The Horror Honeys: They Came for Her Head... She Cut Them to Pieces!

They Came for Her Head... She Cut Them to Pieces!

A Revenge Honey Review by Linnie

Bring Me the Head of the Machine Gun Woman (2012)

Grindhouse cinema has long been an major influence on the style of independent horror film. In the 70s, theaters in New York and Los Angeles began competing with the fatal allure of television by showing movies that you could never see on TV. The films that played in grindhouse cinemas were filled to the brim with sex, gory violence, and enough swearing to make Tarantino blush. If you weren't lucky enough to be of age during the golden years of the grindhouse, many of the movies were available during the heyday of VHS culture, leading to a generation of future filmmakers embracing the barebones, balls-to-the-wall aesthetic. As such, we have directors such as Quentin Tarantino and Robert Rodriguez paying tribute to the grindhouse cinema that inspired them.

Which brings us to today's Revenge Honey review: Ernesto Díaz Espinoza's Bring Me the Head of the Machine Gun Woman, a film that plays with both the conventions of the grindhouse style, as well as video game culture, and while far from perfect, is an entertaining nugget of throwback fun.

The Story: Video-game obsessed DJ Santiago works at a club owned by violent criminal kingpin, Che Longana. Longana has put out a hit on his ex-girlfriend, a skilled hitwoman known as Machine Gun Woman, and when Santiago overhears the plan, he is drawn in to the plot against his will in order to keep his life. Competing against an army of like-minded mercenaries, Santiago quickly finds that all his video games haven't prepared him for the real world of challenges of being an assassin, or for the distinct possibility that he may fall in love with the beautiful and enigmatic Machine Gun Woman.

Machine Gun Woman is purely grindhouse: full of film scratches and kinetic camera work. The blood flows bright and it flows plentifully. But Espinoza also frames the movie in the context of a video game, where Santiago must complete missions, and every assassin's appearance is accompanied by information about his value. At it's basest level, Scott Pilgrim vs. The World + The Professional = Bring Me the Head of the Machine Gun Woman.

Fernanda Urrejola plays La Mujer Metralleta (The Gun Woman), and she is an absolute vision. Urrejola looks as if she was pulled directly out of a 70s grindhouse revenge film, all fishnets and leather gun holsters and perfectly disheveled hair. As Machinegun Woman, she is a tornado of pain, blowing away anyone who gets in her way, all while maintaining her poise and style. While it's been three years since the film's initial release, I am hoping that this character could turn into a franchise.

As Santiago, Matías Oviedo is an endearing and hapless hero to Urrejola's anti-hero. A mama's boy entirely obsessed with video games with little life experience out in the real world. As he falls from one accidental success to the other, on a collision course with the inevitable, you can't help but appreciate his idiocy. Santiago is a stand-in for every manchild created by the entitlement generation, but unlike most of his real-world counterparts, there is something generally likable about him. That's a testament to Machine Gun Woman's script.

Is Bring Me the Head of the Machine Gun Woman perfect? No; it's too short and I would have preferred a little more time spent on characterization of Machine Gun Woman herself. But as far as grindhouse throwbacks go, it is easily one of the best I've seen in quite some time.

Revenge Honey Rating: 3 1/2 Drumming Assassins out of 5

Bring Me the Head of the Machine Gun Woman is available on Netflix Streaming, iTunes
Amazon Instant Video, YouTube VOD, Google Play, and blu-ray/DVD

Do you have a grindhouse favorite?
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