Donkey punch (2008)

Director: Olly Blackburn Starring: Tom Burke, Sian Breckin, Nichola Burley. UK. 1h 39m

This might just be one of the most marmite movies of the year. Donkey Punch really plays with some exceptional ideas but squanders all the good intentions of a nasty thriller, instead of building up to something more palatable it just gets under the skin for all the wrong reasons.

The first half of the movie, everything is set up perfectly. A group of twentysomethings are on holiday in the sun desperately seeking a good time with all the sex, booze, drugs and tunes that any young person could desire. Taking their party on board a luxury yacht anchored off the coast on an unnamed Spanish island, the film turns into an episode of The Only Way is Essex meets Knife In the Water directed by Larry Clark.

As the drugs start to flow and the bravado is raised, everyone starts bragging about the nastiest sex act they can think of, the showdown, the one act too nasty to talk about is donkey punching! Which is the act of punching your loved one in the back of the head during sex to spark some kind of involuntary muscle spasm. Any normal adult would realise this is bullshit but these youngster’s aren’t that savvy.

Once the deed is done then the film melts into convoluted mess of people trying to outsmart each other, intimidate, blackmail and ultimately kill to survive, what should have been a dangerous escaped of intelligent Maguyver-ness, is brought crashing back to ground by the “everyday” nature of the cast. This motley bunch really aren’t phenomenal in any way and do what common people do, panic and cry.

This party is going overboard

After the best actor of the bunch is incapacitated by a knife to the lung, and is subsequently medicated with a faceful of cocaine, the gore kicks in. There’s just enough of the cheap harrowing thrills to elevate the movie from degrading chit chat to 10% torture porn, but ultimately there’s no safe place to hide, and for a while no one to really route for, it’s each crewmate for themselves and their personas keep switching and changing. It’s interesting as there’s no battle of the sexes, after all the three original crew are all male friends who picked up a trip of girls who are, before the murder, BFF’s! It’s just all fair game and they are happy hunting. The mix of friends are both physical and mental, some people are up front with their murderous schemes ploughing hardware into faces and body parts, while others just try and talk people into succumbing to their doom.

There’s just enough twists and turns to keep an audience watching but it can be hard to get through the degrading lingo and shitty attitudes. The film is not afraid to get gritty with the gore and violence, it needed to make a statement somewhere..

Rating: 5/10

Related: Shrooms (2007), Dead Calm (1989), Sweetheart (2019), Knife in the Water (1962)
Lists: Not So Safe At Sea
Spotlight : Tom Burke

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Trailer

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Pzoh5XvVVjE Podcast

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