Donkey Punch

Posted: February 06, 2009

Handsome hedonists go yachting on the Mediterranean - armed with DV cam, party drugs, champagne and galley knives - in the two-thirds thrilling, one-third exasperating Donkey Punch.

A photogenic first film from U.K. music video director Olly Blackburn, Donkey Punch opens on the Spanish resort of Mallorca, where a trio of English girls go clubbing, meet three British lads, and are invited back to the fancy boat that they crew. (The owners are away.) Pulling out of port, the seven (there's another guy onboard) are in high spirits. The ship's master suite becomes a site for pairing off, and sharing off - the videocam capturing it all - but then something nasty occurs. Dread, danger, betrayal and grisly violence follows accordingly.

Nicola Burley, who gets the film's first and last shots, plays the friend still hurting from a broken relationship back home, and the one most reluctant to clamber aboard for "a drink" with these boys. Tom Burke is Bluey, the crudest, lewdest and perhaps least honorable of the young men. He's a self-confessed sex addict with X-rated tales to tell, and vials of powder and pills to push on his guests.

Until director Blackburn throws up his hands in the final act - and throws out his character development - Donkey Punch (which was actually filmed off of South Africa, not Spain) offers a gripping mix of sexual heat and nasty menace. It's Dead Calm meets Very Bad Things, with English accents.

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