Writers Brian Darwas and Jennifer Carchietta have answered the age old film question: what would happen if I Spit On Your Grave and Inside had a baby? Premiering at the Brooklyn Horror Film Festival, Get My Gun is 70’s exploitation meets French Extremism and it’s surprisingly layered.
Starring Kate Hoffman as Amanda, a punk rock chick with a bad attitude and even shittier job, she finds herself the victim of a prank that will, ultimately, send her down a path she never imagined. A native New Yorker, Kate has just moved into a new apartment and she works as housekeeping in one of those infamous “pay by the hour” motels. If you ever needed a reminder that hotel rooms are cesspools of human depravity, this movie is it. Despite cleaning up used condoms, fecal matter and a million other disgusting items left by the guests, Kate enjoys the people watching aspect of the job. After being paired with Catherine (Roseanne Rubino) to train her in the art of apathetic housekeeping, the two become fast friends and easily settle into the kind of banter that is rarely found with fellow employees. Amanda is the one who sets the standard of pulling pranks, but when the tables are turned on her, everything goes downhill quickly.
I’m loathe to highlight a rape scene, but sometimes it’s warranted. Amanda’s anger, fear, humiliation, disbelief and a thousand other emotions are palpable. Add to this the music that amps the tortuous suspense up even further and your mind will fill in the rest. Darwas does not force us to endure watching the rape scene, but we do have to hear it and that’s worse. The final moment of this scene is gasp inducing and Hoffman is nothing short of stellar.
The choices Amanda makes after the rape are a little hard to accept, but she breaks your heart all the same. And in an uncharacteristic choice to “make something good come from something bad,” Amanda has decided to keep the baby that resulted from the rape. But not before toying with the option of adoption via a sketchy Craigslist-type ad.
Ultimately, Amanda has to fight for her life and the life of her unborn baby and this is where the movie gets a bit hard to swallow, but at no point are you willing to look away from the screen. Get My Gun does a beautiful job of focusing on the mundane details of day to day life without ever feeling like a slog. Darwas has a history in documentary film and it’s the small, visual moments he shares that make the movie feel so personal. Amanda may perform some truly outlandish acts in the third chapter of the film, but you’re so invested in her by this point, that you don’t mind. And when she finally gets revenge on her rapist, it’s pretty awesome.
Get My Gun suffers from a few plot points that feel too familiar and a few that are just too far out to take seriously, but that is all overshadowed by Hoffman’s performance and Darwas’ ability to make basic, everyday activities and conversations feel important. Carchietta’s female voice in the writing keeps this from being just another exploitation flick and, in a uniquely strange twist, Get My Gun manages to bring a certain level of thoughtfulness to the rape/revenge genre.
Viewed as part of the Brooklyn Horror Film Festival
Lisa Fremont | Twitter: @lcfremont
Images: Brooklyn Horror Fest