The Victim Blu-Ray (2012)
Starring Michael Biehn, Jennifer Blanc, Ryan Honey, Denny Kirkwood and Danielle Harris
Written Reed Lackey and Michael Biehn
Directed by Michael Biehn
New this week from Anchor Bay Entertainment comes the directorial debut of 80’s action star and cult icon Michael Biehn, The Victim. Having written the film as a vehicle for his wife Jennifer Blanc and himself to produce under their new production label, after a rumored wayward promise to director Robert Rodriguez on the set of Planet Terror that he would direct his own film. The only question that remained was whether Biehn could take on all hats behind the scenes and deliver in front of it?
Annie (Blanc) is a dancer by trade and a party girl by nature, but one day her life is put in jeopardy after she’s witnesses the horrific murder of her closest friend Mary (Harris) at a party in the woods gone wrong. Fleeing from the two police men she was partying with, now turned attackers, she stumbles across Kyle (Beihn) who lives the life of a recluse in the middle of the woods. As the police officers (Honey and Kirkwood) close in on Annie, Kyle must decide which side he believes and whether to defend Annie from her pursuers.
The premise is simple grindhouse standard and the set up classic, so Beihn is starting strong by keeping things uncomplicated. That said, the script lacks polish and I was unsurprised to hear is was written in less than 3 weeks, another person taking a pass at the dialogue would have come in handy. Beihn is basically playing the acerbic, gritty, former bad-ass character he has been making a good living off of for the past decade or so. He definitely plays to his strengths onscreen and manages to deliver an effective performance. Sadly the other half of the Beihn household does not live up to her end of the bargain as Jennifer Blanc does not perform nearly as well. To be fair the script does not help her in the situation either as clearly Michael Beihn knows how to write his character, but is not sure what to do with the rest of the characters. Despite this un-engaging performance, Blanc is not the worst actor in this piece as Ryan Honey is so over the top and ridiculous it’s laughable. The setting works tremendously for the production as locating it in a wooded cabin and the forest surrounding it is both cost effective and cinematic. Beihn does show some promise behind the camera, I would certainly wish though that the next time he sits down to direct he tries his hand at something he didn’t write. Then we will truly see if the talent comes through.
The Blu-Ray includes a scant amount of special features that are an audio commentary featuring both Beihn and Blanc and a short behind the scenes segment. While I did not listen to the entire commentary, I can tell you the behind the scenes featurette is pretty awful, with excerpts of the movie soundtrack playing behind and over film footage throughout.
Overall The Victim is at least better than the sum of all its parts, mainly due to Michael Beihn’s work in front of the camera. I can’t outright tell you this is worth a buy, but I will give it the slightest of passes: The Victim is an extremely mild recommend.
Till Next Time,
Movie Junkie TO
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