Look up the sexual slang term “Donkey Punch” on the web and you’ll find a number of conflicting definitions. So, viewers watching this British-backed thriller might be forgiven for thinking that the act is just an urban myth. Despite that, director Oliver Blackburn presents us with a believable modern day twist on the slasher genre that combines sex and horror to good effect, whilst not quite living up to some of the plaudits some viewers at Sundance gave the film.
Three young women, Lisa (Sian Breckin), Tammi (Nichola Burley), and Kim (Jaime Winstone) embark on a hedonistic holiday to Marbella to celebrate Tammi’s dumping of a cheating ex-partner. They meet a group of three ex-public school Brits, Josh (Julian Morris), Marcus (Jay Taylor) and Bluey (Tom Burke), who invite them to continue the party aboard a luxury yacht that’s being looked after by Josh’s brother, Sean (Robert Boulter). Fuelled on a cocktail of ecstacy, booze and meth the party culminates in an orgy that goes disastrously wrong when Lisa dies whilst on the receiving end of the infamous sex act.
The women are shocked when the men decide they can’t let their good buddy stand for manslaughter or risk the social consequences of having taken part in a drug fuelled orgy that resulted in murder and that it’s probably best to dispose of Lisa’s body overboard, dispose of any evidence and announce her missing to the police. But the girls are having none of it, and in possession of incriminating filmed footage of the orgy think it would be better to come clean and take their chances in court. What follows is an ambitious and fairly well written thriller in which both groups have their loyalties challenged in order to save their own friends and later divided when it becomes apparent that with so much at stake no one’s life is safe.
It’s here, three quarters of the way through the movie, that DONKEY PUNCH starts to wane as the script dives into slasher territory when the survivors’ paranoia unleash deadly emotions. Whilst the movie doesn’t quite descend into horror movie cliché it does seem as though the careful characterisations steadily built up in the earlier parts of the movie are pulled apart in order to deliver further on-screen carnage.
Gore fans won’t be disappointed, as the film serves up several interesting death scenes that include an impressive flare-gun sequence and rotor blade incident. The director gets excellent performances from his entire cast, whom are all to be congratulated for their willingness to tackle very physical and demanding roles. DONKEY PUNCH ought to do for it’s young British talent what TRAINSPOTTING did twelve years ago.
Horror fans wishing to see more of Jaime Winstone can look forward to the interesting Zombie/Big Brother mini-series DEAD SET on E4 on the run-up to Halloween.
DONKEY PUNCH hits DVD on November 10th.
Carl T. Ford
Directed by Oliver Blackburn
English language / UK / 2008 / 99 minutes / Colour
Region 2 / PAL
An Optimum Home Entertainment Release
DVD release date 13th October 2008