Run! Bitch, Run!
by Del Harvey
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Talk about your bad days! Two sweet young Catholic school girls (Cheryl Lyone and Playboy’s Christina DeRosa) are going door-to-door selling bibles and religious paraphernalia in some Godforsaken backwoods part of the country when they knock on the wrong door. They run into a slimy pimp and drug dealer in the midst of terminating the employment of one of his ho’s with a .357 revolver to the head. The girls are discovered when they scream. Well, who could blame them? The ho’s brains and blood were splashed all over the window right in front of them; who wouldn’t scream?
They are taken hostage, beaten, raped… yeah, it’s one of those. But you know what? It wasn’t half bad. It’s filmed in a grindhouse style that works better than much of Tarantino’s efforts in his film by the same title. In fact, Run! Bitch, Run! is reminiscent of the better trailers which were made for the Tarantino/Rodriguez spectacle. And that’s part of it’s charm. Nasty and brutal subject matter aside, this film was made with an eye on giving substance to those very elements, thus inspiring the viewer to root for the girls as they struggle to survive their ordeal and then seek revenge upon their tormenters.
This is the debut of director Joseph Guzman, who co-wrote the script. Guzman does a very good job of giving these pulp characters just the right amount of dimension so that we root for the weak and cheer on their retribution seeking against the abusive dealer/pimp and his psycho girlfriend (Ivet Corvea). And he does a very good job of helping newcomer Cheryl Lyone give a fresh take on the female-as-victim in her leading role as Catherine. Ms. Lyone’s performance shows both moral strength and a fragile vulnerability, difficult for any actor to pull off. But she manages to emote both the little-girl-lost as well as a woman desperate to set the world right again, no matter what the cost.
Another reason I believe the film succeeds is in the choice of pitting good girl wronged against the psycho prostitute played by Ivet Corvea. Ms. Corvea conveys a twisted evil in her character which strikes just the right balance up against Ms. Lyone’s tortured youth.
Run! Bitch, Run! is not for everyone. But for anyone who enjoys a good pulp film with a revenge motif, it supplies plenty of the stuff of which any good cult classic is made.
Look for it on DVD in early December. Distributed by Vicious Circle Films.
Del Harvey is the founder of Film Monthly, a film teacher, a writer and a film critic in Chicago.
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