After an intense party night remains in a haze the next day, four friends find themselves in a bit of a bind when they discover the body of a hooker in the trunk of their car. Unsure of what happened or what the right thing to do is, they set out to bury body on the outskirts of town. Easier said than done when mysterious characters start showing up; a cowboy pimp, thugs with chainsaws, a baseball wielding gang, even a serial killer. These four friends are about to be tested and pushed further then they ever could imagine on this road trip from hell.
At this point if you haven't heard of the Soska Sister's movie "Dead Hooker in a Trunk" then you my friend are living under a rock. The Soska's leave no stone unturned with their little home-grown project: successful festival tours where the movies garners both praises and prizes, glowing reviews from various critics and media sites, the movie has managed to even catch the attention of Eli Roth. Regardless of what you think of the man and his movies, that's still something to be proud of when a small indie feature catches the attention of the Hollywood elite. Thanks to James DePaolo putting in a good word for us, I managed to receive a screener from the lovely ladies and after watching the movie. I can see why "Dead Hooker in a Trunk" is quickly gaining fans and is on its way to cult-dom.
With the title, I'm sure most folks are expecting "Dead Hooker in a Trunk" to be a comedy, and you'd be right. The movie is a successful combination of horror and pitch-black comedy that manages to get you to say, "Oh shit" one minute, and making you slap your knee from morbid hysterics the next. (The movie managed to get me to laugh out loud on more than once occasion.) The horror and humor derives from an interesting concept: "Dead Hooker in a Trunk" is essentially a buddy-road trip movie. Except the difference being that instead of friends, we are stuck with an assortment of oddball characters that aren't exactly chummy with one another, at least not all of them. Not to mention there is also that whole dumping a hookers body aspect to the story that makes this a little different. While the characters remain unnamed in the movie each one is identifiable: we've got The Geek (Jen Soska), The Badass (Sylvia Soska), Goody Two-Shoes (CJ Wallis), and Junkie (Rikki Gagne). Like the hooker in the trunk, we are stuck with these characters while they try to figure out what happened the previous night and what to do with the body. The solution that they come up with takes them on one hell of a journey that involves cowboy pimps, drug dealers, gang members, sadistic violence, torture, and possibly sex in a very uncomfortable place. And no, I'm not talking about the back of a Volkswagen.
"Dead Hooker" is a very off-beat and eccentric character movie. Sure we want to see what happens with the body and find out the answers to the questions in regards to some of the plot-points and mysterious characters, like the guy wielding a baseball bat that knocks one of Geek's eyeballs out. The movie is more about the main characters - they are the ones who make the movie and keep us watching. You can't help but cheer on Badass when she kickass, you want the sexual tension resolved between Geek and Goody Two-Shoes (if Goody will ever stop puking), and you want to see what awful thing is going to happen to Junkie next. Honestly, I did not see that thing with the truck coming.
There are a number of reasons why the characters make it worthwhile - such as the impressive performances by everyone for a movie of this caliber. A lot of it does come down to the writing; the Soska's know what it takes to make a movie both interesting and entertaining. They blend together various cinematic themes and styles that basically makes "Dead Hooker in a Trunk" into this stylistic DIY-entity that you have to admire. The movie becomes its own beast that is far from being traditional, to the point that I didn't know what to label the movie as. I wasn't sure if calling it a comedy, or even a black-comedy, would be appropriate since that might give off the wrong impression, as if the movie is silly. The humor is far more clever and subtle (for the most part) and changes with the tone as the movie progresses. The further our characters go along on this absurd journey the more they uncover a dark and hideous underbelly of their city. As the characters adapt, change, and progress - so does the movie and appropriately changes tone as it gets darker and darker as it moves along. That's why I think the writing stood out as much as it did to me. The Soska's clearly knew how to handle the characters and how to tell the story that helps make that changing tone and style work as the movie picks up speed to the wild and bat-shit crazy ending.
Certainly if I were to break this movie down and examine it under a microscope, I could find issues with it and parts that weren't so good or technical problems. With a movie like "Dead Hooker in a Trunk" that's not what it's about - perfection and flawless execution isn't the goal. Entertainment is, and "Dead Hooker in a Trunk" is one hell of an entertaining flick. This is a one-man...errr...two-woman project; the Soska Sisters had an idea for a movie and they went out and shot it and shot it their way. So certainly there is going to be "problems" when you've got two people doing the work of an entire crew, especially for a first feature. But that make-your-own-damn-movie attitude, along with a great level of skill and talent, makes the good aspects out shine any of the bad. Is this movie for everyone? Probably not, but if you're looking for a non-genre specific movie that will provide for some quirky and morbid entertainment, then "Dead Hooker in a Trunk" is a good movie to go with.