TAD 2013 Review: Bounty Killer
Bounty Killer is an unquestionably fun film which hits all of the B-movie tropes with pin-point accuracy. Every over-the-top death, every cheesy one liner, and every zoom-in on Mary Death’s bent-over backside is a wink and a nod to the audience and the history of this genre.
Director Henry Saine managed to pull off a tight and well-paced action comedy in only 18 days of shooting and an incredibly limited budget (apparently Mrs. Saine played at least 3 background characters in every scene) but the characters are engaging enough that you barely notice the recycled sets.
The story itself is reminiscent of Mad Max, Death Race 2000, with some Western elements as well. But Saine manages to avoid being derivative and the story is unique enough to stand aside the others. There are only a few deficiencies I would point out – for a story about Bounty Killers roaming the land we only meet two which feels like a lost opportunity, and the actor playing Drifter (while incredibly handsome) isn’t really old enough to stand up to the weight of his backstory. Saine had wanted Kurt Russell for the part, and what a coup that would have been.
Still, they managed to pull in Gary Busey (and used him to great effect), and the actress playing Mary Death is a hidden treasure. The Galifianakis-esque sidekick also holds up his end of frenetic comedy relief. Bounty Killer was originally conceived as a cartoon, and by using the original art they managed to save a lot of money on sets, make necessary expository shortcuts, and also add to the wacky atmosphere of the movie. It’s not gotten great reviews on Rotten Tomatoes, but this is not a film for critics – this is a film for a bunch of friends to sit around and watch while enjoying their own tallboys of PBR. It’s definitely now on my “Oh my god you guys, you have to see this” list.