Adaptations of graphic novels have spawned a distinct style of film making that revels in blood soaked action and creatively over-the-top violence. Those adaptations which are well done primarily offer high octane entertainment with tongue-in-cheek action far removed from reality. Few however, seem to find the right balance of campy comedy that favoured the grindhouse exploitation films of the 70s.
Bounty Killer is a modern success story released on DVD and Blu-ray this month. Set in a post-apocalyptic future where corporations have all but destroyed the world, a Council of Nine now rules and bounty hunters have become celebrated assassins tasked with tracking down and killing the white collar criminals who have destroyed civilisation.
The story is based on the 2012 graphic novel by Jason Dodson and Henry Saine and follows Mathew Marsden as bounty killer Drifter and his bumbling sidekick Jack, played with annoying consistency by Barak Hardley. Pipping them with regular abandon however is Mary Death (Christian Pitre), the most celebrated and sexy bounty killer of all.
As this trio of hunters eventually join forces, the action and violence escalate, as do the many plot twists that keep this story both intriguing and fun. Director Henry Saine builds the suspense nicely and keeps it cracking along from one extreme situation to the next, always finding new and creative ways to kill or be killed.
There are laughs aplenty and a strong urge builds to cheer the action. Guest appearances by well know actors Gary Busey and Beverly D’Angelo add additional credence to the production.
The stunts are executed beautifully and despite the overall cheap feel to the production, there is very little to bemoan in this delightful sleeper. Jason Dodson’s witty adaptation of the graphic novel is everything it should be – corny, sexy and violent with a surprising complexity and depth to the backstories of the main characters.
Genre lovers should adore this Mad Max-esque romp.
Reviewed by Rod Lewis
Rating out of 10: 8