Run! Bitch Run! (2009)

Catchy isn’t it? The name, I mean. Almost impossible for it not to pique your interest just a little. That’s how I got sucked in anyway; morbid curiosity. Run! Bitch Run! Is actually a very heartfelt love letter, addressed to the grindhouse era of film-making. It’s a modern rape and revenge exploitation flick that harks back to the 70’s and recalls it all perfectly.

On a hot Summers day, two Catholic schoolgirls find themselves in a strange town on their mission to sell Bibles door-to-door. Advised by an odd Motel owner to try the town down the road, they drive down there and are greeted by a motley crew of townsfolk, all of which test their patience and test their faith. It isn’t until they stumble upon Lobo’s whorehouse and inadvertently witness a murder that they find themselves in real trouble. Captured, tortured, toyed with, raped and her friend Rebecca shot dead in a twisted game of Russian Roulette, Catherine finds herself in a Hospital nearby. Full of righteous anger and the need for justice she steals a nurses uniform and makes her way back to Lobo and the evil, debauched criminal element that surround him, armed only with a scalpel.

Run! Bitch Run! is essentially a re-telling of I Spit On Your Grave with a little Last House On The Left thrown in for good measure. Its major downfall is that it succeeds so successfully in mirroring the movies it wants to pay homage to, that it offers nothing new or inventive.

That said, it really is a treat for anyone who’s been missing that level of low-brow exploitation fare. From the storyline to the acting to the sublimely accurate soundtrack to the bloody revenge that follows, it’s all there. Before the film reaches five full minutes of running time, the audience is privy to full frontal nudity, oral sex, drug use, a murder, clips from a [fake] porn movie and lots of profanity. It certainly ticks all the boxes, and then some!

There are one or two surprises however; I was left guessing at which of the girls would survive to take her revenge and unusually for ‘rape and revenge’ movies, one of the principal antagonists is female which pretty much closes the door on any arguments for feminism that it might provoke. Besides those points though, the rest is thoroughly familiar although not necessarily in a bad way.

Run! Bitch Run! is super low budget and when it comes to gore this becomes obvious. The viewer seldom gets to see the actual murders, merely the aftermath. It’s hard to say whether this was down to lack of financing or to Guzman’s wish to stay as close to the movies’ influences as possible, in order to more closely emulate those that he’s paying homage to.

Despite the pretty horrifying subject matter, there is actually a degree of affection shown by the writer/director for their protagonist. It’s hard not to muster some sympathy for her and ultimately, the whole thing is pretty heartbreaking. Either way, it seems as though Guzman has admirably achieved what he set out to do, Run! Bitch Run! would almost certainly have been banned outright if Mary Whitehouse had been alive to catch a whiff of it or had it been released back in the heyday of grindhouse cinema.

It’s difficult to recommend it to anyone who’s not a fan of the original movies that Run! Bitch Run! so closely recalls but if you are, I’d say go out and grab a copy now.

Rating: ★★★★★☆☆☆☆☆

2 Comments on “Run! Bitch Run!”

  1. Jamie Carruthers says:

    This sounds awesome!

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