By Jessica Baxter | August 27, 2009

There’s no question about what director Joseph Guzman was going for with “Run! Bitch Run!” He aimed to make a 70’s-style sexploitation film and that’s precisely what he accomplished. Quentin Tarantino and Rob Zombie would be proud. If sex (well, mostly rape), drugs, and constant bleeding aren’t your bag, you’d best stay the hell away from this film. If you like a bit of the ultraviolence, however, read on.

“Run! Bitch Run!” follows two Catholic teenagers who are on a mission to sell religious paraphernalia and raise money for their school. It’s not a bad idea, actually. If anyone’s going to sell bibles to heathens, it’s young girls in a shorter-than-regulation plaid skirt. In true Catholic schoolgirl fashion, one of them is just a little slutty. Unfortunately, the townspeople of Mosely (a tribute to Bill, perhaps?) don’t see it that way. The girls are met with profanity, slammed doors, shotguns, and a punk kid who rips them off. And those are the nice folk. Their persistence is punished when they knock on the door of Lobo’s brothel just as he’s blowing a hole into the head of a disobedient w***e. What happens to them next is bloodier and more sinister than the brimstoneiest pages in the Old Testament.

Rest assured, as the poster indicates, there’s also payback. Hell hath no fury like a Catholic schoolgirl disillusioned. But before the payback, there is MUCH scorn. Lobo isn’t the only bad wolf in the den. There’s also Marla, a w***e with an insatiable libido and a nasty habit of killing her customers, and Clint, a meek but violent lackey. Marla also has a bit of a Lady MacBeth complex. It seems these three have seen “The Devil’s Rejects” one too many times.

Speaking of, fans of Rob Zombie’s work might notice a few convenient parallels (“Run rabbit, run,” anyone?), but it’s not an overt rip-off by any means. “House of 1000 Corpses” and “Devil’s Rejects” are more of an homage to films of that era, while “Run, Bitch Run!” could easily be mistaken as the real deal. Guzman and Robert James Hayes aren’t quite as effective as Zombie at writing compelling evil characters or memorable dialog, but that actually gives “Run! Bitch Run!” more authenticity. You’ll never find yourself endeared to Marla and Lobo as you might Baby or Captain Spalding. Thus, the revenge portion of the narrative is all the more satisfying. The gore effects are terrific and there’s good use of pacing, which is key in a story with so many rape and torture scenes. The cinematography also deserves a mention as they’ve deftly captured the lovely, warm, 70’s film look. “Run! Bitch Run!” may not be a repeat-viewer, but it’s absolutely worth a first look.

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