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February 6, 2011

Donkey Punch

by Franz Patrick


Donkey Punch (2008)
★★ / ★★★★

Donkey Punch is the term used when a man and a woman are engaged in anal sex and the man punches a woman on the back of the head. Supposedly, the anus tightens and it gives the man more pleasure. Now that we have the definition out of the picture, I wished I would have enjoyed the film a lot more because its nightmare-at-sea backdrop reminded me Phillip Noyce’ thrilling “Dead Calm.” In “Donkey Punch,” three girls (Sian Breckin, Nichola Burley, Jaime Winstone) met four guys (Tom Bluey, Julian Morris, Jay Taylor, Robert Boulter) in a bar–who were obviously looking for sex–and the girls almost immediately agreed to go aboard a yacht. After one of the guys donkey punched one of the girls, he accidentally broke her neck. The rest of them had to decide what to do with the dead body. All of the characters lacked common sense and moral compass. Honestly, it didn’t surprise me because they were rich and (arguably) good-looking and that’s a common conceit when it comes to thrillers like this. But what I didn’t expect was its lack of ambition to turn the genre around and deliver twists that worked. After the borderline pornographic sex scene that went terribly wrong, it was a standard turning-on-each-other picture and it was a matter of guessing who would make it until the very end. I became so bored that I wished the shark from Steven Spielberg’s “Jaws” would have appeared to eat them all up. (The film did have nice shots underwater where the shark could’ve appeared from an angle.) I wanted to see blood and carnage with a little bit of imagination and intelligence on the side. I was sick and tired of their whining and “Oh, my gods!” When the two girls were locked in a room, they spent their time crying and arguing instead of formulating a plan to outsmart those stupid and indecisive men. And when the girls were out and about in the yacht, they didn’t bother to look for weapons. The kitchen was not that far. They didn’t even need knives or guns. It would have been so much more fun if the characters were smart enough to use chemicals or fires or electricity. In a nutshell, the film being set at sea was utterly useless. The script got stuck in delivering creativity that the story might as well have been set in Woodsboro like in Wes Craven’s “Scream.” Written and directed by Oliver Blackburn, “Donkey Punch” is a one-joke, straight-faced, non-thrilling thriller that glorified sex and drugs. As far as survival story goes, the film lacked tension and therefore it was no fun. I wished I watched an episode of “Gossip Girl” instead.

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