Customer Reviews: Bounty Killer [Blu-ray]
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Yes, thank goodness that B movies are still being made today. B movies, Grindhouse flicks, throwaway pictures … whatever you want to call them. For many of us, they’re a staple from our youth – a harmless diversion of cinematic entertainment that’s clearly meant to be derivative of some bigger, bolder, but no doubt blander. Considering what goes hand-in-hand with the B movie – action, hot women, and blood (preferably plenty of it) – it’s no wonder young and old men will sit through anything so long as they’re the promise that all three will be delivered in spades.

Early this year, I’d seen some footage of BOUNTY KILLER on an entertainment website, but, alas, I never saw it playing theatrically in the U.S. That’s a shame – it may have, and it would’ve been fun to see it up on the silver screen – but maybe that’s just the way things are; after all, B movies are best when experienced in the comfort and privacy of a room with a solitary boob tube.

(NOTE: The following review will contain minor spoilers necessary solely for the discussion of plot and characters. If you’re the kind of reader who prefers a review entirely spoiler-free, then I’d encourage you to skip down to the last three paragraphs for my final assessment. If, however, you’re accepting of a few modest hints at ‘things to come,’ then read on …)

20 years into tomorrow, our planet has been reduced into a desert wasteland. Was it global warming? Nuclear catastrophe? Bad gardening? Quite possibly a combination of the above. What’s left of civilization is little more than ragtag outposts, all hoping for one thing: vengeance against the corrupt corporate raiders who selfishness destroyed our planet. Enter the 'Bounty Killers,’ men and women trained to take down what remains of these capitalist scum, but all for a price and a chance for the good life. Drifter (played with suitable B-movie charm by Matthew Marsden) is the best around, but there’s an up’n’comer named Mary Death (a stunning Christian Pitre) who’ll stop at nothing to dethrone the lead killer. Who would’ve guessed they were former lovers?

Ok. Unlike other reviewers, I try to be perfectly straight with you. So here’s the stone-cold truth: if you don’t like B movies, then BOUNTY KILLER is probably not for you. When I say ‘like,’ I mean ‘love.’ This is B movie magic from start to finish.

Marsden certainly comes close to mastering his game here. He plays his killer with his tongue firmly planted in his cheek … well, that is, when it isn’t firmly planted in Christian Pitre’s cheek … and that’s a heavenly place indeed. Together, they muster exactly the kind of chemistry necessary to elevate this picture above the humdrum – which it very easily could’ve become – and, as talented professionals, it’s very clear that they had a very thorough understanding of this material: look good, rush in, shoot first, and tally up the dead. They march through their paces here with a theatrically reserved glee, but I haven’t a doubt: they probably had a ball making this film.

As is often the case, there’s a fair amount of comic relief built into the property, and those stripes are fairly well earned by Barak Hardley. As the mostly bumbling gun-carrier Jack LeMans, he rushed through his marks trying harder than he needs to generate the requisite amount of laughs; and, if BOUNTY had any weakness, it would probably be the reliance on some relatively predictable humor. Jack isn’t fast enough on the draw. Jack accidently throws the gun too far. Jack gets a face-full of blood spray (be warned: there’s plenty of blood spray in this picture). You know these jokes. They practically write themselves. Given the fact that they’re clearly intended to be a harmless distraction from the body count, sit back and enjoy the ride.

God knows I did.

If anyone was watching, then BOUNTY is exactly the kind of film that deserves a sequel. Scribe Jason Dodson (who’s responsible for the graphic novel upon which it’s based) and director Henry Saine (who’s responsible for the art and illustrations of the same) brought their ‘A game’ to this wild B material, and one can only hope and pray it gets discovered by the widest audience possible.

But, as I said, you gotta like B movies. And by ‘like,’ I mean ‘love.’ Otherwise much of this will be lost on you.

BOUNTY KILLER (2013) is produced by Kickarc, Raindance Entertainment, and Just Chorizo Productions. DVD distribution is being handled by Arc Entertainment. As for the technical specifications, the film looks and sounds pretty solid consistently; there’s some muddled dialogue early in the soundtrack that could’ve been more cleanly recorded, and, sure, there’s some silly special effects that could look better had they spent more money on this, but that would probably remove half of the fun. As for the special features, there’s a brief (15 minute) ‘Making Of’ short that really serves more like a bloated ad, and there’s the theatrical trailer: I would’ve liked more, but – as they say – it is what it is.

HIGHEST RECOMMENDATION POSSIBLE. That’s right. “Highest recommendation possible.” I said it. Now it’s up to you: you’re either going to see it or not, you crumb-cruncher. You want my advice? Get off your duff, get out to the video store, and pick up BOUNTY HUNTER as a quick rental. Or better yet? Buy yourself a copy. If you’re a fanboy, then this is entertainment you live for. It’s a perfect B-movie adaptation based on a zany graphic novel. And, yeah, it’s perfect. I wouldn’t change a thing. Would you?

In the interests of fairness, I’m pleased to disclose that the fine folks at Arc Entertainment provided me with a DVD copy of BOUNTY KILLER by request for the expressed purposes of completing this review.
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on November 2, 2013
This review was originally posted to my blog on October 23, 2013.

"Bounty Killer" was originally based on a short film of the same name by Jason Dodson and Henry Saine, and its wildly over-the-top actions sequences, graphic violence, artsy visual style, and occasional use of short animated sequences keeps it fairly true to its origins. This is because the original creators were also involved in adapting it into a feature length film.

Set in a futuristic dystopia, this actioner takes place twenty years after “The Corporate Wars,” in which mega-corporations have toppled world governments, and then fought one another for world domination. As the world “spiraled into oblivion,” the top corporate executives abandoned their armies and fled with the remaining wealth. Born from the ash of a destroyed planet rose the enigmatic “Council of Nine,” who vow to rebuild and give hope to the survivors. The Council issues “death warrants” on all white-collared criminals to assure that big business never gets in control again and for “providing the survivors of the apocalypse with retribution.” This spawns bounty killers who compete for body count, fame, and “a fat stack of cash.”

Foremost amongst the Council’s bounty killers is a veteran named Francis Gorman aka “Drifter” (Matthew Marsden), a stoic aging hunter. Then there is Mary Death (Christian Pitre). A sexy diva that is as glitzy as she is brash, even sporting her own supped up yellow Ford Mustang. While Mary plays to her adoring fans and the press, Drifter shies away more interested in getting the job done than making headlines.

When we first meet these two, we find them both together riding up an elevator to a holographic go-go club to take out a CEO (Ivar Brogger) and his cronies. From the moment they both interact, we know that these to share a past together. Later we discover Mary Death was not only his protégé but his lover, until Drifter decided he wanted to retire and take her with him. Mary, however, had other plans—going solo—so she ended their relationship by stabbing him in the spleen and leaving him to die in the wastelands.

When Drifter suddenly finds himself with a bounty on his head, Mary decides to cash in. Drifter holds a dark secret to his past and desires to find the Council of Nine to plead his case, something that no one has ever done before—mainly because no one actually knows where the council resides.

Slowly unfolding through Drifter’s journey—gun caddy Jack LeMans (Barak Hardley) and old acquaintance Jimbo (Abraham Benrubi) along for the ride—we discover Drifter is not the only one with a secret. Mary too still runs from her past. She is a runaway from a band of wasteland warriors known as Gypsies, who still want her back, and Mary must cross through their territory if she hopes to collect the bounty.

Making it across the wasteland, Mary catches up to her ex-lover. In a face-to-face stand off Drifter tells Mary he’s not going fight her and he wants to talk. When Mary threatens Jack and Jimbo, Jack admonishes her and Drifter and tells them that they should stopping acting like children, because it is obvious they are both still in love with one another. Mary agrees to go with them to the council, but warns them that when the judges find Drifter guilty, she’ll be the one to carry out the execution. The four of them set out with a secret map Mary has acquired.

However, when they finally arrive at the council building, they find the council dead and Drifter has been setup. It appears Drifter had once been a CEO of a corporation that manufactured planes, and had been betrayed by his business partners who sold them to militias during the Corporate Wars. When the council had formed, Drifter had been recruited as the first bounty killer, because he wished to make amends for all the destruction and death that had result from his company. He knew all along it was not the Council who had issued the death warrant, but he needed to find out who it was. It turns out that it was one his former business partners (Kristanna Loken) and her henchman (Gary Busey); all to draw him out and reinstated him as the company CEO once again.

There have been many other small budget post-apocalypse films, but non-so entertaining in recent years. This is not only due to the well-written script and direction, but because the acting is also top notch, all the way down to the cameos by Beverly D’Angelo and Rapper Eve.

If you’re looking for a film with plenty of car chases, bloody battles with exploding heads and dismemberment, a brooding mercenary and his hot protégé in knee-high white boots, then this fun and entertaining, over-the-top post apocalyptic action film is sure to please.
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on October 1, 2013
I'm a sucker for Post Apocalyptic stuff. Honestly watched the trailer and figured it'd be terrible but why not. The action, cinematography, music, sound design, acting was all way above average. The script was uneven but it got from point A to B. Some dialogue was terrible but some was pretty good. The lead actress is gorgeous. Some of the special effects were really cool. If you're a fan of the video game Fallout, you'd love this movie.
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on October 30, 2013
This is a lower tier "Mad Max" grindhouse. In the future hostile corporate takeovers involve bombs and bullets. The world is thrust into the apocalypse. Corporations dominate while the Wasteland attempts to gain back the world. They are ruled by a Council of Nine who place bounties on the heads of corporations. It appears the poor want to get money so they can live like the people they despise, although this Orwellian aspect is not part of the tale. Bad guys are easy to identify because they wear yellow ties. The plot didn't make a lot of sense, but then this wasn't a plot driven film.

Drifter (Matthew Marsden) and Mary Death (Christian Pitre) are the Bonnie and Clyde of Bounty Hunters. When a bounty is offered on Drifter, he wants to clear his name with the Council of Nine. Mary Death confuses us as she wants to go with him to help him in one scene and then wants to shoot him in the next. Drifter, along with his side kick (Barak Hardley) must pass through the Badlands and fight off cannibal gypsies. Only vintage cars seem to survive the apocalypse.

