Review

Review

FEARNET Movie Review: 'The Victim'

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There's no denying that character actor Michael Biehn has earned a place in the Genre Movie Hall of Fame. From his early work with James Cameron (especially Aliens and The Abyss), he's been a reliable and enjoyable presence in action / horror / sci-fi flicks like The Seventh Sign, Tombstone, The Rock, and Planet Terror. Even when Mr. Biehn pops up in a terrible old cable flick, which happens pretty often, the man is still working hard and doing all he can to provide a strong performance. I say these polite but honest things now because I've just seen the man's writing/directing debut, and I'm sorry to say that The Victim is, well, it's pretty darn awful.

The Victim is about two scummy cops who try to have sex with two sleazy strippers in the forest, but one of the gals is accidentally killed, so the other one runs off and finds a weirdo in a cabin, who decides to help out, and then the dirty cops show up at the cabin. A fight ensues, someone gets strapped to a chair and tortured, but then escapes, and on and on. Suffice to say that The Victim has lots of footage of angry people running through the forest, numerous scenes of people flipping out, and a lot of dead air between the chases, escapes, and dispatches. 
 
If the plot doesn't sound drab enough, Biehn also (randomly) decides to chop his skimpy narrative up and offer the "day before" back-story in a series of truly pointless flashbacks, which is how you can kill off horror favorite Danielle Harris early in the flick but still find ways to get her into the movie in skimpy outfits. Virtually all of the performances come off like "I just now read the scene and it's time to do one take" amateur-hour material, and it's strange to notice that Biehn's vast experiences on movie sets does not provide him with any ideas on how to shoot a scene, to set up suspense, or to edit a simple scene of back-and-forth dialogue. The guy is sure, however, to get an ample amount of violence, gore, and seamy sexual situations into his flick, including one languid sex scene with his leading lady/wife Jennifer Blanc.
 
Although relatively well-received on the horror festival circuit, The Victim is little more than a lethargic chore to sit through. The flick feels like a pitch cooked up over dinner and then banged together over the course of one bored weekend, and while it pains me to see unkind things about an actor I admire, I don't think Michael Biehn is destined to be a director.
 
PARTNER REVIEW
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