You know, as much as I enjoyed writing for Examiner.com as National Horror Examiner (which I still do, from time to time), I have to admit that I felt fettered and held down each and every time I went to write a review or article for them. I’m not even completely sure why, but I never felt like I could be myself, which is why I started D’Ment’D Cinema, and thus, began cutting back a great deal on my work for Examiner.
That being said, there are a few reviews that I wrote while writing for them that I’m pretty proud of, so I’ve decided to move a few of those from Examiner over here to D’Ment’D.
By now, everyone who reads my work on even a semi-regular basis is aware of how much love and respect I have for Jen & Sylvia Soska, those lovely Twisted Twins from the Great White North, so really wanted to make sure that my review of the Soska Sisters’ debut feature film, Dead Hooker In A Trunk, was one of the first reviews that I moved to D’Ment’D. Without any further ado, I give you my review for DHiaT, originally published at National Horror Examiner on December 14th, 2010…
If you’re anywhere near my age, which is, as much as it pains me to admit, less than a month from the big 4-0, then you’ll surely remember the always fun classic movies, movies back when movies were cool, that involved a group of people, often friends, who are suddenly, and unwillingly, thrust into a dangerous situation, forced to either deal with what’s landed on their proverbial laps, or face the consequences of their failure to act swiftly. These sort of films have always been a favorite of mine.
Now, imagine such a scenario, set in Vancouver, B.C., where a quartet of friends; twin sisters, one of whom is a badass, the other who is a total geek and isn’t exactly her sister’s closest friend, the badass’s junkie friend and the geek’s God-fearing goody two-shoes pal, all of whom find their lives suddenly turned upside down, and inside out, after they notice an odd smell emanating from the trunk of the badass’s car. Upon inspection of the trunk, the group finds that someone has placed the dead body of a hooker, as well as a butt load of various drugs, inside their trunk. Not knowing who this hooker is, and fearing that the badass and/or junkie may have had something to do with this woman ending up dead concealed inside of their trunk, they come to the only logical conclusion; they need to dump the body! And fast!
Naturally, it doesn’t go as smoothly as the group had hoped, and they are constantly hit with a barrage of unforeseen, and quite humorous, situations, each seemingly more insane than the last, all leading them to the discovery of the truth behind how they ended up with a Dead Hooker In A Trunk!
Dead Hooker In A Trunk is the debut film for Twisted Twins Productions, the production company belonging to Jen & Sylvia Soska, who wrote, directed, produced and co-starred in the film.
The cast includes Jen Soska as Geek, Sylvia Soska as Badass, C.J. Wallis as Goody Two-Shoes, and Rikki Gagne as Junkie, as well as appearances by Carlos Gallardo as God, John Tench as Cowboy Pimp, Loyd Bateman as Priest and Tasha Moth as The Hooker.
The Soska Twins are phenomenal in their debut roles. Both possess the acting skills of actresses with decades of acting experience, including comedic timing that comes very natural to both Jen and Sylvia. Anyone who knows anything about acting knows how difficult it can be for an actor or actress to perfect comedic timing, but these lovely ladies (who are extremely easy on the eyes, even when they’re covered in blood!) have it down to an art form. Both of the Soskas are destined for greatness, as filmmakers and as actresses. They are just that good!
You may know the name Rikki Gagne from her roles in John Carpenter’s Cigarette Burns episode of Masters of Horror, Uwe Boll’s Postal and Lost Boys: The Tribe. Gagne is wonderfully believable in the role of Junkie (not that she’d necessarily want to know that she actually seemed like a junkie in the film, but it is a testament to her acting ability.).
And then there’s C.J. Wallis who plays Goody Two-Shoes. Wallis, who I couldn’t help but notice how much he resembles Edward Norton, both in appearance and in acting style, in this film, is amazing as the total nerd-for-God type, who every now and then forgets his commitment to Christ and goes off on near-psychotic rants about ass-raping another guy as means of punishment! He is hilarious to watch, and truly commands the camera every time he is on screen. His performance reminded me, in a number of ways, of that of Norton in Primal Fear. Goody Two-Shoes is meek, God-fearing, but there’s something else there. Something quite dark, buried deep down within, and every now and then, it comes creeping through, just a bit. Just as is the case with Jen & Sylvia, I believe that the future is a very bright one for C.J. Wallis!
Dead Hooker In A Trunk is a funny, and sometimes even touching, buddy / caper style film, with loads of action. But fear not gore hounds, as there is more than enough blood, guts (literally), gore and scenes of torture and sexual perversion to keep you more than satisfied!
Throughout 2010, we’ve heard a great deal about the need to show support for independent horror. At times, this was being shouted from the rooftops, in an attempt to rally support for films that, whereas they may have indeed been independent in nature, their budget and studio connections were a far cry from that of most independent films. I agree, as horror fans, it is paramount that we support independent cinema, and it’s films like Dead Hooker In A Trunk that are truly deserving of our support!
Nearly every actor and actress who appeared on screen in DHiaT also served the film in other areas, from camera operators and stunt coordinators to editors and cinematographers. This film is a work of art, and it’s a labor of love. Love from fans of horror, and of film in general, who took that love and put it to work, creating a film of their own. And the love and respect that these men and women have for the the genre, as well as for movies as a whole, is very evident throughout the entire film. This is how a movie is supposed to look, sound and feel! There are many filmmakers out there, especially in Hollywood working with billion dollar budgets on films that no true fan of the cinema even cares to see, who could all stand to learn a great deal about the art of filmmaking, and the love that is required when making a movie, from Jen & Sylvia Soska, C.J. Wallis and everyone whose blood, sweat, heart, love and tears went into making Dead Hooker In A Trunk!
As I mentioned in the review, at the time I was less than a month away from my 40th birthday, which has come and passed. Something weird has happened since that time. I’ve become less cynical about a great deal in life, however, for the most part, when it comes to my love, and respect, for movies, nothing has changed. If it’s shit, I’ll still call it shit. If it’s amazing, I’ll still sing it’s praises. I recently popped my screener of DHiaT in the DVD player, to give it another watch. You know what happened? I didn’t love it the way I did when I first watched it. Nope. I actually loved it even more this time around! I am still in awe of what Jen, Sylvia, C.J. and the entire gang at tWISTED tWINS Productions did on such a small budget. Hell, I’d be equally amazed had they been working with a huge budget. Dead Hooker In A Trunk is one of the greatest modern horror/pulp/grindhouse movies that you’ll ever see, so be sure to check it out, when it’s released in your country! You won’t be sorry!