Toronto After Dark 2013 Review: Bounty Killer

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Director Henry Saine follows up his previous Toronto After Dark hit The Last Lovecraft: Relic of Cthulhu with Bounty Killer, the story of Drifter, a “bounty killer” (exactly like a bounty hunter, except they don’t get paid if their catch is alive) who inhabits a post-apocalyptic world “in the not very distant future” where corporations and white collar criminals are Public Enemy Number One. Things start to go sideways for Drifter and his sexy co-worker Mary Death when a bounty is put on Drifter, and the two must try to unravel the mystery behind why Drifter is now in danger, as well as their complex feelings for each other.

On the face of it, Bounty Killer is another genre film that’s about boobs, comedy and big kills. What makes Bounty Killer different is that underneath the comedy, boobs and kills beats the heart of a searing political commentary about big business and the military industrial complex. It’s pretty great, really.

The world inhabited by these characters has been very specifically and lovingly crafted by director Saine and his team (which makes perfect sense, since the majority of his credits are in special effects and art department). Attention has been paid to everything from the roads to the tie clips to the poles people are tied to.

Leads Matthew Marsden and Christian Pitre do an excellent job of their respective roles (and cameos by Gary Busey, Beverly D’Angelo and Kristanna Loken make this film worth watching alone), but it’s actually the sum of the cast, not its parts that make the film work.

Is Bounty Killer essential Toronto After Dark viewing?

Absolutely. Bounty Killer is a fantastic film, but you should definitely see its only screening at Toronto After Dark just to see it on the big screen with the best crowd possible.

Bounty Killer screening time

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Like most people who write for the web, I've been obsessed with movies since I was very young. My favourite movies are The Social Network, Easy A and Garden State, but I try to spend my time broadening my film horizons. I'm the Publisher of Toronto Film Scene, and in my "spare" time, I'm a web designer and strategist. (Gotta support my movie habit somehow...)

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