Jarv’s Schlock Vault: Boston Girls
I have genuinely come to the conclusion that modern exploitation films tend to be hideous. It is true, though, that almost all exploitation has been awful, with only a few gems standing out from the crowd, but the difference was that the 1970’s films were attempting to overcome limitations imposed on them by budget, talent, time and so forth and there were a few that genuinely transcended their lowly origins. Whereas 21st Century exploitation has none of the limitations the 70’s film makers had to overcome, and instead intentionally makes the films shoddy, grainy and more seriously unpleasant than they had to be. It was with this in mind that I decided to inflict Boston Girls on myself, and I didn’t have a lot in the way of hope for it.
Contains cack handed faux feminism and spoilers below
I wasn’t a fan of Boston when I went there. Admittedly it was in the 90’s and I managed to start a fight with a Noraid cunt rattling a tin “for the boys” but still, it didn’t exactly rock my world. When you throw in that Boston Girls is a low budget modern exploitation, even the presence of Danny Trejo made me doubt that this film would be even remotely watchable. After the credits finished rolling, I’d seen nothing to change my mind.
Meet our two anti-heroines: Irish descendant Lynne (Shay Astar), and Italian Carmela (Camille Solari- also on writing duty). They’re basically having a rotten time of it, with both their boyfriends cheating on them. After an altercation at Lynne’s boyfriend’s place, they’re arrested by the cops. One of the cops is bent, and the other is a post-burnout junkie. His burnout was caused by witnessing Lynne’s rape on a Merry-go-round, something we get to see far too often, even if it’s disguised. Anyhoo, his partner is a scumbag and proceeds to brutally rape Carmela to teach her a lesson. Unfortunately for him, she gets hold of his taser and boots him into a creek to die.
Anyhow, our girls go back to the boyfriend’s house for Lynne to murder him and take her top off. Not necessarily in that order. This first killing kickstarts a rampage where they eliminate all enemies on a check list (Kill Bill style). In the meantime, the women of Boston seem to take to the two murderess as cult heroines and we get to see loads of news footage proclaiming them to be fighting the good fight against the evil phalliocracy or some such bollocks. Amongst their victims is Danny Trejo, playing Carmela’s uncle, an ex-ball player who molested her when she was little. Needless to say, they off him after a suitably heart warming, and not at all cack-handed, redemption scene between the old fella and his victim. This, by the by, is the sum extent of the characterisation in this film. They’re basically a pair of angry rape victims on a rampage.
The acting here is a touch ropy. The two girls themselves are OK, and Trejo is solid in his cameo, but the supporting male cast leaves a lot to be desired. Most of the actors here aren’t destined for greater films, if I’m to be brutally honest, as they lack the chops. They don’t really let the side down too badly, but I’d be genuinely surprised to find out that most of them were professional rather than just mates roped in to star in a movie.
Direction from Gabriel Bologna isn’t great either. To be fair, he’s clearly got fuck all money (no CGI blood or gunfire, hurray!) and much of the action takes place in enclosed spaces. When he does get a more extended location than, say, the donut shop, he shows that he’s not afraid of setting the camera back a bit, but these are few and far between. In contrast, much of the “indoor” scenes contains moments that feel overly stagey- contrived and simultaneously claustrophobic.
There’s an issue with the sound reproduction at the start that thankfully goes away, which is really a sign of the budget. What it feels is, well, raw. There’s a grindhouse type atmosphere to the film, and while not as crassly exploitative as something like Hobo with a Shotgun, Boston Girls doesn’t seem to be able to transcend its roots. Funnily enough, the film this most reminds me of is the French art-house porno/ exploitation Baise-Moi. Thankfully, it’s far less repugnant than that, and there’s a distinct lack of erect cock on screen.
That isn’t to say that the film is a dead loss. Many of the kills, particularly the oven scene, are entertaining enough, and there’s a verisimilitude to the dialogue (there should be, these are actually Boston Girls) that stands out. Some of the lines, particularly from Astar (also easily the best actress here) raise a chuckle, and I wouldn’t be shocked to see her in other low budget stuff. Particularly given that she’s quite fetching and more than willing to take her top off for the camera.
Overall, I don’t hate Boston Girls. I’m just not particularly fond of it either. When the final credits rolled I was left with an overwhelming feeling of meh-ness, and the sequel baiting last scene is a damned cheek to be honest. This is never going to get a sequel. Nevertheless, Boston Girls is one of the best of the modern nouveau exploitation films, even if I’m not sure that’s a prize worth winning. It may not come as a huge shock that I don’t recommend this, because it’s just totally and utterly meh.
It does win points for not being totally repugnant, though, and I genuinely think there is the germ of an idea here that a better script and a bit more money might have realised.
Until next time,