Title: Don't Mess With My Sister!

Also known as:
American Junkyard

Year: 1985

Genre: Drama / Suspense

Language: English

Runtime: 94 min

Director: Meir Zarchi

Writer: Meir Zarchi

IMDb: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0089037

Steven's life isn't so grand: he is in a loveless marriage or at least he doesn't love his wife Clara, he gets beat up by his brother in-laws regularly, and he's stuck being the accountant in family's junkyard business. Things change though when Steven decides to give Anke, a fellow night-class student, and from there the two begin to grow affection for one another. Even though he's having an affair, this is the first time Steven's been happy in a long time but that changes when his wife and her brothers catch wind of what he's doing.

Our thoughts:
In an attempt to go through my pile of owned but unwatched movies I figured I would give "Don't Mess With My Sister" a spin, finally. I'm not the biggest fan of "I Spit On Your Grave" since I thought that it came off as rather cheesy in comparison to other viewers. And I'll say, "That's just my opinion on the movie, anyhow" So Ronny doesn't come and cut me for talking smack on one of his favorite rape-revenge movies. You know how those Swedes enjoy cutting a vato when they feel disrespected. Regardless, "I Spit" was still a nasty little movie and I figured "Don't Mess With My Sister" would be in the same vein. Who could blame me with it being written and directed by Meir and of course the poster and taglines that come with the movie too. Wrong. Wrong. Wrong. Wrong.

"Don't Mess With My Sister" is the type of movie that would belong on the Lifetime channel and it came out before saying a movie belonged on the Lifetime channel was even an insult. The movie is about the turmoil that's in the relationship between married couple Steven and Clara. Even though they're married and have a child together, Clara's family treats Steven like shit -- Her brothers are constantly beating him up even though he is the accountant for the family's business (a junkyard). Well, one thing leads to another and Steven becomes attracted to Anke; a woman from Steven's night classes and is also a professional belly-dancer who entertains at his birthday party. They have an affair, Steven and Anke end up killing one of her clients in self-defense, Clara catches on to the affair, Steven has an all out war with his wife and in-laws. All of which leads to an explosive climax that involves Steven setting his own car on fire to show that he'd had enough. Yeah, I didn't get it either when it was actually happening on screen.

So okay, I didn’t enjoy "I Spit On Your Grave" as much as I should or am supposed to as required by the rules set forth from movie geekdom and the laws of exploitation cinema. All the same, I couldn't believe that the same man responsible for that movie is the same one responsible for this dramatic cinematic cluster fuck. A story that is so shallow that even microorganisms couldn't go for a swim and the characters are even worse -- there is not a single person who is worth a damn other than Anke. That's only because she wasn't on screen long enough for us to be given a reason to hate her. Given a little more time, I'm sure there would have been a reason. The one that bugged me the most was Steven; he was suppose to be the sympathetic character but he was the worst one of all because he's a wimpy little asshole who does more to piss off the viewer than anything else

The other problem with the movie is that it feels very restrained. A result of the backlash from "I Spit"? Possibly but whatever the reason might be doesn't change anything or some how make the lacking energy excusable or acceptable. The best example of this withdrawal is when Clara and her brothers storm into Anke's apartment where they catch her in the middle of a lip locking session with Steven. They proceed to trash her place for being a home wrecker but everything comes to a stop when Anke and Clara get into a scuffle that result in Anke's hand being sliced open with a knife. No foolin'. After her hand gets sliced open everybody stops what they're doing. Even Clara's brothers, who are in the middle of destroying the apartment, stop and try to help Anke with her injury. As the kids today would say, "What the fuck?" If it was just that one scene, no big deal, but it does that anytime during a confrontation or any moment that becomes intense. I won't even get into the storylines that are never followed up on; like a witness seeing Steven and Anke fleeing the home of her now dead client.

Even though I didn't like it, I'll admit Meir Zarchi did a good job with "I Spit On Your Grave". I may have found it cheesy but the movie and story still worked regardless of how I felt about it. That's what makes "Don't Mess With My Sister" such an odd film because it's his follow up title and the whole thing is a complete mess. The story and the characters are terrible; it's very withdrawn from any intensity which results in a total lack of flow and very choppy movie. Not to mention the lacking logic in character actions. It's a boring, frustrating, and extremely disappointing watch and I'm sorry I have it in my collection and I'm sorry I wasted my time watching it.

Positive things:
- I finally watched it.
Negative things:
- I'm stuck with owning the movie.
- Dull and empty story.
- Unlikeable characters.
- Very reserved and seems to hold back on what it wants to do.

Gore: 0/5
Nudity: 0/5
Story: 2/5
Effects: 1/5
Comedy: 0/5

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