HOME |  CULT MOVIES | COMPETITIONS | ADVERTISE |  CONTACT US |  ABOUT US
 
 
Newest Reviews
Watch List
Giraffe
Kat and the Band
Echo
Perfect 10
Octaman
Red Penguins
China Syndrome, The
Babyteeth
Round-Up, The
Around the Sun
Once There Was Brasilia
Peripheral
Dead Pigeon on Beethoven Street
Ice
She Demons
Good Girls, The
Hail, Hero!
Faces in the Crowd
Tamango
Traitor, The
Tomorrow
Third Generation, The
Saxon Charm, The
Spy Intervention
Moonrise
Mulan
Killer with a Thousand Eyes, The
Vigil, The
Liberation of L.B. Jones, The
Wizard of Baghdad, The
Ride
Good Manners
Thirty Seconds Over Tokyo
Sweet Home
Big Score, The
Siddhartha
Three Outlaw Samurai
Echoes of Fear
Guinea Pig, The
   
 
Newest Articles
For God's Sake Strap Yourselves Down: Flash Gordon on 4K UHD
Party Hard: Bill & Ted's Excellent Adventure on Blu-ray
Network On Air: Nights in with ABC 2 - Your Faces are All Blurred!
Eve Knew Her Apples: The Lady Eve on Blu-ray
Network On Air: Tempo - Gallery One
Network On Air: Nights In with ABC 1 - Welcome Once Again to Manchester!
Transformative Apocalypses: Phase IV and Southland Tales
The Happiest Days of Their Lives: The Guinea Pig on Blu-ray
Faced Poe: Three Edgar Allan Poe Adaptations Starring Bela Lugosi on Blu-ray
Hard Luck, Buster: The Cameraman on Blu-ray
At the Hop: Mr. Vampire on Blu-ray
Divine Madness: Female Trouble on Blu-ray
Country Matters: Further Out of Town on Blu-ray
Bat-Damn: Was Joel Schumacher's Batman Really That Bad?
The Beat Goes On: Takeshi Kitano Collection on Blu-ray
Dream Treats: Scorsese Shorts on Blu-ray
It's Only Money: Laughter in Paradise on Blu-ray
A Regular Terpsichore: Dance, Girl, Dance on Blu-ray
Teenage Trauma: Baby Love on Blu-ray
The Happening: Pet Shop Boys It Couldn't Happen Here on Blu-ray
Who Watched The Watchmen?
The Golden Age of Colonic Irrigation: Monty Python Series 4 on Blu-ray
Lady of Pleasure: Lola Montes on Blu-ray
Take You to the Gay Bar: Funeral Parade of Roses on Blu-ray
Hit for Ms: Mark Cousins' Women Make Film on Blu-ray
   
 
  Bring Me the Head of the Machinegun Woman Bag that bounty
Year: 2013
Director: Ernesto Diaz Espinoza
Stars: Fernanda Urrejola, Matias Oviedo, Jorge Alis, Sofia Garcia, Alex Rivera, Felipe Averro, Pato Pimienta, Francisco Castillo, Miguel Angel De Luca, Daniel Antivilo, Jaime Omeñaca, Javier Mora, Andrés Cid, Nicolás Ibieta, Aldo Botto
Genre: Comedy, Sex, Action, Thriller, WeirdoBuy from Amazon
Rating:  7 (from 1 vote)
Review: Mild-mannered DJ and gamer Santiago (Matias Oviedo) gets caught listening when gangster Che Longana (Jorge Alis) and his associates plan a hit on sexy badass bounty hunter the Machinegun Woman (Fernanda Urrejola) before she kills them. Facing death, in a state of panic, Santiago rashly offers to kill the Machinegun Woman himself and bring back her head as proof. An amused Che Longana takes him at his word. So Santiago finds himself doing the unthinkable. Just buying a handgun off the black market proves dangerous enough but Santiago soon ends up out of his depth, competing with an array of outlandish professional killers in pursuit of a one-woman army who is all but unstoppable.

