Stars: Matthew Marsden, Christian Pitre, Barak Hardley, Eve, Gary Busey, Kristanna Loken,, Abraham Benrubi, Kevin McNally, Beverly D’Angelo | Written by Jason Dodson | Directed by Henry Saine
I hadn’t heard of Bounty Killer till a couple of YouTubers (Coolduder, Wetmovie1) mentioned the film in their usual DVD and Blu-ray round-ups. The title alone intrigued me, after all I had enjoyed the previous “bounty hunter” flicks I’d seen: Michael Dudikoff’s Bounty Hunters and Bounty Hunters 2: Hardball and the recent Trish Stratus (WWE Diva) starring Bounty Hunters. So I was bound to enjoy a film that not only featured bounty hunters, but was called Bounty KILLER, right?
In a word. Yes! In fact two words: Hell Yes!
Based on a short film of the same name (and also the graphic novel adaptation) by Jason Dodson and Henry Saine, Bounty Killer is set 20 years after corporations took over the world s governments. Their thirst for power and profits led to the corporate wars, a fierce global battle that laid waste to society as we know it. Born from the ash, the Council of Nine rose as a new law and order. To avenge the corporations reckless destruction, the council issues death warrants for all white collar criminals. Their hunters – the bounty killers. From amateur savage to graceful assassin, the bounty killers now compete for body count, fame and a fat stack of cash, ending the plague of corporate greed by exterminating the self serving CEO and providing the survivors of the apocalypse with retribution.
The first thing you’ll notice about Bounty Killer is the cast of familiar faces. Former soap star Matthew Marsden plays the films co-lead “Drifter”, whilst the supporting cast includes singer Eve, T3‘s Kristanna Loken, Gary Busey, Abraham Benrubi, Kevin McNally and even Beverly D’Angelo! Meanwhile Christian Pitre, as the films other lead Mary Death – she played the same role in the short – makes for a compelling heroine, walking a fine line between sultry vixen and a woman you wouldn’t want to mess with! Plus Pitre and Marsden work well together and you can really believe the sexual (and work-related) tension between them.
Visually the film looks amazing. The well-edited over-the-top actions sequences interspersed with some really graphic violence – including beheadings, eviscerations and all-round gore are paired with occasional short animated sequences and a real “graphic novel” look that all work together to bring the graphic novel to life. Bounty Killer is possibly the truest adaptation of a comic – the film retains the look of a comic with some scenes even blocked out like the book, whilst (pardon the pun) fleshing out the characters and story. Bounty Killer also makes great use of CGI – and it’s not often I say that! Especially in the nuclear-winter-like badlands sequence, showing if used well, CGI, even on a low budget, can create something truly brilliant looking.
I can’t praise Bounty Killer enough. It manages to create a cohesive universe, tell a great story, be a hell of a lot of fun and at the same time is a superb satiristic diatribe against corporate greed. It’s the kind of spaghetti-western meets post-apocalyptic, grindhouse-style flick that Quentin Tarantino wishes he could make. The type of film the Machete series should be, out Robert Rodriguez-ing even Robert Rodriguez! Honestly, there hasn’t been a B-movie exploitation flick that has captured my attention this much since From Dusk Till Dawn.
Bounty Killer is out now in the US. The film comes to VOD on January 24th and DVD and Blu-ray in the UK on January 27th.