I can honestly say I've never seen anything quite like Brian Darwas' Get My Gun. Frankly, I doubt you have either. I still can't tell you if that's a good thing.
It held me all the way through, but at times very reluctantly, like the proverbial bad car crash cliche. I came out with way more questions than answers. My fear is that the answer to all of them is: "Dude, chill. It's grindhouse."
But is it grindhouse... really?
The problem is that sandwiched between the WTF I Spit On Your Sister Act opening and the almost nonsensical last third of the film is an extremely well-acted, creepy, tense, empathic, richly-textured little movie trapped in a celluloid freak-show of a body.
Darwas and his shooter Mary Perino have created a good looking, technically sharp film that's always intriguing and gritty in its realism --- it's unfortunate the story goes so far off the rails in the end. That's painful in this case, because the heart of the movie (and this is one of those performances where you can't imagine another actor doing a better job) is Kate Hoffman, followed a hairs-breadth by Christy Casey winsomely portraying the Best Friend Anyone Could Ever Hope To Have. They have such amazing, natural, charismatic chemistry I would have been happy to see them make beds and talk trash for 90 minutes as they schlep through a hellishly gross-out day job at a suburban sleazoid notel hotel.
In a nice piece of scripting, Casey takes playful revenge on Hoffman, who previously pulled a similar prank, by leading her to walk in on a dangerous and sadistically disturbed pervert (a creepier than crap William Jousset). Bad things quickly ensue but even during this lurid sequence, Darwas and Hoffman hold the reigns tightly, not sparing us any of the horror, but never exploiting it for tawdry thrills either. This isn't Meir Zarchi territory. The rape scene walks a razor line --- this kind of thing is not easy to achieve, just as the easy interplay between Hoffman and Casey isn't either. A good litmus test of any movie is when it flows so perfectly you never have time to analyze it until afterwards... it has you in it's grip and that control *is* the reason people escape to a movie.
But then Get My Gun pulls a complete 180, after Hoffman, following an enormous amount of self-torture, comes across an ad for an all-paid birth and adoption. This is where Darwas drives off a cliff and the complete change in film tone is not a particularly good decision. I'll spare you all the details and the myriad implausible plot twists, resurrections, and Outer Limits costume changes as many have talked of them. No, they don't make any sense. Some even defy gravity in their absurdity.
Which ultimately leaves you with a very uneasy feeling. Did Darwas want to make a full-tilt whackjob grindhouse pic? Or an intense character study? Or a feminist manifesto? Was the whole movie a disingenuous scam? I wish I had more answers. But maybe wanting those answers automatically disqualifies me for Darwas' target audience. That sucks because, by contrast, a highly lauded film like A Vigilante never contains a rape scene yet Olivia Wilde's character is dredged in degradation start to finish, at least ten times worse. At least Hoffman's character has soul, though make no mistake, it's blood red.