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Set Adrift
by Scott Tunstall

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Get ready for a wild ride.

Get ready for a wild ride.
I really enjoy films that show an audience how fast life can take a drastic turn for the worse at a moment's notice. Everything starts out happy and fun, then an event occurs which changes the path for all those involved. Naturally, horror movies utilize this technique quite often. The kids go off to summer camp and next thing you know, Jason Vorhees is hacking off heads. Or the kids rent a cabin in the middle of the woods, only to have some demonic spirit persuade them into chopping one another to pieces. Or a group of young party people take a boat out to sea and something goes horribly awry.


World travel has always seemed like a
Good times.

Good times.
cool thing to do. I like adventure. Foreign countries have a lot to offer. Different language, great architecture and beautiful cities sounds good to me. However, if you watch flicks like HOSTEL and TOURISTAS you get the impression that an excursion to an exotic land is a foolish endeavor, to say the least. Being tortured by masked maniacs and organ-harvesting surgeons isn't my ideal vacation. What about a day trip on a yacht? That should be harmless, right? Well, maybe not.

Brits Lisa, Tammi and Kim are holidaying in Spain having a grand ol' time. While bar-hopping, the ladies meet a group of British lads who invite them aboard a luxury boat that 
Queen of the world?

Queen of the world?
they have been tasked to babysit. Looking for a good time, the girls agree to join the boys on the high seas. The fun-loving gang start off with a little swimming before graduating to drinking and drugs. Then they retire to the bedroom for more games. Unfortunately, a sexual encounter results in a tragic accident for one of the girls. Panic takes hold, trust erodes and they quickly turn on one another. What ensues is a violent men versus women showdown at sea.

Writer/Director Oliver Blackburn steers this thriller into increasingly dangerous waters. Stories like this have a tendency to border on the unrealistic and the ridiculous. DONKEY PUNCH is neither.
This looks bad.

This looks bad.
Instead, it preys on the most powerful of human emotions -- fear. It uses fear to motivate the disparate characters throughout a plot that spirals out of control during the final two acts. There are a couple over-the-top moments, but matters progress in a sensible, albeit bloody, fashion.

You won't come away enlightened after watching DONKEY PUNCH, but it offers more entertainment than the majority of dreck that passes for horror these days. It's also amusing to point and laugh at the utter stupidity displayed during a crisis. I would hope I'd be smart enough not to find myself in a similar situation as these doomed youths; however, if I was, now I know what not to do.

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Eye On The Overlooked
Every other Sunday

A lot of great movies slip through the cracks. I'm here to catch them.

Other Columns
Other columns by Scott Tunstall:

High School Can Be Murder

A Wolf In Girl's Clothing

Southern Hospitality

Ten Great Films From the 2000s

Down With The System

All Columns

Scott Tunstall
Scott is a freelance writer currently living in the Southeast. He is a film school grad with a love of theory and screenwriting. His tastes vary from obscure niche films to giant Hollywood blockbusters. In other words, he'll watch pretty much anything.

If you have a comment, question, or suggestion, you can send a message to Scott Tunstall by clicking here.

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