Bring Me The Head Of The Machine Gun Woman (Chile 2012)

Rating: *
Review Date: 10/26/13
Cast: Matías Oviedo, Fernanda Urrejola

A low budget exploitation film from Chile that attempts to emulate the "Grand Theft Auto" video game series. Santiago (Matías Oviedo) is a pathetic loser who lives with his mom and wastes all of his free time playing violent video games. A local gangster named Che Longana (laughably translated as "Che Sausage" in the subtitles) puts a bounty of $300 million dollars on the notorious assassin known as "Machine Gun Woman" (Fernanda Urrejola), and through a stroke of bad luck, Santiago finds himself in the middle of their blood feud. Che gives Santiago 24 hours to deliver the Machine Gun Woman to him or forfeit his life, which turns his world into a real-life video game. Will he be able to survive long enough to complete his mission, or will it be "game over" for our hapless hero?

Not surprisingly, the movie is terrible and the production values are awful. While it was obviously shot on a very low budget, it's not clear to me whether they took extra steps to intentionally make it look bad. I'm pretty sure it was shot on video, and they added fake film scratches in post to give it a more rugged 1970's look. It's distracting and not particularly effective at evoking the desired response, because it still looks like video. Physical squibs are mixed with digital blood effects to create unremarkable bullet wounds. The cinematography is poor and the editing is absolutely atrocious. The director's favorite trick is to place a chase camera behind and slightly above Santiago's char to give the impression of a video game presentation. This gets old after about five seconds, and they use this technique throughout the entire film. The presentation of Machine Gun Woman is laughably tacky and hopelessly inept. She wears garish makeup and parades around in trashy lingerie with all the presence and appeal of a cheap stripper. This isn't the actress's fault, however, as she gives a strong and convincing performance that's far better than the story deserves. Likewise, even though Santiago is a dislikable creep, Matías Oviedo delivers a solid and sympathetic performance, and his utter helplessness comes across as all too real.

Overall, the film feels like an amateur attempt by someone trying to emulate the style and tone of Quentin Tarantino, which is almost always a recipe for disaster. It attempts to balance its overly violent content with tongue-in-cheek humor, but it fails to be entertaining. The forced sexualization of Machine Gun Woman downplays her potency, which negates the intended effect. Unless you're looking for cheap thrills to satisfy the mentality of a thirteen year old boy, you're probably better off avoiding this one.