Cherry Bomb (2011) [Blu-Ray]
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In homage to the action films of the early 1980s, the beautiful Cherry is an exotic dancer who is raped and attacked by a group of sleazy men in the club where she works. The men escape justice and she vows revenge and kills them off one by one. Things start to spiral out of control when a mysterious hit man named Bull is hired to put an end to Cherry's bloody tirade. She soon realizes that there is more at stake than she ever imagined.
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The major problem I have with this movie is it is about a stripper who gets attacked, rape and seeks revenge. The only thing you the viewer see is the revenge. Allow me to explain, Cherry (the title character of this film) is a stripper and you never see her nude. In addition, the attack in question is never really shown. Now I don't want to sound like a sick pervert or a misogynist, but if you are going to have a movie about a stripper there should be some level of nudity. Besides what sleazy 80s movie didn't have nudity? It is like making a movie about boxing without ever showing a fight. Boy those "Rocky" movies would have been different. And in order for the revenge to have some merit, some of the attack needs to be displayed. The following formula is what made "I Spit on Your Grave" so amazing. I found the attack in ISOYG so unsettling that when the revenge came it brought some merit and credibility. Not for nothing, but this same equation worked for how many "Death Wish" films?
As for the acting, well it really isn't that great. In contrast, I didn't go into this movie looking for award winning acting. Yet the actress who played Cherry did have a likeable quality. As for the campy value, it is pretty high. See my previous comment about the acting. Also look for the hit man named Bull who looks like a cross between The Hulk and Jules from "Pulp Fiction". As for character development, there is none. The movie has several loop holes; the estranged relationship with Cherry and her brother and where did a stripper learn to become Rambo? In defense some 80s movies that "Cherry Bomb" mimics were guilty of this too, so I can let it slide.
At the end of the day a movie is about entertainment and I would be lying if I didn't say I found entertainment in this film. The action was pretty good and the revenge in question was alright. I really should only give this film three stars but I did find some charm to it. Yet a word of advice to the film makers, next time you make a movie about a certain character like a "stripper", nudity is required. In addition, if you are going to focus a movie around a certain situation, like an attack, showing this situation is required. That is what your "target" audience is going to want.
But I'll tell you, I have it bad for Julin (aka Julin Jean). I loved her in Sweatshop & The Final, even though she only had bit parts. And yes, her side career as a lingerie model does provide lots of intriguing imagery. So I knew that I was sort of "letting the little head do the thinking" when I decided to buy the movie Cherry Bomb.
Really all I knew about the movie was that Julin was in it. There was a cute girl in red underwear on the thumbnail, but I couldn't tell if it was my lovely J-girl or not.
But it was. Julin is in center stage in this one. As a stripper who gets gang raped and then goes on a brutal revenge spree, discovering that she has a special genius for retribution.
And you know what? Julin was awesome! She has the chops. Not just the chops for the by-the-books cheesy stripper revenge Grindhouse exploitation flick that this film looks like at the outset, but the chops for the really strong, gritty dramatic moments that are artfully woven in.
Among other things this is the best stripper movie I've ever seen--not saying much because there aren't many (horror movies tend to be extreme, and if you're just looking for an easy victim why not write in a prostitute rather than a stripper? It's a more extreme choice...) and the ones there are tend to be way too goofy (eg., Strippers vs Zombies. Ugh). Most poignantly, you get a sense of the general scorn toward strippers that really exists out there...I think there are a lot of people out there who do believe that No Means No is a rule that stops when it comes to any sort of sex industry. If you're doing that sort of sub-legal, taboo job, you really are "asking for it."
When in truth my experience is that strippers are no more messed up than any of the rest of us, and tend to possess keys to happiness in life that few others do...and that's my RfEAL LIFE OPINION.
While they are hunting the rapists a hired killer(Allen Hackley), who looks like they got a Samuel L. Jackson clone, is after them.
One of the first things you notice is that Julin Jean's chest is camera shy. Only extras are topless. On the plus side Julin is able to project that dumb stripper/ho mentality, perhaps a little too well. Unfortunately the script, dialouge, and direction couldn't do her justice. For instance, a man gets stabbed in the stomach and is dead in 3 seconds. The suicide was poorly developed and completely unbelievable. Even Cherry herself was extremely chipper the day after she was gang raped. They made unbelievable characters and played them in stiff roles.
Parental Guide: F-bomb, rape (not too graphic) stripper nudity.