Review: Red White & Blue

Red White & Blue is quite the cautionary tale and a rather disturbing look at a real-life horror.  The film centers on a free-loading slut named Erica (Amanda Fuller) who lives rent-free at the local bed and breakfast in exchange for doing a few chores.

Erica frequents the town bars by night, looking to bed any man she meets yet she doesn’t sleep over, fall in love or fuck the same guy twice.  She’s kind of cute in her white trash Ellen Page sort of way and writer/director Simon Rumley’s camera remains almost obsessively fixated on her throughout the film’s first third, which rather effectively builds her character without hardly any dialogue.

As cold hearted as she is, she still manages to form a strictly platonic bond with with Nate (the great Noah Taylor, who you might recognize as Stillwater’s manager from Almost Famous).  He sets her up with a real job at his hardware store, but he’s the only employee she doesn’t fuck in the restroom.

When the focus shifts off Erica and onto the life of one of her many sexual partners (Marc Senter), her presence is curiously missing and it takes a tad too long to reveal what we have been suspecting of this character since his introduction.  He feels like a secondary character with a bit too much screen time.

Round and round we go in a circle of action and reaction.  We can see that revenge certainly has its price, but it is unclear when (or if) this cycle ends.  Rumley, whose previous work includes the supposed “cult hit” The Living and the Dead (I haven’t seen it), is very confident in his story and tells it in an at-face manner.  While not all the performances are pitch perfect (here’s looking at you, Senter), but that’s to be expected in such a cheaply made piece and Taylor and Fuller each deliver ballsy and dynamic turns in their fully-realized leading roles.

Red White & Blue (seriously, if you can figure out what that title has to do with the film please let me know) is an absolutely brutal film, but it’s well worth seeing if you can stomach the violence and subject matter.

Note: I was lucky enough to catch this at a one-off screening at Chicago’s glorious Music Box theater.  The film was recently picked up by IFC Midnight, so it looks like you might be getting the chance to see it as well (be it On Demand or otherwise).

Rating: 7/10

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