This Chilean low-budget action-comedy is a significant improvement over Ernesto Diaz Espinoza's last notable international release, the enthusiastic but morally confused martial arts pastiche Kiltro (2006). Co-written with charismatic leading lady Fernanda Urrejola, a big soap opera star in Chile, it is yet another fan-boy pastiche of Seventies grindhouse cinema very reminiscent of early Robert Rodriguez, especially El Mariachi (1992). As such Espinoza adopts a grainy grindhouse aesthetic with a crackly soundtrack, phoney scratches on the print, gratuitous splatter, a cool retro-Eighties synth score (the titular anti-heroine's theme deliberately evokes The Terminator (1984)) and film geek in-jokes referencing scores of crime, horror and action films (Santiago hatches his plan after watching Sam Peckinpah's grimy masterpiece Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Garcia (1974)). So far so sophomoric. Indeed both a running gag where the hero re-imagines his predicament as a real-life Grand Theft Auto-style video game and the conceit of introducing each new character with a mock spaghetti western freeze frame on a wanted poster slowly wear out their welcome through overuse.

However, Bring Me the Head of the Machinegun Woman has something that the more recent retro-styled efforts of Rodriguez and his many imitators sorely lack, which is wit and heart. Espinoza wisely enriches his film geek enthusiasm for Seventies exploitation tropes with a compelling story laced with engaging characters and a disarming emotional core. The plot runs with a neat film noir-ish idea with a hapless hero thrust into a terrifying situation that starts bad and gets worse and worse. Espinoza indulges in a fair amount of juvenile sadism and gore (one gag where a gaucho assassin accidentally shoots off his own face is genuinely funny) but still yokes a powerful sense of panic as events spiral out of control. In its brighter moments, chiefly dealing with Santiago's strained relationship with his long-suffering mother (Francisco Castillo) and frustrated romantic yearning for his alluring antagonist, the film's ambitions recall Shaun of the Dead (2004). Coping with increasingly outlandish events forces the hitherto juvenile hero to grow up. Although not as accomplished as the Edgar Wright-Simon Pegg zom-rom-com, Espinoza's film pulls off an oddball romance that is genuinely moving and sweet.

Obviously a torrid liaison between a video game geek and a sadomasochistic bombshell assassin in racy fetish gear is the stuff teenage boys' dreams are made of. Yet things play out in unexpectedly charming, Latin soap opera tragicomic fashion, once again reminiscent of El Mariachi. Though shot on a shoestring the film stands as lesson to camcorder auteurs everywhere on the strength of its technique, energy and ingenuity (Espinoza stages the finale as a first-person shooter, three years before Hardcore Henry (2016)). Moreover the performances are lively and personable. Matias Oviedo is a compelling, sympathetic hero while Fernanda Urrejola is a dynamic screen presence. It almost goes without saying she also cuts a seriously sexy fetish figure in fur coat, leather bikini in fishnet stockings with strap-on machineguns and stiletto boots.

Reviewer: Andrew Pragasam

 

This review has been viewed 1234 time(s).

As a member you could Rate this film

 
Review Comments (0)


Untitled 1

Login
  Username:
 
  Password:
 
   
 
Forgotten your details? Enter email address in Username box and click Reminder. Your details will be emailed to you.
   

Latest Poll
Which star is the best at shouting?
Arnold Schwarzenegger
Brian Blessed
Tiffany Haddish
Steve Carell
Olivia Colman
Captain Caveman
Sylvester Stallone
Gerard Butler
Samuel L. Jackson
Bipasha Basu
   
 
   

Recent Visitors
Graeme Clark
Darren Jones
Paul Smith
Andrew Pragasam
  Lee Fiveash
  Mick Stewart
Enoch Sneed
  Dsfgsdfg Dsgdsgsdg
   

 

Last Updated: