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Donkey Punch

UK | 2008
Directed by: Olly Blackburn
Written by: Olly Blackburn & David Bloom
Robert Boulter
Nichola Burley
Julian Morris
Jaime Winstone
Color / 99 Minutes / Not Rated

Donkey Punch poster


(Click to enlarge images)
Party time!
Shipping out.
Fun at sea.
High time!
Donkey style.
This could be a problem...
Orchestrating the cover-up.
Bringing out the big guns.
Hiding in the shadows.
Death ship.
Donkey Punch

  By KamuiX

Donkey Punch \dong-kee puhnch\, verb:
A sexual technique used by a male when having intercourse with a female or used by a male when having homosexual relations with another male. The male, who is having sex doggy style, gives a short powerful jab to the back of his partner's head. The resulting shock causes the partner's vagina or anus to clinch tight around the man's penis during ejaculation, intensifying the man’s pleasure.

When a film is released that uses a crazy sex act like the one above as its title, you better be ready to deliver on the sleazy goods. If not, why use the name in the first place? Well, I realize it’s to create buzz, but what about all the people that are going to actually watch the film? It’d be like Planet of the Apes without any monkeys. Luckily, Donkey Punch does include said sex act, but outside of that it’s not very trashy at all, and is merely just another horror/thriller about a group of people trying to get out of a bad situation. But at least it treads this familiar ground fairly well.

After a recent break-up, Tammi and her two best friends decide to have a girls-only getaway to a Mediterranean resort. During a night out on the town, they run into three guys on leave from the military, who persuade them to come back and party on their luxury ship where another of their buddies is hanging out. Once there, they realize partying too loud while docked at the marina would probably lead to complaints, so they set sail to continue the fun out on the ocean.

Once out on the open sea, they all indulge in drugs and alcohol, while telling one another crazy sex stories. They all start spouting off weird sex acts they’ve heard of, and one of the guys brings up a “donkey punch”, which involves a punch to the back of the head during the climax of a sexual encounter. High, drunk, and looking for a good time, two of the girls and three of the guys go off into the cabin for an orgy, which one of the guys decides to record. One thing leads to another, and one of the guys named Josh decides to donkey punch one of the girls, which instantly breaks her neck and kills her. The shipmates then become divided, with the girls wanting to report everything to the officials and the guys willing to cover everything up to protect their futures. When no one can agree on what to do, friends become enemies and a fight for survival in the middle of the ocean ensues.

So the sexual deviancy used to promote the film for the most part is just a gimmick. It’s certainly the catalyst that gets the main events of the flick in motion, but outside of that, you won’t be seeing any of the off-the-wall images your sick little brain may have conjured up when you first heard about the film’s premise. And really, we should all be a little bit annoyed by it. Call me sick, but when I hear about a film called Donkey Punch and then read what it means, I expect to be served up a huge pile of sleazy goods! Unlike a film like My Bloody Valentine 3D, where you get to enjoy the gimmick that was used to get your ass in the seat for the entire runtime, here it’ll just get you in the seat and then…well, you’ll get about 5% worth of the aspect that got you interested in the first place. It’s a shame that a film with such a name turned out to be so tame and run-of-the-mill.

But, if you’re willing to look past the fact that the proceedings aren’t as outrageous as you had hoped for, there’s a decent little thriller here to experience. There’s nothing new about it whatsoever, but it does a good job of holding your attention after the first 30 minutes (which are a bit of a chore to sit through, and could have been cut down to about 10) and keeps things mostly interesting. Sure, the characters do some stupid things to the point of wanting to slap some sense into them, but if you’re willing to dumb yourself down a bit, you’ll probably find some stuff to enjoy. The kills in particular are awesome, with flairs and boat motors being used as deadly weapons, and these moments will nearly make you forget about the inherent flaws in the flick. Having the majority of the film take place on a boat is also one of the brighter spots, as it gives an otherwise typical plotline a nice feel of isolation and dread that it would have probably lacked otherwise.

While I didn’t feel much about Donkey Punch stood out from the pack, the acting by all involved was quite strong. Julian Morris, who plays Josh, particularly caught my attention, as he does a great job of delivering a wide range of emotions throughout. He plays shy and introverted, manipulative and sneaky, and downright evil during the 99 minutes of screen time, and pulls them all off really well. The film is no slouch technically either, which is impressive taking into account that it was produced on the cheap. Everything is shot and framed nicely, and thankfully lacks the schizophrenic, MTV-inspired directing that many have taken up as of late when making films in this genre.

Donkey Punch could have definitely aspired to be much more given the unique and raunchy base the narrative is built upon, and it’s unfortunate that the filmmakers didn’t want to go too far into the realm of sleaze, but the finished product isn’t a total failure. This won’t be one of your favorite may flat-out hate it for not embracing everything it could have been, but as a weekend timewaster, you could do a hell of a lot worse.

Donkey Punch comes to DVD courtesy of Magnolia Pictures and Magnet Releasing as part of the Six Shooter Film Series. The film boasts a nice 1.85:1 anamorphic widescreen transfer that looks quite good. Audio is available in both 5.1 and 2.0 Dolby Digital, and the 5.1 track has some great directionality. It would have been nice to have some English subs on the disc, as some of the accents are pretty thick, but it rarely poses a problem.

On the extras front, you’ll get a 17 minute making of and nearly 45 minutes worth of interviews from the director and the cast. I wasn’t exactly enthralled with any of them, as they tend to ask every person the same exact questions, and the making of really only offers up more interviews and no real behind-the-scenes footage. 12 minutes of deleted scenes are included, all of which were wise to be left on the cutting room floor, as they would have extended portions of the film that really didn’t need to be. The disc is rounded out with feature commentary from director Olly Blackburn, and trailers for this and the other 5 films that are a part of the Six Shooter Film Series.

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