In the film, BASTARD, the story begins when 2 serial killer newlyweds, Hannah, and West, pick up 2 runaways in Betty and Jake, who have just escaped their turbulent homefront. Betty and Jake are along for the ride, as Hannah and West, (who happen to be musicians in a band called "Royal Cunt") head out to the mountain town of Courtland for a gig. But when they reach Courtland, the group finds that they have mistakenly booked the wrong kind of gig. Now stuck in the mountain town, they have nowhere to go, and with the serial killers essentially on the run(unbeknown to their passengers), they look for a place to stay for awhile. That is when they come across a Bed & Breakfast located up in the mountains, which is owned and operated by a woman named Rachael. Here, it doesn't take them long to settle in, and everything seems to be going well, that is until a killer makes its presence known. Soon, the masked, and elusive killer begins to take out those, in and around the Bed and Breakfast, one by one, as one question arises : is the killer simply killing at random, or do they have a specific purpose for their actions?
For me, the film, BASTARD, a film, which was co-directed by Powell Robinson and Writer Patrick Robert Young, is a tough one for me to judge. It's a film that I went into knowing that it has received a lot of praise, praise. This got me excited about checking it out. I have seen it being called things such as "the most realistic/authentic retro Slasher yet". Saying something like that carries a lot of weight, so with that I went into BASTARD expecting a lot. However, coming away from it, I believe that I may have set my expectations a little too high. Yes, BASTARD has its decent moments, but personally, I feel that it is just not as good as others make it out to be.
I will start by saying that one of the good things about BASTARD is that it gets off to a good start with the the way in which it chooses to introduce its characters. Basically providing each main character, or characters with their own brief, dramatized segment in the beginning(We have a newlywed couple, who are serial killers, in Hannah and West, a brother and sister in Jake and Betty, who are having some sort of trouble at home, which has led them to run away. And lastly, we have a suicidal cop, in ___________, as he appears to want to take his life due to his Homosexuality), which introduces us properly to each character. However, after getting off to a promising start, after the characters settle into place, the film also settles into a pace that sort of drags along until of course, the brunt of the killing begins. After the initial kill, it seems like an eternity passes before any other kind of action occurs. In fact, it's not until the film's final 20 minutes that the film really picks up. But with this said, it's at this time, that I must admit, that BASTARD gets really good, as several big revelations give the film a much darker, deeper meaning. I would even say that it's grimly poetic in some twisted way. I really did enjoy the film's last half hour, as we not only get a motive for the killer, but also learn something else about a set of our characters. It's all pretty intense, which eventually brings the film to a rather nice conclusion. I just wish that the rest of the film could have been as interesting, and unsettling. However, what we are left with here, is a film that begins well, and then slows down, only to get great in the end. It's fairly uneven in my opinion.
However, with this in mind, I will say that when it comes to acting, everyone in the film is above average for this type of film, with Actresses Rebekah Kennedy, and Tonya Kay being the film's true stand outs. While Kay's "Rachael" character goes to places that are quite unpredictable, it is Kennedy as "Betty", whose emotional performance, really carries the weight of the film, as Betty comes out of her shell in the end, to take charge, in true Slasher film fashion.
But overall, BASTARD, is a film that I went into, really wanting to like and enjoy, but honestly, I felt that it, in the end, just underperformed as a complete film. Not only does the middle portion of BASTARD seem to drag, the film's action is also difficult to follow along with. When it comes to the various kills seen throughout, it is often difficult to tell, just how a person is killed, as most of the kill scenes contain quick cuts, or other kinds of edits, making it difficult for the viewer to get a clear view. Which is just another thing that keeps the overall interest down throughout, making it a tough one to keep with. Yes, the last half hour does raise the bar a bit, but unfortunately, for me, it just wasn't enough to balance things out.
3.5/10 One is cut open from the back, and has their spine pulled out, a hook impalement, a head wound, face laceration, and a few other instances of blood. Most of it, as I said is difficult to see.
5.5/10 Bastard does have a score that is kind of nice. Taking a page from classic films like HALLOWEEN, the film employs, a electronic/synthesizer based score, which is used to create atmosphere.
IMPRESSION OF THE FILM
As I hinted at above, had BASTARD been able to have the same feel and effectiveness as it has in its last act, I would have enjoyed the film much more, and this review would been far more favorable. But as it stands, I have to be honest. I found most of the film to be pretty dull, and uneventful. As the actual "slashing" in this film has little effect in this Slasher, it's not until almost at the very end of the film that things begin to turn around for the better. However, It just doesn't come soon enough to save the film.