Here's a spoiler, he's NOT the victim.

Here’s a spoiler, he’s NOT the victim.

So last night Jon and I headed out to watch Michael Biehn’s “The Victim” in our ongoing efforts to watch at least one movie a day for the duration of this year’s Fantasia Festival. So we did. Then we stuck around for the Q&A. Then we headed back to Jono’s place to record our daily podcast. Then we recorded it. You may have already noticed that you’re reading this and not listening to it. That’s because for some fucked up reason the audio from last night’s recording just doesn’t exist. The sound files are there, but they’re empty. So there is no “9to5 Goes to Fantasia” podcast today. However, I’m gonna write up a little review of the film anyhow, since I love you all very much.The story line of “The Victim” is nice and simple. A couple of somewhat crooked cops are out partying with strippers when one of the cops accidentally kills one of the strippers. I mean, shit happens right? The cops decide to try and kill off the other stripper but she escapes into the woods and encounters Micheal Biehn’s badass character in his cabin. The duo (Biehn and his future wife Jennifer Blanc-Biehn) try to get proof of the cops’ murder and when they’re unable to they ultimately need to face off against the cops in a kill or be killed showdown.

See? Nice and easy. Which isn’t a bad thing. This movie doesn’t take itself too seriously. Biehn himself said that if this movie was food, it would be cotton candy. Sweet and enjoyable but not a lot of substance and probably no nutritional value. Biehn (who also directs the piece) makes good use of clever camera angles to hide the fact that he doesn’t have much of an effects budget and shot most of the film with a “day for night” filter to avoid expensive night time shoots. The whole thing was shot in 12 days for $800,000. If they had tried to be too fancy with the plot or setups they likely would’ve gone over budget or ended up with a murky confusing film. So the simple plot really serves the film well.

That’s not to say that there’s no depth going on though. There’s a neat little sub-story about a serial killer who only preys on female victims on the loose in the area. The film alludes to the fact that it might be one of the crooked cops, but also tells us that Biehn’s character has a criminal past and some anger issues. What kind of issues? Well, when Biehn’s character gets one of the cops tied to a chair, he lays a crowbar on the stove until it’s red hot and then scorches the cop with his makeshift branding iron. Later in the film the cop mentions how fucked up this is. It’s not normal. That is not a normal thing to do.

Sure enough, in the final scene, with our heroes burying the dead cops that they have triumphed over, it is heavily suggested (without quite spelling it out, but who are we kidding?) that Biehn’s character is the serial killer. The stripper is still in danger! See? It’s a neat little twist to an otherwise straight and to-the point grindhouse flick.

If you have an appreciation for low-budget grindhouse style films, you definitely owe it to yourself to check it out and see what kind of movies can be made with less than a million dollar budget. The film is going to have a limited release in New York and LA and then be in the video (hopefully NetFlix/On Demand) market come September.

We’ll be back tomorrow with another podcast. Sorry about that folks.

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