You know it’s always a bad idea when a stranger stops for a girl whose car has broken down, especially when it’s on one of those desert roads in America’s south. Well in Bastard it’s a bad idea for the stranger because Hannah (Ellis Greer) has a new husband (Dan Creed) who is a dab hand with a claw hammer and he’s well up for some gruesome DIY.
So now that Hannah and West have acquired a nice classic Mustang complete with a dismembered corpse in the boot, the next thing the newlyweds need are to give a lift to a pair of teenage runaways, pregnant Betty (Rebekah Kennedy) and her boyfriend Jake (Will Travers) and somewhere creepy to stay the night, in a one horse town on the shore of a lake. Oh yes and a seemingly normal friendly landlady Rachel (Tonya Kay) who offers to take the whole gang on a nature hike in the morning together with the gay alcoholic policeman who comes to warn Rachel about some missing teenagers.
Yep we are in retro-serial killer territory again and Bastard is packed with exactly what you’d expect to find in this kind of film including the obligatory bad guys you want to see die horribly, the normal likeable guys you want to survive, hints of cannibalism and incest and some very, very gruesome violence. The problem I had with Bastard is that I think it may have originally been pitched as a retro-slasher parody with the victim line-up, the lake, the washed up boozy cop and some lame visual gags all suggesting that, before being re-imagined and played for straight.
There is one hell of brilliant put down line in the film though and its worth watching just for that.
A gruesome stomp through the retro-slasher genre I give Bastard a 444/666
Bastard is released onm DVD and digital in the UK on Monday