A Woman’s Scorn (2007)

Rating: C+

Dir: Vincent Bilancio
Star: Yvette McClendon, Damien Matteo, David Rosenhaus, Kurt Sinclair
a.k.a. Killers Eroticus

I think it’s safe to say that the abortion by coat-hanger which opens the film got our full attention, in a way few microbudget works manage. It is, however, equally true to say that the film never quite plumbs the same depths of depravity again, opting instead for a modest approach, nearer to Natural Born Killers, though without the social satire. By chance, Julie Pepper (McClendon), the unwilling abortion victim, discovers that Bobby (Matteo), her co-worker in Cheech’s Pizza [best pizza in town! 2-for-1’s! Hot waitresses! The product placement here is not subtle], is a gun nut – and emphasis there should be placed equally on “gun” and “nut”.

She takes her revenge on her ex-boyfriend, but then discovers she likes killing as much as a) sex, and b) he does. They go on a killing spree, but Detectives Harris and Ment (Sinclair and Rosenhaus) are following the trail of bodies. The cheapness is occasionally painfully obvious, especially on the audio, which often leaves a bit to be desired, while the cops don’t quite behave in the way prescribed in the police manual [yeah, interview a victim’s mother right at the gory crime scene; that’ll work…]. There’s also an odd gay subtext with them that doesn’t go anywhere.

However, Julie and Bobby are genuinely unsettling characters, in particular a surreal (dream?) sequence where Bobby finds a TV evangelist speaking to him, which ends in a lurid and messy fashion. More of this excess would have been welcome, since the film otherwise has a tendency to be a bit too pedestrian: NBK was a significantly edgier, and consequently more effective, glimpse into a pair of seriously damaged psyches “redeemed” by love. These are very clearly not normal people, and their depiction should reflect that rather more. Still, the first five minutes alone justify this film’s existence.