Beverly D'Angelo and Gary Busey from the "where are they now" crowd appear briefly in the film. The film boasts a lot of blood squirts, severed limbs, CG flames, and a token Brit (Kevin McNally). Mary Death speaks in sexual innuendos, even to her car. She is dressed in a red and white mini a car hop, stockings, and white go-go boots with killer sharp spurs. And she can take a punch to the face.

If you are starved for a Mad Max style grindhouse, this should hold off the hunger pains.

Parental Guide: F-bombs, brief sex, brief prostitute nudity. Soft 4 stars.
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on September 30, 2013
The action, violence and infrequent gore is totally over the top! This is a movie Quentin Tarantino WISHED he could have made! Never a dull or slow moment and with all the right touches. I would recommend for 18 and over.
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[a spoiler-free review]

Bounty Killer is a cultural mishmash that manages to borrow from multiple mediums and blend them appealingly (if you don't mind *gallons* of blood splashing everywhere) for its 92-minute duration. Good acting was never the intent here, but it did take some talent to portray these roles as intended. Additionally, most of the minor characters in Bounty Killer are presented with a thoughtfulness that makes this more of a "B+ movie" than a B movie. Combined with some handy camerawork and large helpings of a tongue-in-cheek attitude, you get a lotta fun. The plot was more of a background device than a coherent and crucial aspect to Bounty Killer, yet there is something surely charming about the premise of slaughtering CEOs who helped to destroy the economy and the planet. The pace of the film is insane at times... it certainly held my attention from beginning to end.

One of the negative reviewers stated that many aspects of the film were for the "stuck-at-thirteen crowd," but he [1] didn't seem to understand that Bounty Killer celebrates B movies, [2] likely missed cultural references, and [3] provided a ludicrous complaint against the short skirts and clevage. Drifter without Mary Death would be like Crouching Tiger without Hidden Dragon, and Mary exuding her sensuality was quite simply the icing on Bounty Killer's cake.

Glad I own this on Blu-ray now, because I will be watching it again sometime: a Solid 3.5 stars
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on April 9, 2016
I wasn't sure what to expect when I bought this film. Post apocalypse films can run the gambit from good to god awful luckily Bounty Killer is squarely down the middle .Its not great cinema but it's not cringe inducing by any stretch. The box art IS very misleading as you are led to believe Kristanna Lokken is the female lead which is NOT the case. Lokken is in the film and has a strong secondary role but is not Mary Death the female lead who is actually played by Christian Pitre. Bounty Killers are well bounty hunters working to collect bounties mainly placed upon greedy former corporate types who led the world to ruin. Drifter played by Michael Marsten is a loner who collects bounties but is over shadowed by his former protégé Mary Death.They have a past but try and stay apart but forces bring them together .Back to Ms.Lokken for a moment she plays a corporate executive named Catherine who was once married to former exec Drifter and has placed a bounty on his head. She also has a corporate bounty hunter Van Sterlin played by Gary Busey ! at her disposal. Mary also was once a part of a traveling group of gypsy bounty hunters that want a piece of her ass now. A part of the story unfolds at a saloon/brothel called the Thirsty Beaver 9love that name) run by Lucille the still lovely Beverly D;Angelo. Of course any movie featuring guns,bounties,mad max rejects chasing after people,corporate greed and cleavage cannot be all bad right? Marstens is good as Drifter he's aided by his gun caddy Jack Le Mans (Barak Hardly) a goof ball type of sidekick .Pitre as Mary Death looks super sexy her acting is not that good but not awful either.Lokken is good as the cold hard bitch and looks great as usual. Busey and D'Angelo are good in their roles as well. Recommended for those who like B films and post apocalypse films.
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on December 28, 2013
There are some movies that throw caution to the wind and have you laugh with them all the way. Bounty Killer is pure entertainment. It is a rebooted Roger Corman type movie with elements of Mad Max thrown in for good measure. The stars, Matthew Marsden and Christian Pitre, are a great looking couple with wonderful tongue-in-cheek chemistry. Some of the supporting players do not fare as well ranging from the sublime to the ridiculous, but perhaps that was the director walking that fine line of action/comedy. One cannot help loving the idea that someone out there made a film about placing a bounty on corporate greed and handling the whole thing Rambo/Mad Max style. Bloody good fun for the B movie lover.
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on February 6, 2016
Bounty Killer is a 2012 apocalyptic action horror comedy movie based on a graphic novel by Kickstart comics about celebrity bounty hunters who hunt down corporate white collar criminals responsible for the apocalypse in the world with some good fighting sequences , shoot outs , great Mustangs , gorgous ladies , blood and guts , This movie is similar to Mad Max and Death Race 2000 but not quiet as good , a little more like a B grade movie .Three and a half for the awesome picture , sound and great Mustangs .
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on November 13, 2014
Found this movie while perusing Netflix one night at three AM, and immediately fell in love. It is so over the top cheesy, but at the same time, it knows that about itself and makes good use of the genre.
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