BluRay/DVD Reviews

DONKEY PUNCH

By • Jun 22nd, 2009 •

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I guess the first thing I should do is enlighten those of you who are unfamiliar with what this film’s strange title actually means. Don’t feel badly – If you are not a male between the ages of 15-20, or a member of a fraternity, there’s no reason why you should know this.

Now, I’m not going to sugar coat this, and make it sound more tasteful than it actually is, so I apologize for the vulgarity in advance.

A “Donkey Punch” is when a guy is having sex with a woman from behind, and right before he ejaculates, strikes a blow to the back of her neck, causing her muscles to contract, and it is in this clenching action that the man experiences the ultimate climax, and the woman, a headache.

I don’t know if the same rules apply for male-on-male sex. If maybe men have a different spot to be donkey-punched, but being that this is not the case in the film, nor something I particularly like to think about, I will leave this question open to the readers.

When I first heard the title I couldn’t help but chuckle with disbelief. I was never in a Frat, but I was once fifteen, and went to summer camp where some of my peers could write books on all the different things one can do to make sex more humorous. Most involved urine or feces (i.e. Rusty Trombone, Dirty Sanchez, Cleveland Steamer, Blumpkin), all of them sharing the main intention of humiliating the female counterpart. But, even the most enthusiastic of the boys would never dream of actually trying one of these acts.

In the credits for DONKEY PUNCH it says “Screenplay written by Olly BlackBurn and David Bloom”. Then, there is a second credit immediately after that reads “Based on an original idea by Olly Blackburn”. That way, there is no confusion as to who thought of this. He’ll be damned if David Bloom got the credit for revolving a feature film around a donkey punch!

But with all that being said, Olly does deserve a pat on the back (not a pun, I swear), because I never would have thought that this absurd premise would work as well as it does.

A Group of fun-lovin’ British girls on holiday, meet a group of guys with similar interests (so hard to find these days). They all love to get really high, and have sex.

The men invite the ladies aboard their beautiful yacht. On the boat, they drink champagne, listen to music, take ecstasy, go swimming, and eventually smoke crystal meth – which of course leads to a giant orgy below deck. All except for the one “innocent” girl. At first hesitant to join them on the boat, she finally agrees to only one drink. Within five minutes aboard she pops an E pill. So much for her sobriety vow. It becomes apparent that this is our “survivor girl” (I’m not spoiling anything. The term simply means ‘protagonist’ in slasher-movie language. The Jamie Lee Curtis if you will – who refrains from sexual activity while all her friends have trains run over them. Which always raises the question: “why are you friends with these people?”)

Meanwhile, below the deck, the men take turns with the women in a very long, and quite graphic, softcore orgy scene. Then one of the men tries the infamous ‘donkey punch’. The result is not what they expected. The party quickly erupts into boys against girls, and eventually into war. Everyone for themselves. The violence that follows is sometimes shocking and creative (a great scene with a flare gun), while at other times completely illogical (I trust you’ll know them when you see them), but none of this detracts you from the screen.

My main problem with the film is that there is nothing to connect us with the protagonist, or any of the characters for that matter. In order to build suspense the audience should care if SOMEBODY lives or dies. I wasn’t expecting a character study, but a little development would have been nice. Even so, I cannot say the script is a failure; It is tightly structured, and the story never drags.

I know the title is odd, and provocative. I’m sure it accounts for the reason many people rent it, but I couldn’t help but being disappointed by the negative effect it has on the film’s enjoyment. If called something else, the pivotal scene would have been far more shocking. Instead, we wait for it, and when it happens, it doesn’t pack the punch that it should (okay, maybe that one was intentional.)

Another distraction, which is in no way the film’s fault but frustrating nevertheless, is that their accents are so strong I found myself with my finger on the rewind button for the majority of the movie, just to understand what they were saying. The DVD doesn’t help you out, offering no English subtitles. If you thought the TRAINSPOTTING accents were difficult, you ain’t heard nothing yet.

The DVD features both the R rated and unrated version. I watched the unrated and didn’t bother with the other (who would??) My guess is that the sex scene is considerably trimmed.

Overall, DONKEY PUNCH is a well-shot and acted exploitation film that will certainly hold your interest whether you are delighted by the violence or disgusted by it. (This is not to say it is for everybody, and hopefully by now this point has come across.) Although not a complete success, it is an impressive debut for first-time director Olly Blackburn. I’m sure he will go on to make more decent films. I am even more certain that the man is now a legend among his old frat buddies.

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