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directed by Robert Nathan
USA 2014

 

"Lucky Bastard" was a porn website in which fans were invited to have sex with porn stars. It's last video broadcast was meant to be document starlet Ashley Saint's (Betsy Rue) first sex scene with an amateur, but it became an impromptu reality show and eventually a crime scene. Competing with torrents and downloads, site producer Mike (Don McManus) has sunk quite a bit of money into his production, renting a house fitted with eighteen cameras intended for a failed reality show, and promising Ashley to winner Dave G. (Jay Paulson) before securing her agreement. At first, Ashley is reluctant to participate since Mike has a habit of humiliating amateur performers, but she soon starts to get stalker vibes off of unassuming, ex-soldier Dave (especially since he knows her real name). Mike emotionally manipulates and maneuvers the increasingly agitated performers and crew into position, but this may be an instance where the failure of fantasy to live up to expectations has deadly consequences.

A low budget film with a bona fide MPAA NC-17 rating for sexual content, LUCKY BASTARD - not to be confused with the 2009 gay drama of the same name - does indeed feature some frank nudity (digital blurring is used only to obscure genitals in scenes meant to imply hardcore activity) and sexualized situations; but the opening salacious material is far from titillating. While part of the tension comes from what we might see subsequently, suspense and dread supplant prurience as we start to believe that tagline admonition that "This will not end well" (we also learn from the opening that four bodies were found, so we are compelled to see who of the initial five and later additions dies as well as who survives and how/why). It is also refreshing that the shots taken at the morals and professionalism of the porn stars come from an unbalanced character who happily consumes their output. Produced by softcore low-budget exploitation maven Jim Wynorski (THE LOST EMPIRE) - and edited by HELLBOUND: HELLRAISER II director Tony Randel who got his start cutting features for New World Pictures - the film is the debut directorial feature of Robert Nathan, a veteran writer and producer of various incarnations of LAW & ORDER, and boasts a cast that is not exactly high profile but not your usual DTV erotic thriller regulars. Especially good are McManus - a familiar face from episodic TV drama as well as supporting roles in mainstream fare like THE SHAWSHANK REDEMPTION and MAGNOLIA - and Rue, who provided the requisite T&A in Rob Zombie's HALLOWEEN 2 and the MY BLOODY VALENTINE 3D remake but acquits herself well in a lead (her nudity also never seems gratuitous).

Eric Cotenas

Posters

Theatrical Release: 14 February 2014 (USA)

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DVD Review: Revolver Entertainment - Region 1 - NTSC

 

Big thanks to Eric Cotenas for the Review!

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Distribution

Revolver Entertainment

Region 1 - NTSC

Runtime 1:33:51
Video

1.78:1 Original Aspect Ratio

16X9 enhanced
Average Bitrate: 6.65 mb/s
NTSC 720x480 29.97 f/s

NOTE: The Vertical axis represents the bits transferred per second. The Horizontal is the time in minutes.

Bitrate

Audio English Dolby Digital 5.1; English Dolby Digital 2.0 stereo
Subtitles none
Features Release Information:
Studio: Revolver Entertainment

Aspect Ratio:
Widescreen anamorphic - 1.78:1

Edition Details:
• Audio Commentary by co-writer Lucas Kendall and co-writer/director Robert Nathan
• Promo Reel (16:9; 7:28)
• Advance Trailer (16:9; 2:16)
• Theatrical Trailer (16:9; 2:09)
• VOD Trailer (16:9; 1:53)
• TV Commercial (16:9; 0:30)

DVD Release Date: July 1st, 2014
Amaray

Chapters 12

 

Comments

Revolver's dual-layer disc looks as good as the "found footage" camerawork allows with close-ups sporting good detail when they are in focus (characters sometimes move closer or nearer the camera before the focus can catch up). The surveillance footage and the cameras rigged in the house feature various distortions and levels of detail appropriate to the patchwork texture appropriate to the storytelling style. The 5.1 and 2.0 stereo tracks of this dialogue-heavy film is more consistent (possibly even a little unrealistic in its ability to capture all of the relevant dialogue no matter which camera from which distance is photographing it).

Extras are rather sparse, consisting of a commentary track with the co-writer and the director - in which they mention that the pixellation is because they wanted the film to show on HBO where you can't show penetration (and also to obscure the fact that all of the sex really was simulated) - a promo reel, and trailer variations (including one designed specifically for VOD venues).

  - Eric Cotenas

 

 


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DVD Box Cover

CLICK to order from:

 

 

Distribution

Revolver Entertainment

Region 1 - NTSC

 

 




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