Donkey_PunchORDER DVD

Things start very promisingly for this UK horror/thriller. Some naturalistic dialogue, a measured build-up and then a sudden mistake leading to recriminations and panic. Unfortunately, that is where the good ideas run out and the second half of Donkey Punch is formulaic and pedestrian, wasting a lot of promise.

When three Northern British girls (including Jaime Winstone, last seen fleeing zombies in Dead Set) head away for a holiday in Mallorca, they decide boys are most definitely not on the menu. That is right up until they meet three lads with access to a yacht, drugs and good times.

During the relaxed partying, sexual myths are brought up – notably all those terms you only read about on the Internet or have a friend who knows someone who did it once. Among these terms is the ‘Donkey Punch’, where the male, taking his partner from behind, punches her in the back of the head at the point of his orgasm in order to trigger an involuntary muscle spasm. When the party progresses to a below-decks orgy, someone decides to try this fictional move out for real…with disastrous consequences.

The classic modern horror set-up of the group of young people in an isolated locale has two variants. The first is where some monster/killer stalks them all one-by-one and the second is where the group turns on itself. Donkey Punch is in the latter camp. The risk with this approach is maintaining reasons for multiple characters to commit murder, something the script clearly struggles with.

At first, things are gripping as a death in the group leads to debate and argument. The well-to-do boys argue the body should be thrown overboard, as they have too much to lose if they get caught with drugs and manslaughter. The girls are appalled and a divide separates the two groups, which in turn splinter again as individual motivations become clear. But at this point the template is laid bare, and immediately we know how things will pan out and character actions become frequently forced in order to keep the blood flowing.

And flow it does. Every maritime instrument you can think of gets used to deal death – from knives to ropes to flare guns to, yes, even an outboard motor. Everyone gets in on the death-dealing, regardless of what their characters were like previously, and so it all becomes a little ludicrous. Given the careful realism and tension that had been built up in the first half of the movie, this is a real shame.

Donkey Punch ends up as a slick, trashy thriller, but ultimately disappoints because it promised so much more.

EXTRAS:
  • Making of Donkey Punch
  • Interviews
  • Deleted Scenes
  • Commentary with Director and Producer
  • Trailers

DIRECTOR(S): Oliver Blackburn | COUNTRY: United Kingdom | YEAR 2008 | DISTRIBUTOR(S): Madman Entertainment | RUNNING TIME: 99 minutes | ASPECT RATIO: 16:9 Anamorphic | REGION: 4 | DISCS: 1

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