Donkey Punch Film Review - Never Set Sail with Strangers


Sex. Drugs. Alcohol. Strangers. Seclusion.

Ne’er do the combination mix to create anything but misfortune and chaos. No matter how innocently it begins. No matter how consensual the moment. No matter how seemingly perfect the setting and circumstances may be. The combination is trouble; at least in the movies. And the latest film from Magnet Releasing's Six-Shooter Film Series, Donkey Punch, is no exception.

Nichola Burley in "Donkey Punch"


Tammi (Nichola Burley), Lisa (Sian Breckin) and Kim (Jamie Winstone) are on holiday; the goal is to chase away Tammi’s cheating-boyfriend blues. After for a weekend in Mallorca, Lisa and Kim are determined to make sure Tammi has a great time. They find three mischievous young men at the first club they hit. Marcus (Jay Taylor), Bluey (Tom Burke) and Josh (Julian Morris).

                                                                      Recognizing that they have found a trio of “goers”, the men invite the women back to the yacht that they crew, for one last night of partying before their gig is up. Of course still with Tammi’s morale in mind, they go. When they arrive, Sean (Robert Boulter) is the dutiful shipmate who stayed behind to mind the ship. At first Sean resists being irresponsible. But eventually, the boys convince Sean to take the party onto the ocean where they came be as loud and as bad as they like. Both Tammi and Sean are attracted by their mutual introverted nature, and stay topside, talking, bonding. Below deck, the other five 20-somethings partake in sex, drugs, videotaping, general naughtiness and oops, in an instant, things go wrong and Lisa winds up dead.

(l to r) Julian Morris, Jay Taylor & Tom Burke in "Donkey Punch"

The general concensus is that it was an accident. But once the boys decide it would be the best thing for everyone if they dump the body at sea, and once the tape of the whole incident mysteriously disappears, it starts to feel more and more like murder to our girls. Once the first death occurs, it quickly becomes a game of ten little Indians. As alliances constantly shift, there is not telling who will buy it next or by whose hand. The men try to maintain control with the advantage of brute strength and nautical and mechanical knowledge of the boat’s workings.

Julian Morris in "Donkey Punch"

The tension of this film is great, building moment by moment. Director Olly Blackburn manages the pressure valve of this story judiciously, defused measuredly as things seem to escalate and level off in a meticulous balancing act; that is until the action suddenly flies out of control like runaway train. Josh never stops being the “boy next door”, even as we watch him succumbs freefall to his most hidden, sadistic nature. Meanwhile, Sean struggles to be the portrait of common sense and morality in a situation that incriminates the one he wants to be loyal to.

Jamie Winstone in "Donkey Punch"

Donkey Punch is pretty much Dead Calm (Nicole Kidman & Billy Zane) revisited for singles. Blackburn’s script does a great job of illustrating the way adrenaline works during a crisis situation, and how that reaction is completely different from person to person. The film also depicts how fear can reduce humanity to the basest and how the survival instinct is perhaps the most primal and the most powerful instinct of all. The film’s predecessor does do a slightly better job of staying in the realm of reality. Some of the feats performed by our pencil thin heroines are a bit hard to buy at times, but at the last stages in the game, the film is coming to a close and you simply play along to see how it ends.

Jamie Winstone (left) and Sian Breckin in "Donkey Punch"

Donkey Punch is a well-crafted story that offered some truly great cinematography and a few shine performances by Burke and Morris. Unfortunately, it ultimately fall prey to the clichés of its genre. I was really hoping that I would be surprised this time.

Magnet Releasing will open DONKEY PUNCH in Los Angeles and New York on
January 23, 2009, followed by a national roll out.

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