Donkey Punch

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Posted January 21, 2009 in Film

Three British girls and four British boys stumble drunkenly onto a yacht off the coast of Mallorca in Oliver Blackburn’s brutally perfect genre gutwrencher. The sun is bright, the water is warm, and the hormones race until one girl is killed in the act of lust when one of the sailors gives her a “donkey punch”—a thwack to the back of the head meant to stay folkloric. The death is half accidental, all stupidity; what follows is practicality gone savage as each partier realizes they need to save their ass. Some will see the bikinis and the sex and decry Donkey Punch as the exploitation of two slags and a prude—a viewpoint as myopic and sexist as what it purports to condemn. These are three average girls (Sian Breckin, Nichola Burley, and Jaime Winstone) playing a holiday fantasy game which, under the influence of increasingly heavy intoxicants, escalates into a sobering hell. Blackburn and co-writer David Bloom have done a tidily effective job of making characters out of victims, particularly in the fellows (Robert Boulter, Tom Burke, Julian Morris and Jay Taylor), who with the exception of thuggish Burke, start out interchangeably bland only to reveal a rats nest of allegiances and cutthroat motivations. Donkey Punch is almost impossibly hard to watch, and that’s exactly what it wants. (Amy Nicholson)

 


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