than visceral in nature. Mildly effective in most regards, Donkey Punch would be far more so if it actually did something fresh, extreme, alive with its competently utilized tropes.

Buy
DVD
Distributor
Magnet Releasing
Runtime
95 min
Rating
R
Year
2008
Director
Oliver Blackburn
Screenwriter
Oliver Blackburn, David Bloom
Cast
Nichola Burley, Jaime Winstone, Sian Breckin, Robert Boulter, Tom Burke, Julian Morris, Jay Taylor