“Never kidnap a nun,” bumbling bank robber Johnny Lou Lester (director Kerry Beyer) warns us at the beginning of “Bad Habits.” Such an act merely invites some “seriously bad karma”. So does looking up her skirt after she’s tied up…and getting caught at it by your greedy ex-stripper girlfriend Marcy (Tonie Perensky). Yet, the fear of bad karma doesn’t stop Johnny from doing any of this. Johnny, it would seem, doesn’t have a heck of a lot of common sense.
But at least he’s not a cold-blooded killer. The same may or may not be true of Marcy, who coolly insists that Johnny kill their habited hostage (Cynthia Aguiar) in order to keep her quiet and thus avoid a lifetime exile to Mexico. Considering that Kerry Beyer’s black comedy opens up with Johnny lying on the floor, bleeding badly from a gunshot wound to the chest, it’s a fairly safe bet to assume that this little heist may indeed have run afoul of some nasty karma somewhere along the way.
“Bad Habits” is a tangy taste of Texas white trash. It should be duly noted, however, that any real Texas trailer park denizens who might try to pull off a stunt such as this one are not likely to be as ruggedly handsome as Beyer’s Johnny or as sexy as Scream Queen-in-waiting Perensky.
This is a simple little film, punched up with just enough good-natured naughtiness to keep you watching. Even though the viewer knows that Johnny somehow gets pretty messed up, it’s still a lot of fun watching the events leading up to that point unfold in their own surprising fashion. Three stars for this entertaining entry from the Lone Star State.